Maine pot shops sold almost $100,000 worth of products on opening day

Published Oct 20, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Yarygin

Recreational cannabis made nearly $100,000 on opening day for adult-use dispensaries in Maine. Six pot shops reported that adult-use recreational cannabis sales are going to provide $9,464.34 in sales tax for the state. Four years after Maine voted to legalize recreational cannabis, it became law. Adults aged 21 and older can now purchase up to 2.5 ounces of recreational marijuana concentrate or marijuana.

Long lines were observed outside of some of the six licensed dispensaries, but the long wait did not dampen the celebratory atmosphere surrounding those in the line ups. Celebrating the freedom to purchase weed legally was in the spirits of those in attendance. One resident of Portland has waited twenty years to be able to purchase legal cannabis. He and another cannabis consumer took time off from work to be involved in the memorable day.

Delays

Gubernatorial vetoes, a change in state administration, legislative rewrites, and then the deadly COVID-19 pandemic contributed to making the cannabis rollout in Maine one of the slowest U.S. history. Some of the dispensaries chose to keep their potential customers happy by offering food trucks in the parking lot for them to enjoy food while waiting. Musicians were also hired to provide a vibe that kept the customers happy while waiting to make their first legal cannabis purchase in Maine.

Independent labs are now receiving licensing, which will help to reduce testing costs. The independent labs will also speed up the turnaround time. Currently, there is only one adult-use lab in Maine.

Who contributed?

The six recreational cannabis contributors to the states taxes pockets include:

  • Theory Wellness in South Portland
  • SeaWeed in South Portland
  • Green Cures in Auburn
  • Northland Botanicals in Stratton
  • Sweet Relief Shop in Northport
  • Firestorm Cultivation

Let’s break it down further and say that the total sales for the opening day long weekend included 6,430 transactions, according to the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP). Marijuana Business Daily reported that a tight supply situation and the high wholesale prices in the adult-use market-led at least one of the eight active adult-use recreational cannabis dispensaries to delay its opening plans.

Is this weed overpriced?

On opening day, an eighth of an ounce of the green bud was selling for between $55 and $65. As more adult-use dispensaries open and more growers get their legal growers license, the average prices of an ounce of weed are expected to fall.  More than one hundred growers are waiting for the results of a final state review. Some are planning the opening of tiny boutique pot shops while others are opening huge cultivation facilities.

Hopefully, more facilities coming online will release the retailers from having to use double-taxed medical cannabis plants to help fill the recreational product gap. Most of the first wave of licensed adult-use cannabis businesses had issues finding enough product, even with a month to secure it. Green Cures, owned by Tonya Rollins, obtained her supply at the last moment from a licensed wholesale grower from Detroit. Tonya is the only retail cannabis shop licensed in Maine that is owned and operated by a woman.

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