Marijuana plant leaves Credit: Susan Montoya Bryan | AP

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Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy said Friday it has postponed indefinitely the spring debut of adult-use marijuana retail sales in the state citing safety and social distancing concerns related to the new coronavirus.

In a letter to conditional and prospective adult-use licensees on Friday, marijuana policy office Director Erik Gundersen said that public health experts have said they cannot answer what social distancing or other guidance may be in effect in late spring or early summer.

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“It now appears as though a spring launch of Maine’s adult-use industry is simply unrealistic,” he wrote. “We are simply unable to provide any concrete timelines in these uncertain times.”

The office issued Maine’s first conditional licenses for adult-use marijuana to 16 retail stores last month.

The decision to postpone the start of the retail marijuana business comes almost one year after the Legislature approved recreational marijuana and mor e than three years after the public voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2016.

$250 million to $300 million, according to Patricia Rosi, CEO of Wellness Connection, which owns four medical marijuana dispensaries and plans to enter the recreational market.

Watch: Maine CDC press conference, April 10

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