Four years after the Legislature passed a law granting recreational sales of pot, the adult-use market will probably be launched by Jan. 1. The state Office of Marijuana Policy will allow the opening of the building blocks of the industry ― recreational marijuana testing labs, grow facilities and manufacturing labs ― to open by the end of the first quarter, which ends in September, with their product likely to roll out in the second quarter, which ends in December, the Press Herald reported.
The industry’s roll-out since since 2016 has been impeded by several governmental and regulatory twists and turns, including a gubernatorial veto. And then the pandemic happened, which slowed Maine municipalities passage of ordinances that would or would not allow recreational marijuana to be sold locally. Some hoped it would open last spring.
The late start will cut into the $84 million in fiscal year 2021 retail sales that Maine expected in the spring, said David Gunter, a tax economist with the Maine Department of Administration and Financial Services. But the volume of license applications suggest it will hit its predicted $118 million in sales in fiscal year 2022, its first full year of operations, the Press Herald reported.