Maine regulators have announced plans for issuing the state’s first active licenses for adult-use marijuana establishments in early September and for retail sales in the state to begin on October 9, 2020.
The Maine State Office of Marijuana Policy or OMP said it intends to issue the first active licenses to recreational cannabis businesses on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The OMP is a part of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services or DAFS.
Retail sales of adult-use marijuana to consumers aged 21 years or older in Maine will begin on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Maine voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, but sales have been delayed. The state already has legal medical marijuana.
The OMP noted that the issuance of active licenses will continue the structured rollout of Maine’s nascent adult- use marijuana industry, which was indefinitely postponed in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we were poised to launch this new industry earlier this year, we were unwilling to sacrifice the high standards we have set for this program by launching during an emerging public health pandemic and in the absence of a testing facility,” said OMP Director Erik Gundersen.
Adult-use marijuana establishments will require an active license to possess, process and sell adult-use marijuana, including initiating plant transfers from Maine’s existing medical marijuana program.
The OMP said it expects the adult-use licensees to utilize the time between active licensure and retail sales launch date to harvest and process marijuana, ensure the products satisfy the mandatory testing requirements, and move the product to stock retail store shelves.
Business that will be conducting retail sales must prepare to implement social distancing and other public health guidance in anticipation of significant consumer presence to their retail locations.
The OMP said it expects to issue licenses in each of the four categories of adult-use establishments – cultivation, products manufacturing, retail sale, and testing.
The regulator will provide details on the specific number of licenses issued as well as the identities of active licensees on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
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