Maine marijuana shops are seeing brisk business despite pandemic

Maine’s rollout of legal marijuana sales has been muted compared with other states because of the coronavirus pandemic, but shops are reporting brisk business nonetheless.

Maine wasn’t able to replicate the grand opening scenes that have followed the first sales in other states. But regulators reported more than $1 million in sales in October, more than $1.2 million in November and nearly $2 million in December. The number of retail businesses also continues to grow.

“Despite all the market challenges, everything from COVID to supply chains and beyond, Maine has done a really good job getting this market up and running,” said Thomas Winstanley, vice president of marketing for Theory Wellness, which has locations in South Portland and Waterville. “Cannabis is becoming part of the social fabric.”

Nearly a third of U.S. states have approved legal adult use marijuana. That includes several states with longer established marijuana programs and four that just went legal in the 2020 elections and are developing programs.

But only Maine went legal in 2016 and then took nearly four years to create a legal framework for retail sales. Those sales began in October, just as the pandemic was worsening in the state and around the country. [Read more at Bangor Daily News]

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