Maine dispensaries want early crack at adult-use cannabis sales

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Maine’s largest medical marijuana operator wants the state’s eight dispensaries to have an early opportunity to sell recreational cannabis.

The Wellness Connection of Maine, which operates four dispensaries, is supporting legislation that would allow the state’s MMJ operators to begin peddling adult-use cannabis while regulations are drawn up for the new rec market, the Bangor Daily News reported.

But a leading advocate for Maine’s caregivers, who grow MMJ at home for patients and compete against the dispensaries, dubbed the move a “money grab.” A leading cannabis proponent also voiced opposition, the newspaper reported.

Maine’s legalization program is scheduled to take effect at the end of January, although some influential state lawmakers are mulling a delay for the start date, according to the newspaper. The program allows Maine residents to carry up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and gives MMJ cultivators preference for rec permits.

The state has nine months to write regulations governing the new market. State lawmakers must pass legislation to implement the legalization initiative that Maine voters narrowly approved in November.

Maine’s adult-use market could generate $250 million-$350 million in sales when it’s up and running, according to Marijuana Business Daily projections.