From the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2023, 1,350 licensed medical marijuana caregivers in Maine have left the industry, according to a new report about the “exodus” by the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy.
Taking into account caregivers who entered the industry, the net loss was about 950 caregivers, the Portland Press Herald reported.
In Maine, a caregiver is defined as someone who is registered to supply medical cannabis patients with MMJ products.
Caregivers are a controversial topic in Maine because they are a major competitor for MMJ dispensaries.
In fact, the state once considered cracking down on caregivers.
According to state statistics, Maine had 2,070 caregivers as of March 31, down from 3,032 in 2021 and a peak of 3,257 in 2016, the Press-Herald noted.
There are about 106,000 MMJ cardholders in Maine who are permitted to use marijuana for treatment of certain medical conditions.
According to the Press Herald, the “exodus” of caregivers stems from:
- “Oversupply,” said John Hudak, director of the Office of Cannabis Policy, “… because it has led to massive drops in wholesale price, making it difficult for registrants to endure mounting energy costs and other market conditions.”
- High utility and business costs.
- Competition from Maine’s adult-use market, which launched in October 2020.
- Banking regulations and fees.