Maine starts issuing recreational cannabis business licenses

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The long-awaited recreational marijuana industry in Maine took another step toward launching this week when regulators began issuing business permits.

By Wednesday, the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy had upgraded six licenses to “active” for two retailers, three grow facilities and a testing lab.

The two stores have been approved to start rec sales on Oct. 9, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Regulators will be issuing more licenses on a rolling basis up to and beyond the adult-use sales launch date, according to the newspaper.

Voters in Maine approved recreational sales nearly four years ago, in 2016, but the market launch was delayed first by an anti-cannabis governor, then lengthy regulatory writing and, finally, the coronavirus pandemic.