Legal recreational marijuana sales began in Maine on Friday, nearly four years after voters approved a legalization initiative in 2016. But with only eight licensed dispensaries open for the launch of legal sales and fears of looming product shortages, consumers and business owners alike are unsure what the day will bring.
Voters in Maine legalized the recreational use of marijuana by adults and authorized the commercial production and sale of cannabis by licensed businesses in the autumn of 2016. However, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage thwarted implementation of the measure, leading to years of delay. After two years of legislative rewrites and multiple vetoes by LePage, the Marijuana Legalization finally became law at the end of 2018.
Erik Gundersen, the director of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy, told local media that most of the work to create cannabis regulations for the state occurred following the election of current Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat.
“With the Mills administration, there was the creation of my office, the Office of Marijuana Policy in February of last year,” Gundersen said. “And really when we showed up, we started with a blank slate and we got to work on the regulations that we put together