STATEWIDE — Maine has been the only state so far to launch adult use marijuana during a global pandemic.
Maine Office of Marijuana Policy Director Erik Gundersen said they knew the obstacles ahead of them.
On Oct 8 of last year they issued six licenses statewide.
“To date we have nearly 45 active licensees across the state of Maine. Those are our cultivation, manufacturing, testing facilities and our retail stores and we continue to grow at a responsible rate,” said Gundersen.
Gundersen said one of the biggest challenges so far, which isn’t exclusive to Maine, has been the supply chain.
“Demands exceeds supply and then over time those things work themselves out,” said Gundersen.
Gundersen added the process has been slowed down because of the pandemic but is optimistic about the future.
“When the pandemic is over you’ll start to see the applications move through at a higher pace,” he said.
Owner John Lorenz of Sweet Relief on Route 1 in Northport, a recreational marijuana shop, agrees.
“If COVID is ever gone. If there’s Down East travel again. If three million people head to Acadia again every year for lodging and restaurants and food, they will pass my location and all things point towards success,” said Lorenz.
He said one of the reasons business has been going so well is because a lot of people don’t like using medical marijuana cards.
“I hear that five, eight times a day, that points to the greater majority of people looking for 21-plus marijuana,” said Lorenz.