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Maine Launches Recreational Marijuana Sales

Maine has launched legal adult-use marijuana sales almost four years after voters in the state approved a legalization initiative.

Retail sales of adult-use marijuana to consumers aged 21 years or older in Maine commenced on Friday, October 9, 2020. Eight stores have been approved for retail sales in the state.

Maine voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, but sales have long been delayed in the state. Maine already has legal medical marijuana.

The Office of Marijuana Policy or OMP said last week it was on track for a spring 2020 launch of adult use marijuana sales in the state, before the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the postponement of the plan.

The OMP is part of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The agency is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of legalized marijuana, including Maine's existing Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

The regulator issued the first active licenses to adult use establishments in early September 2020. The adult use program requires mandatory testing at a licensed facility before product are sold at retail stores. In addition, the products must comply with stringent labeling requirements.

The OMP said it has collaborated with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development to make a COVID-19 checklist for adult use licensees.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, retail customers are required to wear face coverings and maintain adequate social distancing while waiting in line or shopping in-store. Customers must have a valid, government-issued photographic identification card to complete a purchase.

Customers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of a combination of marijuana and marijuana concentrates, including no more than five grams of marijuana concentrate.

According to the OMP, adult use marijuana and medical marijuana cannot be sold from the same facility.

Unless they have changed their license type or have a separate retail facility, existing caregiver retail stores and medical marijuana dispensaries can only sell marijuana products to patients with valid medical marijuana credential.

The OMP also said that the the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a 'Good to Know' educational campaign to help customers navigate the state's legal marijuana landscape safely, legally and responsibly.

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