PORTLAND, Maine (NewsNation Now) — Maine will issue its first recreational marijuana business licenses Tuesday.
Stores in the state will be able to harvest, test and package cannabis products, which will go on sale next month.
Maine voters approved legal adult-use marijuana sales in 2016, but the rollout has been slow. Part of the state’s rollout plans were postponed in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy.
“While we were poised to launch this new industry earlier this year, we were unwilling to sacrifice the high standards we have set for this program by launching during an emerging public health pandemic and in the absence of a testing facility,” OMP Director Erik Gundersen said in a press release last month. “With the support of the public health community, municipalities across the state, and the industry we regulate, we have used the last few months to ensure this new industry is introduced to Maine consumers in a manner that is as responsible as possible.”
Recreational marijuana sales for adults age 21 and older will begin October 9.
Eleven states and Washington DC, have legalized recreational marijuana. Thirty-three states and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.