The people of Maine don’t want stores, but want cannabis
Maine is a tourist destination along the eastern seaboard of North America. Flocks of people from both sides of the border choose it as a “go-to” destination for summer vacations. From the highlands to freshwater lakes, and the mountains to the ocean, people visit Maine to enjoy it’s unique culture (and incredible seafood). One thing has become predominantly clear, municipalities are not interested in adding cannabis tourism to the fray.
Both medical and adult-use cannabis are legal in Maine, where nearly 250,000 transactions and more than $16 million in sales occurred in July of this year. Despite the potential economic benefit, only 7% of towns and cities allow for legal dispensaries. With such a discrepancy in availability and interest in permitting dispensaries, the state has begun offering $20,000 to municipalities to subsidize the costs of regulation.
As state legalizations and global support for cannabis grows, it is interesting that the market remains largely closed in Maine. Cannabis can be used for its medicinal qualities and recreational potential, yet an economy partially fueled by tourism is hesitant to support its proliferation. Despite the lack of support from communities, cannabis is still being sold, bought and consumed in Maine.
The intent of legalized cannabis is twofold: develop a steady stream of revenues to support the local and state economies, and create a market that provides access to safe and regulated cannabis. With support from the State of Maine, one must wonder what the hesitation is for local regions to accept or endorse cannabis dispensaries.
We know that cannabis is still being enjoyed in Maine, so why won’t municipalities approve it?
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