Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Maine Officials Expect Delay in Opening of Recreational Pot Market

By Eric Volkman - Updated Apr 14, 2020 at 11:26AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Sales should begin in June, rather than this month.

According to reports in local media, the Maine state legislature's revenue forecasting committee is estimating that sales of recreational marijuana will begin in June, not this month as previously expected.

A three-month delay will mean less take in tax money for the state. Maine has lowered its forecast for tax monies from recreational marijuana to $500,000 for the current fiscal year (2020), which ends on June 30. Its previous forecast, assuming a March launch, was $2.2 million.

Smoke emanating from a cannabis bud.

Image source: Getty Images

The delay is due to a longer-than-expected waiting period for conditional recreational licenses. These are to be awarded to marijuana companies for dispensaries and facilities used in cannabis cultivation and processing. The relatively sparsely populated state has received almost 200 applications.

One major reason for this is the lack of a testing laboratory in the state. According to a report in the Portland Press Herald, only one such facility is close to securing the necessary licensing to operate.

Once a conditional license is obtained, the applicant is required to secure final approval from local authorities in the municipality where it's operating. Certain locales in the state can take up to a year to grant this approval.

Recreational marijuana is on a slow burn in Maine; its legalization was effected in a ballot measure in 2016. Medical marijuana was first legalized in 1999, and today is a thriving business.

One publicly traded company involved in the sector in Maine is Curaleaf (CURLF 1.37%), which operates a medical cannabis dispensary in the town of Auburn. It is not known at this time whether Curaleaf is one of the applicants for a recreational license, although it seems rather likely.

Curaleaf stock sagged by almost 8% on Tuesday. 


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
$5.18 (1.37%) $0.07

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/25/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.