Maine, one of three New England states to have legalized recreational marijuana, is sending out conditional licenses for dispensaries to sell that form of the drug, and facilities in which to grow and process it. The state's Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) announced that 31 such licenses were mailed last Saturday, March 14, to applicants deemed worth of acceptance.
Possession of a conditional license is only a first step for a marijuana company wishing to be fully licensed. After one is received, the owner of the facility must receive approval from its municipality. That approval is the last major step before the state issues an active license.
The 31 conditional licenses break down into 16 dispensaries, 10 grow facilities, four manufacturing centers, and one nursery. All of these properties are located in the lower end of the state; two -- one a dispensary and the other a grow facility -- are situated very close to the border with New Hampshire, a state that has not yet legalized recreational cannabis.
The OMP has said that sales of recreational cannabis in Maine will commence this spring. The mailing of the conditional licenses puts the regulator on track to meet that goal.
Maine legalized recreational marijuana through the voting booth in 2016, although the state has slow-walked the process. For cannabis stock investors, there are almost no familiar names among the list of conditional licensees.
Still, Big Marijuana is involved in a small way in the state. Massachusetts-based Curaleaf (OTC:CURLF) has a dispensary in Auburn that sells medical marijuana; that store is not on the roster of conditional recreational-use licensees, however. It's unclear if Curaleaf applied for a license, and was rejected.
On Monday, Curaleaf stock closed the day nearly 8% lower.