With the threat of big business negatively effecting our Medical Program, the $111.6 million sales number is third behind lobster and potatos. Medical Cannabis sales accounted for more than the next 6 industries combined.
Because the State has finally given the medical cannabis industry it’s own tax category, the true sales numbers can be realized. 116 mil is nothing to sneeze at, and we have to imagine its quite a bit more than this due to growers not doing their taxes and categorizing correctly. Not to mention the data is a month short with the tracking starting in February of ’09. We have surpassed sales numbers of blueberries, maple syrup, apples, elvers, herring and oysters combined. I’m sure 2020 will be much higher. Medical Marijuana has been legal in Maine for over 20 years now and the opening up and de regulating of the industry in the past 5 years has substantially accelerated growth. Allowing caregivers to sell 75% of their crop to other caregivers and their storefronts was instrumental, along with the opening of new storefronts across the state. Like Colorado, California, Nevada, and numerous other states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, Maine is positioning itself as a powerhouse in what will eventually become a global market. Maine is already one of the country’s top visited tourist attraction and cannabis has begun to slowly have an impact on visitors. The economic development possibilities upsides are crucial giving the fact Maine has been hit so hard in a globalized economy.
The 8 dispensaries such as Wellness connection only accounted for $26.3 million in sales proving that Caregivers are the market with 76% of gross sales. Maine has the best cannabis program in the country and that’s because smaller growers (caregivers) own the market. Maine’s caregivers are fighting to stay relevant in the face of recreational cannabis. But, we are being threatened by the Evil Empire, Wellness, CuraLeaf and Aurora to name a few. They are coming in with more money, lobbyist and far inferior products trying to plant their flag and push us out. No one wants their boof and the numbers bear this fact out. If all things remained the same in 2020, that is the recreational market didn’t come to fruition yet, that 26.3 million number would probably be cut by at least 30%. The threat to us smaller craft growers is not having a level playing field in the adult use program. I.E. these power backed greedy boof factories pushing us out with money, lobyists and the theory that consolidation of the industry is better.