Maine Regulators Postpone Launch of State’s Adult-Use Cannabis Market Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) issued a letter to conditional and prospective adult-use cannabis licensees on April 10 that indefinitely postpones the launch of the state’s adult-use market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, regulators planned to open the market in June, but issued a memo last month indicating that the launch could be delayed due to the pandemic.
In its latest update, the OMP cited safety and social distancing concerns in its decision to indefinitely delay the launch of adult-use sales, saying “it now appears as though a spring launch of Maine’s adult use industry is simply unrealistic.”
“Public health experts have clearly communicated that they cannot answer what social distancing or other guidance may be in effect as we approach late spring and early summer,” OMP Director Erik Gunderson wrote in the letter. “Additionally, we have heard from towns and cities, public officials and the general public that they expect that when the adult use program is rolled out, it will be done in a manner that is best in the nation at protecting the public’s health and safety. OMP will not sacrifice those standards.”
Although the OMP indicated in its letter that it is “unable to provide any concrete timelines in these uncertain times,” it said it will keep stakeholders updated on any future developments.
Maine’s voters legalized adult-use cannabis in November 2016.