Hannah King Featured in Weed 101: What to expect as retail, adult-use grass goes legit in Maine

September 30th, 2020, Adult-use, Retail, State

Here’s an excerpt from the article about the upcoming launch of Maine’s adult use marijuana market:

Hannah King, an attorney on Drummond Woodsum’s regulated substance team, which has represented recreational marijuana businesses, said she didn’t think Portland would begin issuing licenses before November, and city stores probably won’t start opening up until winter in 2021.

But she also said that’s not a huge step behind everyone else. Retail marijuana businesses aren’t able to get products from existing medical marijuana facilities, which have been around longer and have a more mature infrastructure. So adult-use products have to come from adult-use facilities, of which there are few.

“The reality is we won’t have a fully operational market until 2021,” King said.

Regardless of where the stores are, though, King said as of Oct. 9 residents from all over the state can go wherever they want to openly purchase products. She said customers should be prepared.

First, she said, people hoping to enter a store like Theory Wellness should make sure they have a state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license. Like alcohol, adult-use recreational marijuana is only available to people 21 years and older, and stores are required to check IDs.

A second thing to know is how much you can buy per day. She said a person can buy up to 2.5 ounces of flower a day, and up to 5 grams of concentrate.

A third thing she said to be on the lookout for is long lines, especially since so few of these stores will be open. Initial demand is expected to be high.

And besides paying for products, expect to pay the state a 20 percent tax at the point of sale.

But, King said, the most important thing to know before walking into a store is to not be afraid to ask for help.

“I think the best advice is to make sure to ask questions and don’t feel silly asking questions,” King said. “The staff are going to be expecting people to have questions.”

King and Winstanley said information can be found on packaging for products, but the easiest way to understand what’s best for individual use is to start asking questions.

“We want people to enjoy this the way we do,” Winstanley said. “It’s good to ask questions and understand why you want to use that.”

Both Winstanley and King said the adult-use recreational market has the consumer benefit of having products that are highly tested. Winstanley said the recreational market uses third-party testing labs, so buyers know exactly what is in a product and know the product is safe.

“People will be impressed with how sophisticated and professional these stores are,” King said. “The majority of the adult-use market is folks who are coming back to marijuana after a long time, and didn’t use the black market.”

From an industry perspective, King said, this is an exciting moment. It was a hard journey for many businesses since they were not able to hire or start buying equipment when it wasn’t clear when this day would come.

“I think we’re in a position now where the industry can be making educated business decisions,” King said.

The full article can be viewed here.