The state will start accepting marijuana business licenses this month, but in some Maine communities that are welcoming the new industry, the race to be first in market has already begun. In a few it’s almost over, and in others the market is already closed, at least for now.

The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy will publish applications for state provisional licenses to grow adult-use cannabis, sell it and manufacture products made from it to its website Thursday, kicking off a months-long state review of those vying to become pioneers in Maine’s recreational market.

There’s a lot on the line. Maine’s recreational cannabis market is likely to top $158 million in sales its first year and almost $252 million in its second, according to industry analysts. Pioneers will profit from the wave of Maine’s first sales, establish their hold on the market and grow market and consumer loyalty.

“There is a real benefit to being in that first wave, symbolically and practically,” said lawyer Hannah King of Drummond Woodsum. “You’re first to market, first to meet consumers and finally making money. You’re also first to set up make-or-break business relationships, like brand and distribution deals.”

Published by the Press Herald on December 1, 2019
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