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Maine Breaks Annual Marijuana Sales Record with Nearly $200 Million in Legal Cannabis Transactions

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The state of Maine has shattered its annual record for adult-use marijuana sales, surpassing the $200 million mark in the first 11 months of 2023, according to data released by the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP).

The OCP reports that through November, the state witnessed an impressive $197,561,133.53 in legal cannabis sales, spanning over 3,434,477 transactions. Notably, November alone accounted for 315,978 transactions. The average price per gram of marijuana flower for the year, up to November, stands at $7.81, translating to approximately $27.34 per eighth. November prices were slightly below the yearly average, at $7.52 per gram.

The dominant force in the market continues to be “usable cannabis” or marijuana flower, outpacing concentrate, infused products, and plants, according to state data.

Surpassing the approximately $200 million milestone in legal recreational cannabis sales through November signifies a remarkable increase of nearly $40 million compared to the total sales in 2022, as reported by Maine Public Radio.

John Hudak, the director of OCP, cautioned that while decreasing marijuana prices may be enticing for consumers, they pose challenges for businesses, making operations more difficult. Sales have exhibited a steady decline since August, when Maine achieved its fourth consecutive monthly record for adult-use marijuana transactions.

Maine legalized retail sales of marijuana to adults in 2020, four years after voters approved the policy change. In August of the current year, Governor Janet Mills signed a bill allowing licensed marijuana businesses to take state tax deductions, providing a partial workaround to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E, which prohibits such deductions at the federal level.

The state legislature has been proactive in cannabis reform, passing several measures this year, including bills advocated by a GOP freshman lawmaker, a former marijuana activist. These measures aim to safeguard gun rights for cannabis consumers and increase the number of plants adults can grow for personal use.

In a recent development, the City Council of Portland, Maine's largest city, voted in October to deprioritize local enforcement of laws against psychedelic plants and fungi. The resolution emphasizes treating the use and possession of controlled substances as a public health matter, marking a significant step in drug policy reform.