420 with CNW – Maine Issues 31 Conditional Licenses in First Wave of Licensing

March 16, 2020 16:20:07

Cannabis is becoming more and more popular these days, and it’s not only due to its psychoactive properties. A while back, it was discovered that the controversial plant was filled with cannabinoids, a group of unique chemicals that have potent medicinal properties. What’s more is quite a number of states have recognized this potential, and have taken steps to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana use within their borders.

In Maine, preparations for this year’s season are in full swing, with the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy issuing its first round of conditional adult-use marijuana business licenses. It gave provisional approval to 31 businesses to open growing operations, manufacturing facilities and retail shops in 10 cities and towns in the state.

The Office of Marijuana Policy granted conditional approval to one nursery, 10 growing operations, four manufacturing facilities, and 16 retail stores. “We have said the adult-use industry will launch in spring 2020, and today’s announcement moves us another step closer to honoring that pledge,” says Erik Gundersen, Director of the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy.

He says that the state won’t issue active licenses until it has a testing lab ready, with all its licenses and certifications, to run the health, safety and potency tests required under state law. At the moment, there are four labs thinking of entering the Maine market, but only one is close to being fully licensed.

A conditional license is the first step in a three-step process. After one is issued, the business has to obtain local authorization before returning to the state to obtain the final active license. Depending on the town or city, this process could take two weeks to an entire year. However, host towns will have 90 days or if they have an extension, 180 days to respond to applicants’ requests for local authorization.

According to Gundersen, the Office of Marijuana Policy will receive completed local authorization forms as well as continue to review pending conditional licenses through April. He expects the first active state licenses to be issued then, and retail sales to begin in June, with the delay in between to allow cultivation and harvest.

“Setting such a date will ensure stores have time to stock their shelves and allow products to build up in the system to meet the demand for marijuana and marijuana products in the first few days of legal retail sales. This approach has been used by other states,” says Gundersen. The delay will also allow the state’s first licensed testing lab to come online before the recreational markets are open to consumers.

“Testing bottlenecks have occurred in many states during implementation. To avoid a similar situation in Maine, we will continue to work closely with our prospective testing facilities to ensure they are able to provide this new industry with adequate testing in a timely manner.”

The news of the provisional licenses is likely to be welcomed by the entire cannabis industry, including companies like HTC Extraction Systems (TSX.V: HTC) (OTCQB: HTPRF), which would like adults who wish to consume marijuana to have access to tested products regulated by the state.

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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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