Sales of adult-use marijuana in Maine have already set a new annual record in the first 11 month of 2023, with nearly $200 million worth of legal cannabis products sold during the year, according to the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP).
Through November, says the office’s website, $197,561,133.53 worth of recreational products have been sold over 3,434,477 transactions—315,978 of which occurred last month. The average price per gram of flower for the calendar year through November stands at $7.81 per gram, or about $27.34 per eighth. November itself saw prices slightly lower than the year average, at $7.52 per gram.
“Usable cannabis”—or marijuana flower—continued to lead the market in November, ahead of concentrate, infused products and plants, according to state data.
The roughly $200 million in legal recreational cannabis sold through November is already nearly $40 million more than was sold in all of 2022, according to Maine Public Radio.
John Hudak, director of OCP, told the outlet that while declining marijuana prices over time “are appealing to the consumer,” they can also “really make it more difficult for businesses to operate. And we’re starting to see that.”
Sales have steadily declined since August, when Maine set a fourth consecutive monthly record for adult-use marijuana activity.
Legal retail sales of marijuana to adults in the state began in 2020, four years after voters approved the policy change.
In August, Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill into law to allow licensed marijuana businesses to take state tax deductions as a partial workaround to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E that prohibits such deductions at the federal level.
The legislature this year also passed a number of other cannabis reform measures, including bills championed by a GOP freshman lawmaker, who previously worked as a marijuana activist, to protect gun rights for cannabis consumers and increase the number of plants that adults can grow for personal use.
More recently, the City Council in Portland, the state’s largest city, voted in October to deprioritize the local enforcement of laws against psychedelic plants and fungi, adopting a resolution that emphasizes treating the use and possession of all controlled substances as a public health matter.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.