Missouri and Maine accomplish monthly cannabis sales milestones

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Cannabis sales are hitting all-time highs in Maine and Missouri. Based on the latest data from each state, revenue has hit a milestone and looks set to progress in a northerly direction. 

According to Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP), the adult-use cannabis market pulled in $9.4 million of sales in July. In comparison with the previous month’s revenue, this is a 45 percent increase. Cumulative sales for the state’s legal cannabis market, which launched in October, now amount to $38.7 million.

Over in Missouri, medical cannabis sales surpassed $20 million in July for the first time in a single month. To be precise, sales topped $21.03 million, indicating that patients have not been deterred from the market amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cumulative sales hit $91.4 million at the end of July.

About Missouri’s medical cannabis market 

Recreational cannabis use is still illegal in Missouri. However, it was decriminalized through legislation that was approved in 2014. Medical use became legal in 2018 via a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution. Two years later, the first licensed sales began.

Patients must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition in order to register for medical cannabis in Missouri. Once a patient is in possession of an ID card, possession of 10 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 penalty and no jail time. A second offense of up to 10 grams is also classed as a misdemeanor and is punishable by one year in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

The fine and prison sentence remains the same for 10-35 grams, but the penalty increases to $10,000 for more than 35 grams to 30 kilograms. This felony is considered “intent to distribute” and may result in someone facing seven years in prison. 

About Maine’s adult-use cannabis market

On November 8, 2016, Question 1 was approved by Maine voters. The law established a legal, taxed and regulated cannabis market; similar to the foundations on which the alcohol industry is built. Two years later, a bill to amend and implement the law, LD 1719, was enacted. This bill overrode a veto by Gov. Paul LePage’s veto. 

As per the amended law, adults aged 21 and above can possess, consume and transport a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis, as well as five grams of concentrated cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia. In addition to this, people of legal age can give the aforementioned amounts of cannabis to another adult, as well as six seedlings or immature plants. 

The limit for cultivating flowering plants is capped at three, whereas the limit for cultivating immature plants is capped at 12. There is no limit for seedlings, so long as they are less than six inches tall and six inches wide.