Adult-use marijuana stores open in Maine, immediate supply remains a concern

Marijuana stores open in Maine
Marijuana stores open in Maine(Owen Kingsley)
Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 4:08 PM EDT
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NORTHPORT, Maine (WABI) - The first recreational marijuana shops are now doing business in Maine.

Maine is the 10th state to allow for such sales after a referendum vote to approve the idea in 2016.

It’s gone through a lot of legislative hurdles since that time.

John Lorenz is the owner of Sweet Relief in Northport, which opened Friday.

He has worked with town and state officials and the community to open one of the first adult-use Marijuana stores in Maine.

“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been on this hunt since 2014, since two years before the referendum. And here I am now with a recreational permit here in Maine," said Lorenz.

The first sale of the day went to Zak Hollingshead, the Chairman of the Northport Select Board.

He helped pass the local ordinance to start selling marijuana recreationally.

“Were all really excited, like John said the town overwhelmingly approved the ordinance unanimously really. And that spoke volumes for that the town is ready for, to accept it. We’ve had numerous people come by, John has been phenomenal following every single rule I think the state has put in place and maybe then some. Really just exemplify that we’re going to do this the responsible way and we’re ready for it," said Hollingshead.

Lorenz says he expects the industry to have a slow start as only a few grow houses in the state can sell to the shops.

He expects there will be a few months until supply can meet demand.

“It is a slow roll out. There is a limited number of stores, grows, one lab. The day is coming, it’s going to take a little more time. We need many permits, and they’re coming. And we need time for grows to matriculate so they can be sold here," said Lorenz.

Sweet Relief began Friday with 230 pre-rolled joints, and they aren’t sure when or where the next supply will come from.

The medical shop, however, will remain open.

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