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Too Much Marijuana in Maine?

An increase in both the supply of product and retail locations has led to a significant price drop for recreational pot.

The price of recreational Cannabis in Maine has decreased more than 40 percent since adult-use retail sales kicked off in 2020. 

It took nearly four years for Maine to launch its adult-use retail program because while voters approved a taxed and regulated market in November 2016, officials didn’t begin retail sales until October of 2020. 

At that time, recreational pot was provided by just nine dispensaries throughout the state. And consumers faced long lines, product shortages and high prices.

Less than two years later, the state boasts 100 stores catering to adult-use consumers. On top of that, Maine has licensed 70 cultivators to provide product to the 100 stores throughout the state. The influx of retail shops and Cannabis cultivators has contributed to a significant drop in the price of pot. 

Since the launch of retail sales, the price of recreational Cannabis is down 41 percent in Maine. For example, in October 2020 at the start of sales, the average gram cost $15.83. In 2021, a gram of pot dropped to $12.75. Now, in the summer of 2022, a gram of flower has decreased to just $9.26, according to the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy as reported by the Press Herald.

The State Of The Marijuana Market

Industry experts believe retailers and cultivators overestimated demand in Maine, which has led to steep declines in the price. When retail sales began, shortages were reported across the state. That initial demand was met, and then some. Now, even with greatly reduced prices, the cheaper weed isn’t being sold as retailers are unable to move the marijuana produced by the influx of cultivators – while a glut of Cannabis sits on dispensary shelves.

The medical marijuana market has always been stronger than recreational pot in Maine. In fact, thanks to the medicinal industry, Cannabis is the state’s top cash crop. There are currently 3,500 medical pot caregivers in Maine  

While medical Cannabis is as popular as ever in the state, only 10 percent of Maine jurisdictions opted-in to the legal marijuana industry when given the option. The vast majority of towns shunning retail shops only exacerbated the problem as the existing licensed adult-use stores aren’t spread across the state, making it easier for consumers to purchase pot from more conveniently located medical caregivers or black market dealers.

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