From legalization to legal sales, Maine is inching toward the slowest adult-use marijuana rollout in the U.S., with economists saying the three-year wait for stores to open will have cost Maine more than $82 million in taxes and 6,100 industry jobs.
The delay has caused some investors and industry experts to take their dollars and skills to other states, consultants say. Many of those who remain behind, committed to Maine, are spending cash they haven’t got to be ready for a market launch that is two years longer than average.
David Carr and Ray Payne have spent at least $750,000 waiting for that green light. That is what it took to lock down and hold on to the properties and personnel they will need to apply for the licenses required to open a recreational grow, manufacturing lab and retail store in Portland.
And because this is cannabis, a federally illegal industry without access to traditional banking, Carr and Payne have had to turn to private investors, incurring high-interest debt and handing over equity in the company, to float the business until they can even hope to start making money. [Read more at The Press Herald]