Research shows that Maine is better at controlling illegal cannabis sales than other states

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Maine has figured out a way to reduce dependence on black market cannabis

Maine legalized cannabis in October 2020 and has seen a market growing month by month. When the law was passed, one of the main objectives was to tackle the illicit market, and everything seems to indicate that it is producing good results. In fact, according to recent research, it has been shown that the illicit marijuana market in the Pine Tree State is much smaller than in other states with similar laws.

Not all states that legalize cannabis achieve these results. In some cases, the regulated market is smaller than the illicit market, where consumers tend to turn to cheaper alternatives. A clear example was evidenced in a 2019 report, which found that California’s unregulated market was three times larger than the regulated one, three years after this state ended marijuana prohibition.

According to new data recently released by the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy, 15% of cannabis purchased in Maine was shown to have come from adult-use stores. To reach this conclusion, the entity surveyed nearly 2,000 Maine residents about their purchasing and consumption habits over a one-month period.

It found that regulated or legal sources accounted for 64% of purchases, while only 36% came from an illegal source. This is in contrast to states such as Alaska, California, and Massachusetts. While adult-use cannabis stores have been open longer than those in Maine, all three states show a larger illicit market.

“The strong month-over-month growth here in Maine suggests that more and more consumers are choosing the tested, tracked, and well-regulated market over the illicit market,” said Erik Gundersen, state director of the Office of Marijuana Policy. He sees this as a very good sign for the health of its residents and the viability of the industry. Gundersen considers this as the result of the state legislature’s efforts in drafting Maine’s adult-use laws.