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Recreational cannabis sales off to blazing start in Maryland

Election 2022 Marijuana Explainer
Posted at 4:22 PM, Jul 31, 2023

BALTIMORE — Dispensaries expected a surge in sales the first month recreational cannabis was available in Maryland and they're getting it.

"I was talking to a couple of vendors today and they thought we'd be up 4-5 times and we're really up 2-3 times so there's still some business left to come to the market," said Mitch Trellis, of Remedy Maryland.

So far, the state has seen $85 million in cannabis sales in July, which is more than double what medical cannabis did alone during the same time last year.

Those sales have also brought in $4.5 million in sales and use tax for Maryland.

For Verano, who operates in thirteen different states, Maryland has been a breeze.

"I can say that this was the single easiest launch that we've ever been through in terms of dealing with regulators and just understanding the market. We've had absolutely no snafus from a regulatory or compliance perspective," said Darren Weiss, Verano's president.

There's an expectation the increase dispensaries are seeing isn't over, as more people become familiarized with recreational marijuana.

"This breaking away, this breaking down of the barriers of what was once an illegal, taboo product and smell, what have you," said Weiss.

"I think there's a big part of the business that's going to happen over the next 18 months, that's people just being informed that you don't have to take Ambien, you know what I mean," said Trellis.

"Like I've always said, if you could take some of this stuff and put it in CVS, cannabis would become really popular really quickly," he added.

The number of dispensaries will also expand as the state releases recreational only licenses for more businesses to enter the market.