Mainers spent $250,000 on cannabis during first weekend of retail sales



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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Maine residents spent more than $250,000 on marijuana over the course of the first weekend of legal retail sales.

Voters in the state chose to legalize adult use cannabis in 2016, but retail sales didn’t become legal until this month. The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy said the long weekend that ended on Monday generated more than 6,400 transactions and $25,000 in sales tax.

Marijuana office director Erik Gundersen said the first weekend of legal sales “went smoothly.” He said businesses in the state showed good compliance with social distancing laws, as well.

“Our retail store licensees went the extra mile to implement public health measures and control vehicle and pedestrian traffic visiting their establishments,” Gundersen said. “Additionally, the respect and patience shown by consumers for these protocols and their willingness to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing was very encouraging.”

Meanwhile, in Bangor, the local police department found itself tied up with questions about the new cannabis stores and Maine laws.

“I have been inundated with incoming questions about the new rules in regard to smoking marijuana,” wrote Lt. Tim Cotton. “It is now legal for recreational purposes in Maine.”

“There are better places to search for the rules, and you should, if you are planning on taking up the pastime for recreational purposes. Why would you want to ask the cops about it?”

True that, Lt. Cotton. Here are the best links to answer all those questions:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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