Retail sales data from the state of Maryland shows that cannabis retailers sold more than $10 million worth of recreational cannabis during the first weekend of official sales. Maryland legalized recreational marijuana last year, and the law took effect on July 1, 2023, officially launching adult-use cannabis sales in the state and adding Maryland to the growing number of states with legal recreational cannabis markets.
By July 1, state regulators had allowed close to 100 dispensaries to convert their medical cannabis licenses to dual licenses and begin selling recreational cannabis to adults aged 21 years and older. Unsurprisingly, retailers immediately saw significant demand from the market, with customers buying medical and recreational cannabis worth $10,429,737 from Friday to the end of Sunday.
This was more than two times the $3,985,527 worth of medical cannabis that was sold over last year’s 4th of July weekend.
During its first official day of recreational cannabis sales, retailers sold $4,518,377 worth of cannabis, a majority of it ($3,558,947) being recreational cannabis.
Since its inception, America’s state-level recreational cannabis market has been incredibly lucrative, generating billions of dollars in sales and providing states with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue every year. Data from Maryland’s first weekend of adult-use cannabis sales show that the plant still enjoys significant demand from the market.
Maryland Governor Wes Moore noted in a video statement that the United States is now “entering a new frontier.” He said that cannabis policy had previously been used to “jail and discriminate” Americans, with communities of color and people in low-income communities bearing the brunt of prohibitionist cannabis policies. Moore argued that it is now time we acknowledge that the drug war was a failure that weakened America as a whole.
With dozens of states now home to legal cannabis markets, many of them with strong social equity policies, the era of cannabis prohibition is coming to an end, at least at the state level. Moore said that Maryland would help to lead the charge in America’s new procannabis era, an era that will focus on equity and economic growth while striving to undo the mistakes of the failed drug war.
Meanwhile, the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) will distribute the $15-plus million it collected in licensing conversion fees to various community reinvestment funds. The MCA also plans on investing another $45 million from licensing conversion fees in community reinvestment funds over the next year and a half.
As recreational marijuana sales boom in Maryland and other states that have launched adult-use markets, it shouldn’t be forgotten that millions of people are also still using cannabis for medical purposes. This medical segment has drawn the attention of numerous startups such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) that are taking steps to develop formulations that meet the FDA drug-approval criteria so that patients can have standardized cannabis-based medications they can use to manage their symptoms.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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