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In August, Maryland’s collective adult-use and medical cannabis purchases reached $91.7 million, more than the $87.4 million total for July, which was more than double the $42.7 million total for June, before the launch of adult-use retail sales, according to the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA).

On July 1, Maryland became the 25th state in the nation to legalize adult-use cannabis, after overwhelmingly approving it in last November’s election.

During the first seven days after legal cannabis sales got underway on July 1, licensed shops raked in $20.9 million in weed products and they’ve been going strong ever since.

Now, with the numbers in for July and August, Maryland has passed its other East Coast neighbors by a long shot. 

How Do They Do It?

Many believe the key to Maryland’s success lies in a couple of key decisions. One was the decision by lawmakers who were keen to set up the new industry as quickly as possible so as to avoid the issues facing New York, for example, with its thousands of illicit vendors and the seemingly endless debacle over licensing. 

Maryland also purposely set cannabis taxes at 9%, which allows legal weed prices to stay low and remain competitive. 

The nearly 100 existing cannabis companies made the switch to become dual license holders and now serve both medical patients and adult consumers over 21. This was part of the well-designed creation of a hybrid licensing structure that enabled existing medical cannabis growers, processors and dispensaries to move almost seamlessly into recreational cannabis.

Speaking Of New York…Be Like Maryland

Four prominent medical marijuana companies are calling on New York Gov. Hochul and the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) to do the same as Maryland and create a hybrid license structure.  

A strongly worded letter to Gov. Hochul on Monday was signed by Matt Darin, CEO of Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. CURLF, Ben Kovler of Green Thumb Industries GTBIF, Denis Curran, CEO of Acreage Acreage Holdings ACRHF and Brett Novey, CEO of PharmaCann.

The MMJ operators besieged the governor to issue them licenses saying that doing so would more than double the number of adult-use marijuana dispensaries, while helping other cannabis sellers, including social equity applicants with past pot convictions. 

No word yet as to whether Gov. Hochul will follow the lead of her Maryland colleague Gov. Wes Moore.


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