Maryland cannabis retailers hit $6.4 million in the first two days of recreational sales this past holiday weekend, according to state data.
With medical marijuana sales added in, the Maryland cannabis market sold $10.4 million on Saturday and Sunday, the Maryland Cannabis Administration reported. That includes $3.5 million in recreational sales on Saturday alone, which was the first day of adult-use sales in the newest state to join the full-fledged industry.
A total of 95 shops received the green light to start sales over the holiday weekend by regulators, though it’s unclear just how many of those have opened for business just yet. Authorities projected that the market is expected to triple in size, Will Tilburg, the director of the MCA, told WBAL-TV a few days before the launch.
Tilburg noted there are 4 million potential recreational consumers in Maryland, contrasted with 168,000 registered patients with the medical marijuana program.
Crowds were plentiful for the market opening, WBAL-TV reported, and retailers said they were glad they staffed up for the big day.
With a growing array of options for legal cannabis on the East Coast – including an ongoing illicit market that poses plenty of untaxed competition – one long-term question mark will be the sustainability of new businesses.
Regardless, the new market is expected to continue growing, with the addition of microbusinesses in January and the possibility of more licensed medical marijuana companies adding recreational operations, though almost all of them have already done so.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore celebrated the market launch on social media, posting on Twitter that “We are writing a new chapter in the story of cannabis in America. One that will lift communities harmed by criminalization and build a more competitive and more equitable economy.”
Maryland, starting today, recreational cannabis is officially legal for adults in our state.
We are writing a new chapter in the story of cannabis in America. One that will lift communities harmed by criminalization and build a more competitive and more equitable economy. pic.twitter.com/UeIWx8w96L
— Governor Wes Moore (@GovWesMoore) July 1, 2023
Delaware will begin adult-use sales sometime in the next year or two, and Virginia is expected to as well despite political infighting over the market structure, leaving New Hampshire and Pennsylvania as the only two states in the northeastern U.S. without fully legal marijuana markets.