Maine has had a robust medical cannabis program for sometime. While the retail sales figure for 2022 have not been released, there are some notable changes. In 2021, there were 3,032 registered caregivers. In 2020, there were 3,046 registered caregivers. In 2022, there were 2,276 registered caregivers. That is a loss of 756 registered caregivers in one year (roughly a 25% drop). This is despite the fact that there were 106,164 patient certificates issued in 2022, which is an increase of 1,021 qualifying patients from 2021. There was a drop in the number of medical providers who are able to issue patient certifications. In 2021, there were 758 medical providers, in 2022 it was 722. It should be noted that this number has fluctuated from time to time in the past.
Another interesting drop was the number registered assistants (also known as employees). In 2021, there were 5,741 registered assistants. In 2022, there was 4,619. That is a loss of 1,122 registered assistants in the medical cannabis program. From 2020 to 2021, there was a 33 percent increase in registered assistants in Maine's medical cannabis program.
Despite the loss of registered caregivers and assistants, there was an increase in the issuances of dispensary licenses in Maine in 2022.
Later this year, the Office of Cannabis Policy will issue its annual report for the medical cannabis program in 2022. However, 2022 marked significant changes to the number of registered caregivers and registered assistants participating in Maine's medical cannabis program. A variety of factors may have played a role in this, including the growth of the Adult Use program, municipal ordinances, the pandemic, conversion to a dispensary license and abundance of medical cannabis (according to the Office of Cannabis Policy). Regardless, there remains a significant demand for medical cannabis in Maine, including from visiting qualifying patients who visit Maine during the summer. With the removal of the residency requirement for registered caregivers, dispensaries and assistants, we may see an increase in caregiver registrations, dispensaries and registered assistants in Maine in 2023.
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John M. Burke manages the firm's Maine cannabis law practice. Mr. Burke advises and represents the firm's clients throughout Maine in both the Medical and Adult Use cannabis programs in a wide range of Maine cannabis law matters. In addition to Mr. Burke's Maine cannabis law practice, Mr. Burke advises and assists the firm's clients in a variety of industries on various intellectual property matters throughout the United States. Learn more about John Burke by clicking here.
Caseiro Burke is a boutique law firm that specializes in intellectual property law and cannabis compliance and licensing in the State of Maine. We offer clients creative, cost-effective and reliable legal solutions in all intellectual property and Maine cannabis law matters.