Maine’s long-awaited adult-use cannabis market opens Oct. 9, and while a handful of retailers plan to launch sales on opening day, many more have opted to delay their launch into the market to finalize license approvals and ensure a great customer experience when they do open their doors.
Ramping Up Operations
AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives, a licensed medical cannabis caregiver serving patients in central Maine from its Manchester dispensary, is awaiting final approval on its conditional adult-use cultivation, product manufacturing and retail licenses. Founder Aaron “Roy” Scalia expects to launch his expanded grow operation at the end of November or the beginning of December, with the adult-use store opening next spring, and he is perfectly fine with this timing.
“Historically, this is a time of the year when sales go down,” he says. “You don’t have a lot of vacation money flooding into the state this time of year. Everyone is getting ready for winter and hunkering down.”
Between the slower time of year and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Scalia predicts a slow start for Maine’s adult-use cannabis market.
While it awaits its final adult-use licenses, AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives is ramping up operations so that it has enough supply to ensure a smooth transition from medical to adult-use sales. The company built a new 5,000-square-foot cultivation facility this year on the same property as its medical dispensary, and Scalia plans to sell his harvest wholesale into the adult-use market until he gets his own manufacturing and retail facilities underway.
Scalia is training AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives’ staff to serve an expanded customer base, and the company is implementing Metrc, Maine’s adult-use seed-to-sale tracking system.
“That’s a lot of the reason why I’m holding off, because