Last month brought a new milestone for Maine’s fledgling recreational cannabis industry, with the state’s Office of Marijuana Policy reporting $5.3 million in sales in May for licensed retailers.

The figure makes it “the highest grossing month since the industry launched” last October.

Erik Gundersen, the director of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy, said in a statement on Tuesday that one of “the main goals of cannabis legalization is to diminish the illicit market.”

“The strong month-over-month growth here in Maine, just seven months after the official launch of the industry, suggests more and more consumers are choosing the tested, tracked, and well-regulated market over the illicit market,” Gundersen said. “That is a positive sign for Mainers’ health and for the viability of the industry. With Maine’s busy summer season upon us, our effective regulation of the industry will continue.”

In states and countries where marijuana has been legalized, the regulated market often lags behind the illicit market, with customers frequently turning to the latter for cheaper options. 

A report in 2019 found that California’s unregulated market was three times larger than the regulated industry, three years after the state ended prohibition on pot.

Maine’s sales totals in the regulated market for May were “$1 million

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