How Will Adult-Use Legalization Unfold in the Northeast?

How Will Adult-Use Legalization Unfold in the Northeast?

Massachusetts is leading a new wave of legal U.S. markets.

July 10, 2018
Jamie Schau

This article originally appeared in the June 2018 print issue of Cannabis Business Times. To subscribe, click here.

The world is watching as more states around the nation legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. The lion’s share of the West Coast has begun permitting cannabis for adult use, and it appears the Northeast-another economic behemoth with significantly more cross-border traffic-is quickly headed in the same direction.

So how will the dominoes fall on the East Coast (which market research firm Brightfield Group projects will host a $2.5-billion cannabis market by 2022)?

First Off the Line

Massachusetts: Among the two enterprising states that have led the East Coast in legalizing recreational marijuana as well as regulating its sale, Massachusetts appears to be (by far) the most likely to ramp up growth quickly and attract a great deal of cannabis-driven tourism during its first years-especially from neighboring New York. Sales are set to launch this summer after some minor regulatory setbacks.

5-year market size forecast: $589 million

Maine: Though it has moved to legalize and regulate an adult-use marijuana program early (compared to other East Coast states), given Maine’s remote location, it is not expected to be a major tourist draw (especially with Canada set to legalize recreational cannabis this summer, robbing the state of more tourism revenue). Its limited population will keep the program small, and top-down delays in program implementation continue to hamper recreational growth prospects in the state.

5-year market size forecast: $222 million

To read the full article in the June 2018 issue of Cannabis Business Times, click here

Top photo courtesy of Adobe Stock