It may be legal, but high prices and inconvenience may drive black-market marijuana for years in Maine

Rufus St. Hillaire grew six marijuana plants with his husband behind their cabin on their 2-acre property in Poland this year.

He has a medical card to purchase marijuana, but no longer needs it to legally buy weed and edibles since a handful of Maine retailers began selling cannabis recreationally to those older than 21 without a prescription back in October.

Still, St. Hillaire said he continues to buy, sell and swap cannabis illegally with friends and others, and typically only visits retail operations for certain hard-to-get sativas.

“Weed is just cheaper on the black market,” the 31-year-old retail manager said. “And I can text my dealer whenever and he’s got me.”

In the first two months of legal marijuana sales, Maine has generated more than $2.4 million in revenue, a figure that’s only expected to grow as more than 200 retailers await licensure.

But high prices and a lack of supply are driving many Maine cannabis consumers back to the streets, where weed remains much cheaper and plentiful. The state stands to lose millions in cannabis revenue in the coming years before the recreational supply here catches up with demand and retail prices finally begin to drop for consumers. [Read more at Bangor Daily News]

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