Last week, Wellness Connection filed a motion to protest a lawsuit against the state of Maine, which was launched by two small marijuana businesses over recreational marijuana licenses that were awarded to out-of-state firms.
Wellness Connection, which is controlled by Delaware-based investor High Street Capital Partners, manages four medical marijuana dispensaries in Maine. The recreational marijuana market in Maine is relatively new, having launched on October 9 of this year. Despite its youth, the market is expected to soon eclipse the medical cannabis market size, with total sales projected to be $76 million this year; adult-use cannabis sales making up $20 million of that amount.
By 2025, it is projected that sales will grow almost four times as high, to $295 million, with adult-use marijuana sales dominating the market sales with $265 million. The cannabis business also promoted the growth of cottage industries such as tourism.
Earlier in March, Wellness Connection sued the state of Maine over a legislation that restricted cannabis businesses with out-of-state owners from participating in the adult-use market. The company dropped the case, however, after the state confirmed that it would not be enforcing the law, which required every manager, director or officer of an adult-use marijuana business to be a resident of Maine and file taxes in the state for at least a four-year period. The state gave the reason that the residency requirement would not hold up in court.
The new motion was filed by the company on behalf of its adult-use business, NPG, in a bid to get the lawsuit of the two medical cannabis caregivers thrown out of court. The caregivers claim that the state cannot decline to enforce the law that restricts out-of-state business owners from setting up shop in the state. This is despite the state eliminating the residency requirement in May of this year.
The new motion puts the state and Wellness Connection on the same side as defendants, which is ironic. The company is currently working on converting its medical cannabis business into an adult-use cannabis business, as its executives believe the latter is more lucrative.
In its earlier lawsuit, Wellness Connection claimed that the requirement hindered the company from raising the funds that would facilitate the transition. Currently, NPG holds an active cultivation license for adult-use cannabis, an active manufacturing license and an additional five conditional approvals for four dispensaries and another manufacturing facility.
One interesting cannabis industry sector player you should watch is Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR). This company selectively breeds high-end strains of cannabis in order to make premium products for the Canadian market and its international partners.
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