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Maryland records $87M in cannabis sales in first month of legal recreational marijuana

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By David Collins

BALTIMORE —


Cannabis revenue is sky-high in the first full month of recreational marijuana sales, according to new data from the Maryland Cannabis Administration.


The combination of medical and recreational cannabis sold in July was $87.43 million -- that's double the amount from June, when medical cannabis was the only option. Recreational marijuana became legal in Maryland on July 1.


"They have different brands at different places, but the state of Maryland, they kind of have their own thing," said A.J. Hill, a recreational cannabis customer.


"You have options," said Cedric Awkward, a recreational cannabis customer.


Business is booming at ReLeaf Shop, a dispensary in downtown Baltimore, where co-founder and CEO Conner Whelton said they now have 80 employees.


"People love cannabis flower. Flower is king, flower is queen -- that's been the top seller. It's followed by vapes. So, vaporized cannabis, and then you have edibles right there in the conversation," Whelton said.


In addition to walk-in customers, carry-out is so popular that the ReLeaf Shop created what they call a "weed slide" to keep the product moving quickly from the supply room to the carry-out window.


"I think that we are very happy with new influx, and it's been smoother than people anticipated," Whelton said.


The 11 News I-Team checked in with police across the region, seeking data on the number of people cited for driving under the influence of cannabis in July, and there were few to report. Baltimore County police officers made four such arrests, Harford County sheriff's deputies took two people into custody and police in Baltimore City and Howard County reported only one arrest each. Authorities in Carroll County did not respond to the I-Team's inquiry. Anne Arundel County police do not track DUI cases by the substance.


Despite the high sales for the first month, other states, like Missouri, are doing better.

Curio, which cultivates, manufactures and dispenses cannabis, told the I-Team that Maryland regulations limit advertising, product mixing and service options for adults, which, they said, is hindering sales.


In the meantime, the ReLeaf Shop has some advice for first-time users.

"You always want to start low, go slow, titrate appropriately and really evaluate how it impacts you," Whelton said.

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