BALTIMORE - Days after recreational cannabis became legal in Maryland, dispensaries across the state continue to see record sales.
The Maryland Cannabis Administration reported $10.4 million in sales over the Fourth of July weekend.
Eight years ago, Christi Kekich, owner of GreenLabs in Baltimore, bet it all on the budding medical cannabis industry.
"Medical cannabis became legalized in 2013, we jumped in in 2015," Kekich said. "We weren't officially licensed until 2018. That's how long the process took."
Now, less than a week into cannabis being legalized for recreational use, Kekich's leap of faith is paying off.
"I think we have actually received more people than we had projected," Kekich said.
Kekich, who owns GreenLabs in Fells Point, has one of about 100 dispensaries across the state that converted their license to be able to sell both medical and recreational cannabis once it was legalized for adult use on July 1.
On that day alone, dispensaries saw about $4.5 million in cannabis sales, according to the Maryland Cannabis Administration, with 80 percent coming from recreational sales, which was close to $3.6 million.
"We had lines out the door all day long until 8 o'clock at night when we close," Kekich said.
Kekich said they saw at least 1,000 customers on July 1 and they've been consistently busy since.
She said what started as a relatively niche industry is now growing like a weed.
"It's crazy that we're here now," Kekich said. "There's all of these big chain companies that have now come in and taken over. We've had a lot of offers for people to buy us out, as well, but we're holding on. We're one of the only locally-owned dispensaries in the state left."
It's also opened up more employment opportunities, as GreenLabs and other dispensaries like it have had to hire more staff to keep up with the demand.
"They are basically here to educate all of our guests on all the benefits of cannabis, understand all of the different ways to consume it, and understand all of the cannabinoids and terpenes," Kekich said.
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