Maine Office of Cannabis Policy Report Identifies Oversupply, Utility Costs as Top Reasons for Registered Caregiver Exits

The State of Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) released a report examining the exodus of over 1350 registered caregivers in Maine’s Medical Use of Cannabis Program (MMCP) from the end of 2021 to the end of January 2023. The report is a result of a survey conducted by OCP to analyze data to understand why former caregivers have chosen not to renew their registration in the MMCP.

The report highlights the various reasons why former caregivers left the medical cannabis program and examines the impact of regulations on caregiver exits. Specific findings include:

  • The top five most common reasons former caregivers gave for not renewing their MMCP registration were 1) Oversupply of product/lower prices, 2) Utility costs, 3) Business costs, 4) Banking regulations/fees, and 5) Competition with the adult use market.
  • Oversupply of product/lower prices was selected as a top five reason by 58.1% of respondents. Utility costs was selected as a top five reason by 48.7% of respondents.
  • Nearly half of all respondents—45.9%—said that regulation did not impact their decision to exit the MMCP.
  • 21.1% of respondents noted that more regulation would have better protected their caregiver business while 17.4% of respondents stated that less regulation would have better protected their business.
  • The vast majority of respondents—71.7%—previously either cultivated cannabis for direct sales or cultivated cannabis for wholesale.

“This survey makes clear that the biggest issue facing the medical program is oversupply. That oversupply has led to massive drops in wholesale price, making it difficult for registrants to endure mounting energy costs and other market conditions,” said OCP Director John Hudak. “This is a complex set of problems, but the data provide a roadmap to enact changes that can help stabilize the medical cannabis market and protect access for Maine’s 106,000 medical cannabis patients.”

For more information on this report, please visit OCP’s website.

About the Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP)
The Mills Administration created the Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) within the Department of Administration and Financial Services (DAFS) in February 2019. The Office is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of legalized cannabis in Maine, including the Medical Use of Cannabis Program and the Adult Use Cannabis Program.