The ban appears to have spurred Massachusetts cannabis consumers to trek north to purchase vape merchandise across the border, although it is illegal for people to take marijuana products across state lines.
The cross-border traffic has given Maine cannabis retailers at least a temporary boost in sales.
Wellness Connection of Maine CEO Patricia Rosi said her retail stores in Portland and elsewhere in the state have seen nearly triple the number of customers from Massachusetts since Gov. Charlie Baker in late September issued a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products.
Boston is a little less than a two-hour drive to Portland, Maine. And about two-thirds of the customers who purchased vaping products at Rosi’s stores were from Massachusetts.
Moreover, they’re buying more vaping products than Wellness Connection’s typical Maine customers.
“They’re buying more because pricing in Maine is lower than in Massachusetts,” Rosi said of Massachusetts consumers.
In addition to Portland, there are Wellness Connection stores in Bath, Brewer and Gardiner, which are all 2½ to nearly four hours from the Massachusetts border.
“Some are stocking up and buying multiple products,” Rosi said of Massachusetts customers. “They come, they have some lunch – a lobster roll – buy some vape products and head back down.”