Marijuana businesses submitted 40 applications for conditional licenses to operate in Maine on the first day forms were available, state regulators said.

Interest in the application forms spiked when the office put them online Thursday afternoon. The page received 4,000 visits, of which 1,000 were unique views, said Office of Marijuana Policy spokesman David Heidrich.

“It was a little surprising,” he said. “There was a lot of interest in seeing those applications once they were available.”

Maine has a tiered application process for adult-use marijuana businesses. Licensees or employees of those business first have to obtain an individual identification card, which requires fingerprinting and a background check.

After that, applicants can get individual conditional licenses for cultivation, testing and manufacturing facilities and stores. A full yearlong operating license is contingent on municipal government authorization.

By Friday afternoon, the state had received 21 applications for stores, 13 applications for cultivation and six for manufacturing.

No businesses applied for a testing facility license. Those companies first have to get certification from the Maine Center for Disease Control, and one entity has submitted an application to that agency, Heidrich said.

The state has received 435 applications for identity cards and issued 159. Only one application has been denied, according to figures provided by the office.

The administration of Gov. Janet Mills aims to have the first recreational marijuana sales recorded by March, more than two years after voters approved them.

While there are no obvious roadblocks to that target, reaching it will depend on the quality of applications, product testing and local authorization, Heidrich said.

“It is certainly a possibility. It is too early to say if it is going to be a reality or not,” he said.

“In terms of the work of the Office of Marijuana Policy, I think we have spent the last 10 months working very diligently to reach yesterday’s milestone.”

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