Connecticut Launches Recreational Cannabis Sales

Regulated sales of recreational marijuana began Tuesday, less than two years after Connecticut legalized cannabis use by adults. Adult-use cannabis is now available at seven of his stores across the state. All of these stores are existing medical marijuana dispensaries licensed as hybrid retailers serving recreational customers.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signs into law legalizing recreational marijuana in June 2021, ending the ban on cannabis possession by adults over the age of 21 and creating a framework for regulated adult-use cannabis sales. created. The bill also included restorative justice and social equity measures, including provisions that led to the dismissal of nearly 43,000 marijuana-related convictions last week. Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut were led by Democrats, including the governor. The governor argued that regulating cannabis could protect consumers and help communities affected by enforcing punitive drug laws.

“Today marks a turning point in the injustice caused by the war on drugs. Most notably, there is a legal alternative to the dangerous and unregulated underground market for cannabis sales.” Lamont said in a statement Tuesday.

Medical marijuana outlets in Branford, Meriden, Montville, New Haven, Newington, Stanford and Willimantic were scheduled to open to adult cannabis customers at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Two more locations are due to open soon in Danbury and Torrington. Up to 40 more cannabis retailers are set to open by the end of the year, according to media reports.

Transitioning to a Regulated Cannabis Economy

Adam Wood, president of the Connecticut Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, said Connecticut’s regulated marijuana industry is expected to create about 10,000 jobs for workers in the state over the next few years. It will generate $100 million in new revenue, which will be used to benefit communities affected by nearly a century of marijuana bans, he added.

“Today is a historic day, but the real story is about the benefits ahead that will transform lives and communities,” Wood said in a statement.

Verano Holdings, a multistate cannabis operator with active operations in 13 states, will enter the Connecticut medical marijuana market in 2021 with its acquisition of Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions (CT Pharma). The company began selling adult-use cannabis at Zen Leaf-branded pharmacies (formerly Willow Brook Wellness) in the city of Meriden on Tuesday. Verano co-founder and CEO George Archos said the company is “proud to be standing alongside Connecticut residents to celebrate the end of cannabis prohibition.”

“Legal cannabis in Connecticut will have a positive impact on our economy and communities. We are honored to celebrate this historic moment in our constitutional state,” Arkos wrote in an email. high times“Thank you for the leadership of Governor Ned Lamont, the Department of Consumer Protection, the community, team members, medical cannabis patients and allies who made this exciting day possible.”

In addition to Meriden’s Zen Reef pharmacy, Verano’s Connecticut operations include CT Pharma, a 217,000-square-foot growing and processing facility in Rocky Hill, and Caring Nature, a medical pharmacy in Waterbury. . Zen Leaf retail brand.

Buy Recreational Weed Limited to 7 Grams

Recreational marijuana sales will initially sell up to 7 grams (about a quarter ounce) of cannabis to ensure that retailers have enough merchandise on hand to service medical marijuana patients. Restricted to purchase of flower or other product equivalents. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection will monitor cannabis supplies in the state to determine when caps on adult-use cannabis purchases will be lifted.

Botanist, a hybrid recreational and medical marijuana retailer in Montville, is operated by New York-based multistate operator Acreage Holdings. Kate Nelson, senior vice president of the company’s Midwest and Northwest region, said the clinic’s previous customer base of 200 to 300 patients per day was one of the first for sale of adult cannabis. It said it expected an increase of about 150% over the course of the week.

“Even before we have 40 carriers online, the excitement of something new will diminish and we will know what the status quo is,” says Nelson. “We are currently in a region of the country that has other adult states nearby. will be our focus…other competing markets.”

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