Under a chilly, overcast January sky on Tuesday, adult use cannabis sales kicked off in Connecticut.
Starting at 10 a.m., seven shops allowed adults 21 and older to buy a quarter of an ounce of flower, or a comparable amount in other product forms, like edibles and vapes. As of 5 p.m, state regulators said that the state had logged $251,276 in adult-use cannabis sales.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed the legalization bill in June 2021. When the legislature passed the bill, Lamont said that it was “fitting” that the bill cleared the legislature on the 50-year anniversary of President Nixon declaring the war.
“Today marks a turning point in the injustices caused by the war on drugs, most notably now that there is a legal alternative to the dangerous, unregulated, underground market for cannabis sales,” Lamont said in a statement on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, the Department of Consumer Protection reminded those who choose to consume to “do so responsibly.”
“While we know cannabis has been available for consumption through other means and states for some time, the legal, regulated sale of cannabis in Connecticut will make these products more widely available in our state,” DCP Commissioner Michelle Seagull said in a statement, asking people to “follow all applicable laws related to purchasing, carrying and consuming cannabis in your home or in public.” Lamont also reminded consumers not to drive impaired.
Some of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S. are among those licensed to sell in the state, including Curaleaf and Acreage (The Botanist).
Multistate cannabis operator Verano cheered for Seagull’s attendance at its Zen Leaf Meriden dispensary on Tuesday, also welcoming Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Social Equity Commissioner Paul Robertson, and Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati.
Seagull said in December that there were “nearly 100 additional businesses that are somewhere in the licensing pipeline,” including “equity joint venture” licensees, which have to pay a $3 million fee that will go toward an equity fund.
Lamont’s administration has already moved to clear roughly 44,000 cannabis-related convictions.
“We’re doing this not just because it’s the right thing to do, but we need you. We need everybody. We need 40,000 plus more people able to get back into the workforce, able to keep our economy growing, able to make sure that means opportunity for others,” Lamont said at a news conference on Monday.
The seven hybrid shops, meaning entities that already operated as a medical cannabis businesses, that opened on Tuesday:
– Affinity Health & Wellness, New Haven
– Fine Fettle, Newington
– Fine Fettle Stamford
– Fine Fettle, Willimantic
– RISE Dispensaries, Branford
– The Botanist Connecticut, Montville
– Zen Leaf, Meriden