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Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales for Adults 21 and Older Start in Connecticut

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Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales for Adults 21 and Older Start in Connecticut

(CTN News) – Less than two years after Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation making Connecticut the latest state to authorize retail sales, the first wave of recreational marijuana sales for individuals 21 and older began on Tuesday at seven already-existing medicinal marijuana businesses around the state.

After the day, state officials claimed that the first seven hours’ transactions totaled more than $250,000.

Michelle H. Seagull, the Department of Consumer Protection commissioner, said in a statement, “We have had no reported difficulties at any of our merchants, and we are happy about the effective opening of the regulated adult-use market.”

There weren’t the massive crowds of clients seen in other states during the early days of legalized marijuana, even though dozens of individuals waited in queues outside certain stores on Tuesday mornings to be the first customers.

Customers were advised to make purchases online and pick them up at a certain time at some locations.

By the end of this year, Connecticut is projected to host up to 40 dispensaries and dozens of other cannabis-related enterprises.

One of the clients waiting in line to be one of the first customers at the Fine Fettle Dispensary in Willimantic on Tuesday morning was Samuel Gabbey, a 32-year-old package delivery operations manager from Mansfield.

He said that he had been waiting years for legalization in Connecticut and thought individuals should have acquired marijuana from a reputable store that sold regulated goods rather than from random people.

Finally, he added, “the day has arrived when we can all simply come here, grab what we want, and go home without worrying about the cops or anything.” Therefore, it’s a terrific day for Connecticut residents.

Lamont, a Democrat, pointed out that the state’s legalization statute also permits convictions for low-level marijuana offenses to be erased, often automatically, in addition to producing a regulated, safer product.

According to authorities, about 44,000 convictions of this kind have been overturned since the beginning of the year.

With a legal alternative to the risky, uncontrolled black market for cannabis sales, Lamont said in a statement that “today marks a turning point in the injustices perpetrated by the war on drugs.”

On Tuesday, recreational sales might start at 10 a.m. On the first day, public access was anticipated at state-approved stores in Branford, Meriden, Montville, New Haven, Newington, Stamford, and Willimantic.

Later, two other authorized dispensaries are anticipated to operate in Torrington and Danbury.

Connecticut Legalized Recreational Cannabis In 2021

The mayor and regional state politicians attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Botanist dispensary in Montville.

Customers were given free T-shirts and coffee mugs, and they also got one-on-one support when making their decisions.

The first person to buy recreational marijuana at The Botanist was Norwich resident Lynn Goldstein, 60. She wasn’t planning on being first in line and having her almost $106 purchase photographed by journalists, but she was glad she was. A $250 vaporizer was one of the gifts presented to Goldstein.

Goldstein claimed to have used medicinal marijuana since 2011 and had severe pain.

She claims that cannabis may greatly assist her and other individuals with health conditions, even though it doesn’t completely alleviate their suffering.

Goldstein stated, “I appreciate being a bit pain-free. It makes me comfortable and sometimes tired.” However, she has some reservations about legalizing it.

Because they won’t know how to manage it and will be driving while stoned, she added, “I do worry about the young people because it will be difficult for cops to figure out what’s what.”

Twenty-one states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the last ten years, despite federal prohibition.

Even though it is still prohibited by federal law, twenty-one states have authorized adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes during the previous ten years.

Marijuana supporters have continued their legalization campaigns elsewhere in the United States after voters in Maryland and Missouri approved it in November, notably in Ohio and Oklahoma.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that as of February 3, 2022, 37 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia permit the medicinal use of cannabis products. The three states bordering Connecticut are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.

According to Kate Nelson, executive vice president of the Midwest and Northwest regions for Acreage Holdings, which owns The Botanist brand, daily medical marijuana sales at the Montville site range from 200 to 300.

She projected that the first week of recreational sales would see a 150% increase, but she conceded that it would probably level down.

After municipal clearances are completed, the company’s second facility in Connecticut, in Danbury, is anticipated to open within the next several weeks.

Nelson said that you’d start to see less enthusiasm for something new and more of the status quo, even before the 40 operators go online.

“We’re now in a part of the nation where additional adult-use states are close.

Therefore, in the state of Connecticut especially, it will be our priority to ensure that this adult-use program has the product it needs to have and that we can help the industry… to ensure Connecticut differentiates itself from other competitive markets.

To guarantee that there will be an adequate supply for medical marijuana users, the first sales in Connecticut will be restricted to one-quarter of an ounce (7 grams) of cannabis flower or its equivalent.

The one-quarter ounce may be obtained by purchasing several things in combination. When that amount may finally be raised, the state’s Department of Consumer Protection intends to rigorously monitor retail sales and production inputs.

Customers also have to pay a 3% host municipal sales tax, the state’s current 6.35% sales tax, and a state tax dependent on the THC content, which may be between 10% and 15% of the selling price.

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New York’s First Licensed Marijuana Shop Opens

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