Here’s the latest on where to buy cannabis in Connecticut on day one of adult-use sales and beyond.
Today, January 10, Connecticut’s first legal weed stores opened for adult-use sales. Starting at 10 a.m., licensed retailers began selling cannabis products to all adults 21 and over. The state reportedly sold $250,000 worth of adult-use products on the first day alone.
The inaugural list of stores included Affinity in New Haven, Bluepoint Wellness of CT in Branford, Still River Wellness in Torrington, Fine Fettle Dispensary in Newington, Stamford, and Willimantic, The Botanist in Montville, and Willow Brook Wellness in Meriden. These medical dispensaries now have the green light to expand operations and serve all adults.
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The Connecticut market’s adult-use sales are anticipated to reach $375M in 2023, according to MJBiz. Prices on day one included $50-$60 eighths of flower, which some customers said will not cut it against the illicit market, or nearby competition. Connecticut is surrounded on all borders by states with legal weed, including Massachusetts since 2018, and New York and Rhode Island, which both began sales in recent months.
“For this price, I could get two eighths,” said Jay while waiting in line at Affinity. “I go to the weed shows,” he said. Jay explained that he used to have a medical card but said, “Prices were crazy and I wasn’t really getting high from it.”
Another shopper in line understood Jay’s price and potency concerns, but said safety was his top priority. “For me personally, with all the shit that’s going on with like fentanyl, that scares the shit out of me,” added the dispensary employee taking orders in front of the store via iPad. “I’m an old guy, I can’t be dying on my kids and shit,” he said.
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When asked how legalization will impact the illicit market, one customer laughed and said, “I’m going there next.”
“Today is historic, but the real story is about the benefits to come that will transform lives and communities,” said Adam Wood, president of the Connecticut Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. Wood said the new industry will create more than 10,000 jobs in the next two years and generate hundreds of millions in new revenue. Just before sales began, the state expunged nearly 44,000 low-level cannabis convictions. Taxes collected from sales will be used to help benefit communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.
Here’s everything you need to know heading into day one of adult-use sales in Connecticut, including how and where to find legal stores.
Where to buy legal weed in Connecticut
Similar to New Jersey, Connecticut’s first stores are existing medical dispensaries that are approved to expand to adult-use sales via a “Hybrid license.”
Nine stores completed the necessary steps for conversion to a hybrid license and may begin selling cannabis products to all adults 21 and over. Fine and Fettle and The Botanist were among the first to open doors this morning, welcoming long lines and high spirits.
These are Connecticut’s first legal cannabis retailers:
The Department of Consumer Protection, in anticipation of long lines and traffic, recommends that medical customers get what they need before doors open for adult-use sales at 10 a.m. today.
Providers are utilizing pre-ordering, additional register space, and medical-only hours to ensure the state’s patient supply is not depleted. “It’s going to be busier and it’s going to be different for sure,” said Benjamin Zachs, COO of Fine Fettle, “But we have a medical-only menu with a medical patient discount, we have medical-only registers with medical-only lines, and it’s the same people who our patients who have built us into the business that we are today.”
Purchase rules and limits for day one
Customers will need a government ID to prove they are above the age of 21. Expect to face lines at some of the stores and consider calling ahead for best practices.
Sales will be limited to 1/4 ounce (seven grams) of flower per transaction when the market opens. These transaction limits will be reviewed later this year, but they are intended to ensure businesses can meet demand for both adult-use consumers and medical marijuana patients with legal supply. According to the law, patients in Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program may purchase up to five ounces per month.
Different types and sizes of products may be purchased together up to a total limit of 1/4 ounce of cannabis flower or its equivalent per transaction in milligrams of THC.
Connecticut’s Dept. of Consumer Protection has said products will face these limitations:
- Up to seven pre-rolled cigarettes that weigh 1 gram each, or 14 pre-rolled cigarettes that weigh 0.5 grams each. Or any combination of up to seven total grams, which equals 1/4 ounce.
- Two to four vape cartridges, which come in .5 mL and 1 mL sizes.
- Edibles vary by type and size. A standard-sized brownie or cookie can be the equivalent of .08 grams of cannabis flower. One edible serving cannot have more than five milligrams of THC.
- A combination of different product types that collectively amount to no more than ¼ of an ounce.
More retailers are on the way
Starting February 3, Connecticut will then open up the application process for additional adult-use retailers until May 3. The following applications will also become available on February 3.
- Lottery applications for adult-use cannabis retailers
- Non-lottery applications for Cultivators located in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA)
- Equity Joint Ventures
- Non-lottery applications for conversion from Medical Marijuana Producer to Expanded Producer
- Non-lottery applications for conversion from Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Hybrid Retailer
All lottery application periods will be open for three months. There is no closing date for conversion applications or Equity Joint Ventures.
Application dates for Connecticut cannabis licenses are coming one month from today, after day one of regulated adult-use sales. The remaining 90-day lottery application periods will open on the following schedule:
- Micro-cultivator: February 10, 2022
- Delivery Service: February 17, 2022
- Hybrid Retailer: February 24, 2022
- Food and Beverage: March 3, 2022
- Product Manufacturer: March 10, 2022
- Product Packager: March 17, 2022
- Transporter: March 24, 2022
The state’s cannabis department plans to open a second lottery application period for most license types in the second half of 2022. Applicants who apply in the first round of lotteries and aren’t selected, but still wish to take part in future lotteries, must reapply and pay the lottery fee in subsequent lottery opportunities.
A spokesperson for Acreage, the company behind The Botanist dispensaries, told Leafly, “Connecticut’s move to legalize cannabis for adult use is a defining moment for the state. We could not be more excited to partake in this historic milestone as one of the first cannabis dispensaries to serve adult-use consumers at The Botanist in Montville.” Acreage estimates its Montville store saw a 150% increase in traffic on its first day of adult-use sales.
Consumption laws won’t change
There are still rules in place indicating where people are permitted to consume cannabis. Some towns and cities have their own specific regulations, but at the state level, weed smoke is prohibited at state parks, beaches, and anywhere where smoking tobacco or vaping is prohibited.
Otherwise, toke up! And let us know how Connecticut’s trees are smoking via Leafly strain and dispensary reviews.