Connecticut won’t roll out its adult-use cannabis retail program before the end of the year, as originally planned, but a launch date has been announced.
The state’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) notified nine licensed hybrid (adult-use and medical) retailers on Dec. 9 that they can begin selling adult-use cannabis products to those 21 and older beginning at 10 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2023. Transactions will initially be limited to 7 grams of cannabis flower or an equivalent amount (see details below).
The announcement came as the department is required by law to provide a 30-day notice for the commercial sales commencement.
“I am proud of the hard work our team has done to meet the goal of opening adult-use sales in a safe, well-regulated market,” DCP Commissioner Michelle Seagull said in a press release. “We know that many people are excited to participate in this marketplace, whether as a business or a consumer, and we encourage adults who choose to purchase and consume these products to do so responsibly once sales begin on January 10.”
The announcement comes as 21 states have legalized adult-use cannabis—with Maryland and Missouri voters passing ballot measures in November—with 16 of those states having launched their expanded retail programs already. New York, where regulators hope to roll out adult-use sales before the end of the year, and Connecticut are in line to be the 17th and 18th states to launch adult-use sales.
Connecticut’s retail rollout has been roughly 18 months in the making since Gov. Ned Lamont signed adult-use cannabis legislation in June 2021, becoming the fourth state (in addition to New York, Virginia and New Mexico) to end prohibition through the legislative process that year. The signed law allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower or an equivalent amount in public, and up to 5 ounces in their homes.
In Connecticut, all four existing medical cannabis cultivators have met the requirements for an expanded license, allowing them to supply both the adult-use and medical markets, according to CDP. The law requires at least 250,000 square feet of growing and manufacturing space in the aggregate to be approved for adult-use production before retail sales can begin at licensed retailers, including hybrid retailers. All four existing producers successfully converted to meet that threshold.
In addition, nine existing medical dispensaries were notified they completed the necessary steps to participate in the Jan. 10 sales lunch:
Name Location Affinity New Haven Bluepoint Wellness of Connecticut Branford Still River Wellness Torrington Fine Fettle Dispensary – Newington Newington Fine Fettle Dispensary – Stamford Stamford Fine Fettle Dispensary – Willimantic Willimantic The Botanist – Danbury Danbury The Botanist – Montville Montville Willow Brook Wellness Meriden
While the 2021 legislation allows those 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of flower in public, adult-use sales will be limited to 1/4 ounce of cannabis flower, or its equivalent, per transaction when the market opens, according to CDP. The transaction limits were put in place to ensure an adequate supply for both adult-use consumersand medical cannabis patients, who can purchase up to 5 ounces of flower per month. The limits will be reviewed over time.
The CDP offered a few examples of what an equivalent purchase limit will entail:
Up to seven prerolls that weigh 1 gram each;Two to four vape cartridges, which come in 0.5 milliliter and 1 milliliter sizes; Edibles vary by type and size. A standard-sized brownie or cookie can be the equivalent of 0.08 grams of cannabis flower. One edible serving cannot have more than 5 milligrams of THC.A combination of different product types that collectively amount to no more than 1/4 of an ounce.
The CDP is advising medical cannabis patients to purchase their necessary medication before the Jan. 10 adult-use sale launch, “as long lines and traffic are expected around the hybrid retailers during the opening weeks of adult-use sales.”