Recreational marijuana sales begin Tuesday in Connecticut: What you need to know

Retail marijuana sales begin in Connecticut Tuesday at 10 a.m.

John Craven

Jan 9, 2023, 10:28 PM

Updated 531 days ago


Retail marijuana sales begin in Connecticut Tuesday at 10 a.m. Here’s what you need to know.


Only seven dispensaries will launch adult-use recreational cannabis on Tuesday. In our area, those include Affinity in New Haven and Fine Fettle in Stamford. Two more stores, The Botanist in Danbury and Still River Wellness in Torrington, are already licensed but plan to launch retail sales at a later date.
At Fine Fettle, delivery trucks arrived all day on Monday. Chief Operating Officer Benjamin Zachs is expecting up to 1,200 customers on the first day, including many from neighboring New York.
"We've got eight registers here. Every five minutes, so there's 12 per hour, per register, and open for 10 hours tomorrow," he said.


First, you must bring a government-issued ID proving you're at least 21 years old.
Also, don't just show up. To avoid long lines, most dispensaries want you to order your products online then book an appointment to pick them up. And when you get there, stores can only accept cash or debit cards due to federal prohibition laws.
To preserve supply, the state is initially limiting how much customers can purchase. The limit is a quarter-ounce of cannabis per transaction. That equals between seven and 14 pre-roll cigarettes, or two to four vapes. As for edibles, they vary by size and type.
There's a catch though. The quarter-ounce limit is "per transaction." Since the state isn't tracking your purchases, if you're willing to drive all over Connecticut, you could buy up to 9 ounces of marijuana in one day. (Individual dispensaries can only sell each person 1 ounce of cannabis per day.)


Speaking of edibles, to keep kids away, gummies must have plain packaging.
"It can't be bright, colorful, and in a design that looks like other candies or things that you would give your children," said Michelle Seagull, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
But some doctors worry it's not enough.
"We'd be fooling ourselves if we don't recognize the fact that, even though cannabis is approved for adults only, it's going to trickle down – just like alcohol and tobacco have done," said Dr. Deepak D'Souza, a psychiatry professor with Yale School of Medicine who also directs the neuropsychiatry program at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.
D'Souza is also concerned about drugged driving. Unlike alcohol, breath tests cannot detect how high a driver is. Instead, the law legalizing marijuana sales required police agencies to add "drug recognition experts," officers specifically trained to run various cognitive tests.
But as News 12 Connecticut reported in 2021, the training is expensive and time-consuming – and its accuracy has been questioned in other states.
Back at Fine Fettle, they want to remove the stigma around pot.
"We're doing a lot more than just making a cannabis sale," said Zachs. "We're changing the perception of cannabis."


All nine retail dispensaries also sell medical marijuana, and each must have a separate line for patients. DCP urged medical patients to stock up before Tuesday's retail launch.
Medical patients can also grow up to three mature marijuana plants on their own. All other adults age 21 and over can do so starting on July 1.


DCP Commissioner Seagull expects more retailers to receive state licensing in the next few months. Some must get approval from the state Social Equity Council first, and all must have financing and local zoning lined up too. Seagull expects delivery services to begin soon too.

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