In Connecticut, medical marijuana was legalized with the passage of HB5389 by the Connecticut General Assembly of Representatives in 2012. Patients with at least one CT MMJ qualifying condition can apply for their medical cannabis cards.
Talking about adult-use marijuana, Connecticut Democratic lawmakers failed to legalize it last year but will try to make it possible this year. Over the years, there has been a significant growth in the marijuana market in Connecticut. Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers says that CT is an exciting marijuana market. Let’s learn more about the past, existing and future growth in the cannabis market in Connecticut.
In 2012, Connecticut became the 17th US state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes after passing HB5389. The act provides protection for medical marijuana to patients, caregivers, licensed dispensaries & producers. The first 6 dispensaries were-
- Arrow Alternative Care, Inc.
- Bluepoint Apothecary, LLC
- D & B Wellness, LLC
- Prime Wellness of Connecticut, LLC
- Thames Valley Apothecary, LLC
- The Healing Corner, Inc.
Patients interested in using medical marijuana in Connecticut need to apply for 420 evaluations. They must be diagnosed by one of the state’s list of MMJ qualifying conditions by a licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse. In 2012, the list included only 11 conditions but later it grown to 36 conditions.
The Department of Consumer Protection is responsible for managing the state’s medical cannabis program. Since medical marijuana was legalized in Connecticut, there has been seen a sharp rise in the number of registered patients to 38,549 today from 2,000. One of the major reasons for the rapid increase is the addition of medical conditions in the list of MMJ qualifying conditions.
The out-of-state companies (such as Acreage Holdings, Curaleaf Holdings, Trulieve, and Green Thumb Industries) have expanded their operations in Connecticut’s medical marijuana market.
According to the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, up to 1500 pounds of hemp flowers can be produced from one acre of hemp. This can lead to $150,000 in profits.
In 2020, the first priority of Connecticut lawmakers will be to legalize marijuana for adult-use. Many cannabis companies see potential for growth in the state. Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis Corp. said, “We see Connecticut as an exciting market for us even though it is not at the same level yet as we are in Florida. And, as we’ve started, our expansion focus is in the Northeast. It’s early still for Connecticut and with the limited dispensaries and physician network, we do not believe it has reached its full potential growth rate.”
In an interview with the Hartford Business Journal, Kim said that they have made a lot of efforts in educating patients & doctors who have helped with awareness, acceptance & growth to where they are today. She added that they believe the same approach will work for Connecticut to reach people who would benefit from the amazing medicinal properties of cannabis. According to Kim, the legalization of adult-use marijuana would bring a welcomed outcome.
To sum up, Connecticut is one of the medical marijuana legalized states, which has seen a rapid growth in the past years. As of January 26, 2020, approximately 39, 000 patients registered with the state’s medical cannabis program. And, the registered patient number is expected to grow at a rapid rate in the future as well. However, top cannabis companies say they have seen a potential for growth of marijuana market in Connecticut, and they are planning to expand their business operations in the state. Florida-based Trulieve Cannabis Corp. says like other states, marijuana market continues to grow in Connecticut. They said they are focusing on attracting partners for high-quality products and business fundamentals.
With so many predictions made by experts and top industry giants, it would be interesting to see how the cannabis market growth chart goes in 2020.