Cannabis Vendors Cropping Up in Connecticut

Medical marijuana companies are beginning to materialize in Connecticut, where the industry has been slow to take root.

Last week, vendors showcased their businesses at the first annual Connecticut Cannabis Exposition in New Haven, which was organized by a local event company.

Vendors at the event ranged from oil and herbal remedy companies to a firm that creates portable humidifiers for medications and marijuana. Cannabis businesses said they came to the event to network with other marijuana professionals and to see what other types of products are being peddled in the new market. Patients were also there trying to get information about medical marijuana costs.

It’s a sign of progress in one of the nation’s newest medical marijuana markets.

In other states that recently passed medical marijuana laws, cannabis-related companies materialized quickly. Some, such as a medical marijuana information clinic in Illinois, even opened up days after the laws passed.

But entrepreneurs in Connecticut have been a bit slower to get involved since the state passed an MMJ law in the spring of 2012, and many startups are just now gaining some traction and getting their names out there.

Part of the sluggish start is likely tied to the limited market size, extended rule-making process and stiff regulations. The state will initially license up to five dispensaries and three cultivation sites, with the first businesses scheduled to open next year.

Compare that to Massachusetts, which will allow as many as 35 dispensaries, and the Connecticut industry will be relatively small.

Still, there are some opportunities for a variety of vendors, particularly consultants, cultivation equipment manufacturers and companies that make patient-facing products.

Marijuana Business Daily estimates that the market will total $6 million to $10 million annually in revenues.

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