Connecticut’s first two medical marijuana dispensaries have formally opened their doors to customers, ending a nearly two-year wait for patients.
The Healing Corner in Bristol and Arrow Alternative Care in Hartford received their first shipments of cannabis – including pre-rolled joints, raw flowers and tablets that can be used in vaporizers – on Monday from the licensed cultivation company Theraplant. The dispensaries previously began consultations with patients, but the shipments allow them to actually begin selling medical cannabis.
Prices aren’t exactly cheap, ranging from $16 to $20 a gram, according to the Hartford Courant. But dispensary staffers say that will likely drop as more Connecticut MMJ centers get up and running in the near future.
Connecticut legalized MMJ in 2012, but it took state regulators months of finagling to finalize rules for dispensaries and growers.
Though there are currently 2,326 registered MMJ patients in Connecticut, industry insiders expect that number to balloon to tens of thousands in the coming years. Another four groups have received licenses to operate dispensaries and hope to open soon.
The two dispensaries that opened this week plan on expanding their product lines in coming months to include oils, tinctures, capsules and edibles such as brownies.
Under Connecticut law, qualifying medical conditions for MMJ include cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, cachexia, and intractable spasticity.