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Connecticut Hopes To Add More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

An announcement that says Connecticut hopes to add more medical marijuana dispensaries has us optimistic for the new year.

Chloé Harper Gold

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Connecticut Hopes To Add More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

In an admirable new year’s resolution, Connecticut hopes to add more medical marijuana dispensaries in their state. The announcement came yesterday, right from the state’s Department of Consumer Protection. So how exactly does the Department plan to entice potential dispensary owners to apply? And how many more dispensaries does the Department want to add?

Cannabis in Connecticut

Back in 2011, Connecticut’s governor Dannel Malloy decriminalized marijuana in the interest of unclogging the state’s legal and criminal justice system. A year later, Governor Malloy took it a step further. In 2012, he implemented the state’s medical marijuana program. While the original program explicitly excluded minors, it has since been amended.

For Connecticut patients over the age of 18, there are 22 medical conditions that entitle the sufferer to medical marijuana. The conditions include epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS and post-traumatic stress disorder. Six of the disorders and diseases listed for adults qualify minors for medical marijuana. The six conditions are cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, spinal cord injury, epilepsy (and other seizure disorders) and terminal illness.

In a statement to the newspaper New Haven Register, Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull lauded the positive impact of Connecticut’s MMJ program.

“Our state’s medical marijuana program is incredibly successful and is growing rapidly,” she said.

To keep up the momentum, Connecticut hopes to add more medical marijuana dispensaries to their roster. Currently, there are over 22,400 registered medical marijuana patients in the state and just over 800 doctors and advance practice registered nurses who have signed on to recommend cannabis.

But at the current time, there are only nine medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. Furthermore, there are only four authorized cannabis growers.

Final Hit: Connecticut Hopes To Add More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection announced their plan yesterday. The announcement, no doubt, brought joy and optimism to the thousands of medical marijuana patients in the state. Officially, the Department of Consumer Protection hopes for three or more new dispensaries. In addition to the usual business models and plans, the Department will take the location of the applicants’ potential business into consideration as well. The existing dispensaries are located in Hartford, Bristol, South Windsor, Branford, Bethel, Montville and Waterbury.

Those who wish to throw their hats in the ring should start the process soon. As per the official instructions, applicants must turn in their applications no later than 3 pm on Monday, April 9. The application includes sections for proposed plans for business and marketing, a store layout and exact location of the proposed facility. Other sections include employee health and safety, community give-back plans and a plan to prevent substance abuse. Additionally, applicants must also submit to criminal background checks and turn in three years worth of tax information.  Hopeful dispensary owner must also pay a nonrefundable application fee of $1000.

The instructions to apply to open a new dispensary are intense and possibly even overwhelming. But when you break the instructions down, applicants will find them clear, easy to understand and overall completely manageable. With a little patience and a lot of well-intentioned people, Connecticut is sure to meet their goal of at least three new medical marijuana dispensaries.

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