Connecticut Cannabis Landscape Evolving Quickly, No Shortages Feared

Connecticut Cannabis Landscape Evolving Quickly, No Shortages Feared

The Connecticut recreational marijuana industry – one of several that launched earlier this year – is quickly coming into its own, with 64 licensed dispensaries and a quartet of grow operations that have been laboring to supply them.

There are another 13 in the works, for a total of 17 cultivators, but the new entrants – including many of the 64 dispensaries – have yet to become operational. However, there are no fears of supply shortages, Kaitlyn Krasselt, spokesperson for the state Department of Consumer Protection, told CT Insider.

“The agency is continually reviewing the available supply and market demand to ensure medical marijuana patients and the adult-use market are adequately supplied,” Krasselt said.

At the same time, retailers have become more business-savvy and are choosing high-density locations to maximize foot traffic and advertising exposure, the Hartford Business Journal reported.

The Journal reported that new shops are being selective about where they sign leases: Hartford County, home to the state capitol of Hartford, seems to be the most appealing and has the most shops thus far with eight.

Of the 21 towns that have at least one cannabis shop, the average population is over 51,000, the Journal found.

“The dust is settling a little bit, and we’re definitely seeing a lot of these retail outlets pop up in the more condensed areas of the state – cities where there’s more population and potential customers,” CPA Drew Richards told the Journal.

One high-profile example is the latest shop opened by Verano Holdings Corp., which in October opened a new dispensary in Newington within eyeshot of the Berlin Turnpike, a major thoroughfare that sees more than 32,000 motor vehicles pass by every day.

“At Verano, we always aim to open our Zen Leaf dispensaries in convenient, accessible, and high-traffic locations in commercial corridors that have ample parking, a large sales floor, and a welcoming visual aesthetic,” Verano spokesman Steve Mazeika said.

Mazeika further predicted the opening of even more dispensaries near population centers in the state, as businesses will naturally want to be as close to consumers as possible.

Part of the reason dispensaries are choosing certain municipalities, however, is because several in Connecticut have cannabis business moratoriums or outright bans. Many also have been wary of locating too close to the Massachusetts border, in order to avoid interstate competition.

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