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February 26, 2022

HBJ's CT Cannabis Insider series

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Luis Vega, owner of hemp farm and vendor Wepa! Farms, wants to expand his business to grow and sell cannabis in Connecticut’s recreational market.

Connecticut, in recent years, hasn’t been known for attracting out-of-state companies, especially when state incentives aren’t involved.

Sure, we’ve scored a few wins in 2021 with several companies announcing moves or expansions to Fairfield County, but that’s more of an aberration than the norm.

But if you read our cover story this issue, you’ll see that out-of-states companies (in addition to Connecticut-based players) will be rushing to enter Connecticut’s recreational cannabis industry.

Many companies, from large national players like Massachusetts-based Curaleaf and Green Thumb Industries in Chicago, to small purveyors like Bay State-based Green Meadows, are working on business plans to get in on what they see as a coming green rush.

Industry experts and state officials are projecting Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis market will start off strong and grow significantly. Trade publication MJBizDaily in February predicted $250 million in adult-use sales in year one, and $750 million by year seven.

The state Office of Fiscal Analysis projects the cannabis industry will generate $55 million in tax revenue by fiscal 2026.

It’s not often that Connecticut can be on the forefront of a relatively new industry, so the recreational cannabis market offers a rare opportunity for the state.

The industry’s growth, however, faces potential hurdles. Already a number of Connecticut towns have instituted moratoriums or bans on new cannabis businesses.

And state regulators are only in the early stages of coming up with industry regulations. They have many tough decisions ahead, including how to make sure smaller operators, like individuals from communities hit hard by the war on drugs, aren’t drowned out by large multistate operators.

Not to mention there is still a stigma around cannabis use.

The bottom line: There are a lot of unknowns as we are still likely a year away from the recreational cannabis market coming online.

As the sector progresses to its eventual debut, Hartford Business Journal will be at the forefront of covering the latest news and information about the industry, with the launch of an in-depth Cannabis series, which will publish in several consecutive issue and  explore topics ranging from in-state and out-of-state operators planning to enter the market to the industry’s workforce development efforts and how recreational cannabis will impact commercial real estate.

We will also give readers an inside look at how a grow facility operates.

You’ll notice the series has a “CTCannabis Insider” logo. In addition to the series launch, on Sept. 9, HBJ and New Haven BIZ will jointly debut a weekly CTCannabis Insider email newsletter, which will include the latest news and information about the industry.

The newsletter will hit email subscribers’ inboxes every Thursday at 10 a.m.

In the meantime Here's a listing of stories from our series:

Sept. 6, 2021 issue:

Sept. 20, 2021 issue:

Aug. 9, 2021 issue:

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