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May 15, 2024

Tong settles with Hamden-based unregulated cannabis market HighBazaar

Ginny Monk / Kelly Crain, of Middletown, Aldo Cucciniello, of Hamden, and Joshua Frazer, of East Hartford sit in front of the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. The three were part of a protest against a bill that would ban cannabis gifting in Connecticut. Crain and Frazer are medical marijuana patients and said they've needed to get their medicine as gifts from friends or family members at times when their symptoms were particularly bad.

The state attorney general has reached a settlement with the organizers of HighBazaar, a vendor marketplace in Hamden that had unlicensed cannabis sellers providing products outside of Connecticut’s adult-use marketplace, his office announced Wednesday.
Attorney General William Tong said the stipulated judgment with HighBazaar organizers Joseph Accettullo and Cody Roberts requires the duo to “make clear and conspicuous disclosures at HighBazaar events and on any advertisements that the sale, distribution or exchange of cannabis will be strictly prohibited.”

The judgment requires that all potential vendors must be notified of the rule in advance of organized events and must acknowledge in writing that they will not sell, offer, distribute or exchange cannabis while there.

HighBazaar must also have age restrictions going forward: anyone under 21 years old must be prohibited from attending events.

Tong’s office is allowed to enter and inspect HighBazaar premises at any time to ensure compliance with the agreement, which carries a $20,000 penalty. That financial penalty will be suspended if the organizers comply with all other terms of the judgment, according to Tong’s office.
“We will be watching closely—including unannounced inspections—to ensure strict, ongoing compliance,” Tong in a statement.

Tong first issued a cease and desist letter to HighBazaar organizers in January, but his office said the group continued advertising events at a new location in Hamden. After a court injunction, those events were canceled. The attorney general has also sent notice to EventBrite, which has been used to advertise HighBazaar events, that the website was violating both its own guidelines and Connecticut law. The investigation into EventBrite is still underway, Tong’s office said.

Since January, Tong’s office has been cracking down on other businesses, such as gas stations and CBD stores, selling cannabis products outside the state’s legal market.

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