CONNECTICUT: It’s Connecticut’s new gold rush and prospectors from far and wide have been quietly streaming into the state, making a grab for a piece of the potentially lucrative medical marijuana industry.
The state won’t even start accepting proposals for marijuana growers or sellers until later this year, but the would-be pot kings are way ahead of the government officials.
There are cultivation plans pending in Bridgeport, West Haven, Watertown and Middletown, to name a few. Entrepreneurs, some with experience in Colorado, where marijuana was legalized for recreational use last year, are lining up to convince Connecticut that they should be the ones chosen to grow the state’s newest crop.
“There is a tremendous gamble in this, but if we stick to following the rules, it will be a good business,” said Joseph Palmieri Jr., an Easton farmer who is hoping to start growing the crop in an old factory in Bridgeport.
The interest is easy to understand: Pot isn’t the outlaw drug of the peace and love movement anymore, it is now big business. Price indexes track the ups and downs of cannabis as if it were a commodity like soybeans. Websites review the quality of designer brands of pot and direct consumers to the nearest sellers, known as dispensaries. Advertising agencies contemplate branding various strains of medical marijuana and marketing them as they would new shampoos.