CONNECTICUT: Erik Williams is keeping an eye on the regulations review meeting set for Tuesday. That’s when the Department of Consumer Protection will meet to discuss “substantive concerns” about proposed regulations for Connecticut’s medical marijuana program.
Williams, 37, is chief operating officer and partner of Gaia’s, a New Britain-based medical marijuana company. Gaia, a leading Colorado grower and dispenser of medical marijuana, has leased 40,000 square feet in a former manufacturing building at One Hartford Square. The company will be named Biltin Advanced Propagation LLC. It has 15 workers now, but Williams believes it could grow to as many as 300 employees in two years depending on market demand.
William Rubenstein, state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner, has said a report by attorneys for the general assembly is not a major concern. The report from the legislative commissioner’s office urges that the review committee reject the rules.
However, Williams says as long as regulations of the state’s medical marijuana program are approved “that’s good enough for me. It’s the same rules and regulations that have been presented some time ago.
They’ve been debated and the attorney general had a couple of issues–some were legal, others technical; they requested changes that were made. So that’s where the vote is on Tuesday.
We hope it passes and we can move the program forward.”Williams said he would rather not speculate on Tuesday’s vote.
“You never know what kind of discussion is going on among the administration’s department. I’m not assuming that anyone has made up his or her mind at this point.”
If the regulations are defeated the vote will come up again at the department’s September meeting.There would need to be some changes crafted to the department’s satisfaction. The stakes are huge.
According to Williams, the potential market could run as high as 52,500 patients. Though cultivation and
possession of marijuana are still illegal under federal law, the way the Connecticut statue is written, Williams sees little problem with the law.
He says he chose New Britain for its “leadership and economic development; its central location and willingness on the part of its business leaders.”