CONNECTICUT: In January, the state’s Department of Consumer Protection will begin awarding the first ever licenses to medical marijuana producers and dispensaries in Connecticut. While the licenses are awarded by the state, it’s been left up to individual towns to decide if they want to host one of these facilities. Two communities in Connecticut have taken very different approaches to this new industry.
Jason Nickerson is at the Remington Rand building in Middletown, an old industrial facility that’s found new life in recent years as a home for small businesses. Nickerson is part of a fourth-generation family general contracting business that specializes in water and waste water treatment plants. He’s been looking for opportunities to diversify his company. When the law on medical marijuana was passed, he and his brother Matthew saw the opportunity, and created Greenbelt Management to develop a marijuana production facility.
“When we found this building,” Nickerson said, “and we saw that on paper, it was kind of checking off all our boxes, we approached the city just to get a feel for how they would respond. I won’t try to say they were doing backflips about it, when we initially approached them, but I think they were amenable or receptive to letting us talk it out with them. I think they acknowledged that at this point, this is a legal business in the state, and they needed, therefore, to consider it.”