Connecticut Medical Pot Arrives

CONNECTICUT:  After long years of debate and fine-tuning of the rules, Connecticut medical marijuana dispensaries are starting to open for business, including the Thames Valley Alternative Relief dispensary on Route 32 in Montville.

This newspaper supported the legalization of medical marijuana after years of testimony from patients who said no other drug provided them the relief they sought from various medical problems. Others testified they could function while using marijuana, but not when taking the powerful pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for them.

Also, a growing number of physicians and researchers in the medical community have recognized the palliative influences of taking marijuana.

In an attempt to learn from mistakes in other states, Connecticut allows marijuana to be legally purchased only from a few licensed dispensaries. Patients need certification from a physician and doctors can only prescribe marijuana for a limited number of maladies. These include cancer, glaucoma, wasting syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, spasticity, Crohn’s Disease and PTSD. Other states have placed few, if any, restrictions on the types of illnesses for which doctors can prescribe marijuana, leading to near de facto legalization.


Medical Marijuana: How Two Connecticut Towns Are Preparing for Licenses

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.”