On the First Day of Marijuana Sales, Connecticut Residents Are Eager to Buy.
On Tuesday, people waited in lines outside the dispensaries. People over the age of 21 in all corners of Connecticut stepped into stores, presented their IDs, and made the first legal purchases of marijuana.
Connecticut lawmakers decriminalized possession and paved the path for the recreational business on Tuesday, and for Alan Labreck of Bristol, this day has been 18 months in the making.
He remarked, “I’ve been going up to Massachusetts – it’s a terrific way to stay in your neighborhood and support local businesses” after purchasing a vaporizer at Fine Fettle in Newington, one of seven existing medicinal marijuana dispensaries becoming hybrid recreational shops.
Starting on Tuesday, adults over the age of 21 will be able to purchase up to a quarter of an ounce of flower or the equivalent in vape cartridges and edibles with proper identification. FOX61 has learned that many people use marijuana as a means of relieving stress.
“I have extremely horrible anxiety, so I generally just take a couple of puffs off my pen and it just helps me level off, keeps me focused on the goals at hand,” Labreck said.
General manager Dennis So said he took crowd management lessons from the 2018 opening day in Massachusetts.
Guests are being asked to make reservations in advance, and as a result, a line has formed outside the establishment. It’s chilly outside. The winter arrives,” he declared.
The presence of parking attendants also served to disperse the crowds. The state had more than $250,000 in its coffers by Tuesday afternoon, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.
“To be able to open it up based on an age restriction allows us to have many more people who may be able to benefit from it and be able to utilize it,” said So. “It’s been tough for those who may benefit from cannabis but may not qualify under one of the 38 qualifying conditions with the state.”
There was a line of people waiting outside the Zen Leaf dispensary in Meriden at 10 a.m. on the dot to be among the first customers inside.
“I never saw this day coming,” Watertown resident Tom Card said.
Eric Solkoske chimed in, saying, “It’s a huge day for all the marijuana smokers out there who are just thrilled to be recognized that their thoughts are heard.”
The Department of Consumer Protection is currently working on licensing over a hundred different firms. In neighborhoods devastated by the war on drugs, the majority of these investments are in social enterprises.
As Labreck pointed out, the stigma associated with marijuana is gradually dissipating thanks to recent legal reforms.
I noticed a shift in attitude among the parents of my friends and acquaintances beginning in July of last year when my own parents also began to change their perspective on the matter.
In Newington, Melissa Pettit entered and left within 10 minutes.
”I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time. I’m relieved that we don’t need a medical card to buy this stuff now. We’ve made great strides,” she gushed.