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    Saturday, April 01, 2023

    First 8 days of recreational cannabis sales in Connecticut bring in $2 million

    The first eight days of recreational cannabis sales brought dispensaries $2.02 million, the state Department of Consumer Protection reported Wednesday.

    From a Jan. 10 first-day take of $359,099.28, with 8,154 units sold, sales dropped to $169,970.50 on Tuesday, Jan, 17, with 3,747 units sold. Nearly 18% of the eight-day total was sold the first day. There were 45,667 units sold over the eight days.

    However, the average price per item increased, from $44.04 on Jan. 10 to $45.36 on Tuesday, Jan. 17, an average of $44.24.

    The department said the figures were preliminary and do not include taxes, which will not be available until February, according to a spokeswoman at the Department of Revenue Services.

    Seven hybrid dispensaries opened across the state Jan. 10, given the go-ahead to sell adult-use cannabis along with the medical marijuana they already had been dispensing. Wednesday’s totals do not include medical cannabis sales.

    “I was pretty happy with how it went,” said Ben Zachs, chief operating officer of Fine Fettle, which owns dispensaries in Newington, Willimantic and Stamford. “I think, operationally, we had no neighbor complaints. We had no traffic issues. We had nothing of that nature.”

    As for demand, Zachs said, “I would describe it as pretty good.” He said Newington was close to projections, with Stamford busier than expected and Willimantic less so. Saturday was especially busy, he said.

    He said producers had provided fewer products than he had hoped. “There’s a learning curve that people need to go into the Connecticut market, but there’s clear demand and I think people were happy overall,” Zachs said.

    Ray Pantalena, owner of Affinity Health & Wellness in New Haven, said, “Tuesday and Wednesday, the first two days, there were lines outside. Everyone was super excited about it.

    He said “things have settled down since then. There’s been no lines outside.”

    As for projected sales, “We’re right where we thought we were going to be based on the demographic,” Pantalena said. He said he had no issues with inventory and “there’s a lot of product available.”

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