Connecticut looking to open more marijuana dispensaries

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Real Story: Medical Marijuana Poll

HARTFORD — Consumer protection officials in Connecticut are planning to expand the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state to keep up with growing demand.

Commissioner Jonathan Harris said the six current state dispensaries have been producing “safe, pharmaceutical grade products.” He said that has led to a greater acceptance of the program among doctors and a rise in the number of registered patients from 1,683 in September 2014 to 4,097 this month. There are 222 doctors registered to prescribe medical marijuana in Connecticut.

“Connecticut was the first state to adopt a true pharmaceutical model for its medical marijuana program,” said Harris. “As a result, additional dispensary facilities are needed, particularly in Fairfield and New Haven counties.”

The department plans to award as many as three dispensary facility licenses through the new round of applications. There are four producers serving medical marijuana patients in Connecticut.

The department reserved the right to award more licenses if additional dispensaries are desirable. Even if more licenses are not awarded during this round, the department expects to license additional facilities in other counties in the future, if the program’s success continues.

Dispensary facility licenses will be awarded on a competitive basis based on responses.

The application deadline is Sept. 18 at 3 p.m.

Applications and information are now available online. The request for applications can be found on the department’s website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.