CT produces more than $18 million in cannabis sales in February

Sales of recreational cannabis, whose users must be 21 years or older, totaled $7.02 million in February, while medical marijuana sales amounted to $11.4 million, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Consumer Protection. 

Last month, medical marijuana patients bought 316,644 products, while recreational consumers purchased 168,565 products. DCP’s Drug Control Division has approved more than 600 new brand names for products that may be sold in both the medical marijuana and recreational markets since the opening of the recreational market.

In February, the product price for medical marijuana patients averaged $36.11, compared with an average of $41.82 for recreational products. This data was collected through the state’s Seed-to-Sale Tracking System. DCP said that it does not make revenue projections, set sales expectations or regulate prices.

The data does not include taxes collected at the point of sale on transactions, and it is subject to further review by DCP. Medical marijuana patients do not pay taxes on the purchase of their medicine.

Sales data for the medical marijuana market is not available before Jan. 10, as “seed-to-sale” tracking was not previously required for medical marijuana sales, according to DCP.  Recreational and medical marijuana sales are now recorded in BioTrack, the inventory tracking system used to monitor the movement of cannabis products in Connecticut’s medical and recreational cannabis markets, according to the department. 

Transaction limits of 1/4 ounce of raw flower, or the equivalent, remain for all recreational purchases, according to DCP. Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to five ounces per month and are not subject to individual transaction limits.

DCP officials said they will make future data available at ct.gov/cannabis. The data will be updated monthly on or after the 10th of each month, and new data will be added as it becomes available, they said. 

“Adults who choose to consume cannabis are reminded to do so responsibly, including storing cannabis products in their original packaging, locked up and out of reach of children and pets,” DCP officials said in the news release. 

They also noted that resources about responsible cannabis use and information about addiction and health risks are available at ct.gov/cannabis.

While the sale of recreational marijuana at licensed retailers started on Jan. 10, following Gov. Ned Lamont’s signing into law in June 2021 of supporting legislation, state officials are still cracking down on illegal marijuana sales. Last month, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced that he was suing five retailers in the state for allegedly selling edible cannabis products targeted to youth. 

Across the U.S., marijuana regulation varies. On Tuesday, voters in Oklahoma rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational use

Twenty-one states have legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults. In addition to Connecticut, they are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

In Maryland, legalized recreational sales have not yet begun and in Missouri, they began in February. Last year, voters in those two states approved legalizing recreational marijuana

Most other states have either medical cannabis programs or laws allowing for the sale and use of CBD, one of the chemical compounds in the plant.

Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska are the only states that do not provide for any legal use of any component of marijuana.

The drug also remains illegal under federal law, but President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of people for federal marijuana possession convictions, and he has directed officials to review how marijuana is classified under federal law. It is currently listed as a Schedule I drug, alongside other drugs such heroin, LSD, ecstasy and peyote.  

This article contains reporting by The Associated Press. 

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; twitter: @paulschott

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