CT recreational cannabis sales break $5 million in January. Medical marijuana totals more.

Recreational cannabis sales hit $5.1 million in January, the state Department of Consumer Protection announced Friday.

Combined with medical marijuana sales of $8.2 million, cannabis sales totaled $13.3 million for the 21 days that adult-use cannabis was legal to sell in Connecticut. Recreational cannabis sales began Jan. 10.

The department said purchases of recreational cannabis will stay at a quarter ounce of flower or its equivalent per transaction. Medical marijuana users can buy up to 5 ounces per month.

Medical marijuana sales were not tracked before Jan. 10, but will be reported monthly now.

“This is the first time we have that information,” said department spokeswoman Kaitlyn Krasselt.

The state now is using an inventory-tracking system, BioTrack, for both categories of cannabis sales. They will be reported monthly at ct.gov/cannabis. Consumer Protection does not set expectations for sales or make projections, according to a release.

The total sales do not include taxes on adult-use cannabis. Those include state sales tax, a tax that goes to the community where the dispensary is located and a tax based on the THC level in the cannabis. Medical marijuana is not taxed.

Adult-use cannabis was legalized in June 2021. Seven dispensaries opened Jan. 10 for sales.

Connecticut House Republicans late last month introduced legislation that would tighten restrictions on the state’s cannabis market, including an outright ban on edible cannabis sales.

At a press conference in Hartford last month, Republican lawmakers expressed concern over an anticipated increase in impaired driving fatalities, pediatric cannabis overdoses, and health risks after recreational cannabis sales became a reality. They said their newly proposed H.B. 5434 aims to tackle these issues with more stringent regulations.

Among its 13 provisions, the proposal also calls on the state to suspend retail cannabis sales until Connecticut’s drug recognition expert certification program becomes operational.

Ed Stannard can be reached at estannard@courant.com.

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