The state’s medical marijuana program wants to add more dispensaries. The announcement came just one day before Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was rescinding protections laid out in the Cole Memo. A request for applications was made by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
Despite Sessions’ announcement, the agency plans to move forward with approving more dispensaries, according to WNPR. Law professor at Quinnipiac, John Thomas, says that the announcement may pose some challenges for the incoming and existing businesses.
Lora Rae Anderson, communications director for the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, said, “Here in Connecticut, we help over 22,000 very sick patients. So if the Department of Justice decided to move on this, they would be deciding to take medication away from over 22,000 very sick people. So what we’re doing is continuing to adhere to Connecticut law, which enables us to have this medical program. So we’re gonna move forward with the RFA.”
The RFA refers to the Request For Applications issued by the agency.
Thomas said, “I suspect right now if you were in, say, California, which has just legalized recreational use and you wanted to get a loan or get a lease for your business, you’d have a really hard time doing that. By the same token, in Connecticut, if you want to get a loan or engage in the business of being a provider of medical marijuana you’d have a really hard time doing that.”
Anderson recognizes the challenges and says they are nothing new. In Connecticut, marijuana is a schedule 2 drug – meaning that the state recognizes that it has medicinal value.
Anderson said, “Now obviously when you’re talking about schedule 1 controlled substances, there are banking and insurance-related laws that are not directly regulated by the department of consumer protection that sometimes have implications in particular for large banks, large insurance companies, and that sort of thing.”