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State Grants Four Licenses for Medical Marijuana Production

The licensees will set up operations in Portland, Simsbury, West Haven and Watertown.

The state of Connecticut awarded four licenses to companies that will grow and process medical marijuana on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2014. Credit: Patch File Photo
The state of Connecticut awarded four licenses to companies that will grow and process medical marijuana on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2014. Credit: Patch File Photo

The state Department of Consumer Protection on Tuesday awarded licenses for the production of medical marijuana to four companies who will base their operations in West Haven, Portland, Simsbury and Watertown. 

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made the announcement at 11:30 a.m. in West Haven flanked by state Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubinstein, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, West Haven Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and other officials.

The facilities will be considered pharmaceutical manufacturers by the Department of Consumer Protection.

West Haven is where Advanced Grow Labs LLC will build a facility at 400 Frontage Road to grow, harvest and process marijuana for seriously ill patients. The other three licenses went to:

  • Connecticut Pharmaceuticals LLC, Portland
  • Curaleaf LLC, Simsbury
  • Theraplant LLC, Watertown

Only three licenses were expected to be granted, but language in the state’s Request for Applications left some wiggle room. According to a news release sent by the Governor’s Office, the Department of Consumer Protection considered the applicants’ initial and long-term demand expectations, the predicted expansion of production capabilities, roll-out timetables and expected product mixes, and decided to issue four licenses.

Sixteen companies applied for licenses with applications ranging from 700 to more than 1,000 pages. Now that the producers have been chosen, the state expects to award between three and five medical marijuana dispensary licenses sometime in the next two months.

“For years, I have heard stories from people considering the palliative use of marijuana to relieve their pain from a debilitating disease or illness, but who want to follow the law. This new law allows a doctor and a patient to decide what is in that patient’s best interest,” Malloy said. “We are carefully implementing this program with a number of safeguards in place to ensure that we avoid some of the problems encountered in other states. But let’s be clear, patients in these circumstances deserve our compassion and understanding, not arrest and criminal records.”

The four companies granted licenses must now put $2 million escrow accounts and pay the annual license fee before getting the green light to proceed. The facilities need to be operational within 180 days of the granting of the license.

“Connecticut’s is the first state medical marijuana program based squarely on the pharmaceutical/medical model – from physician certification, to production facilities operating as pharmaceutical manufacturers, to dispensing to patients by licensed pharmacists,” Rubenstein said. “Today we have selected four producers that embrace that clear vision and who will create state-of-the-art production facilities capable of assuring that pharmaceutical-grade marijuana in a variety of dosage forms is available to seriously ill patients whose doctors believe that this medicine is appropriate for them.”

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