Less than a year after the recreational market opened, Connecticut’s medical cannabis program is showing signs of decay, which follows a pattern seen in other states where cannabis has been legalized for medicinal uses, medical cannabis advocates say. Since cannabis became available recreationally, data shows a steady drop in the number of cannabis patients registered in the state, sales of medical cannabis products are down, and there are fewer medical cannabis products on the shelves in Connecticut dispensaries.
That situation is not unique to Connecticut but “describes every market that has an adult-use program,” said Steph Sherer, founder and president of Americans for Safe Access, a Washington D.C.-based organization advocating for medical cannabis. “Medical cannabis basically socialized the concept of selling cannabis in these states."
When the first recreational cannabis dispensaries opened in Connecticut on Jan. 9, there were 48,896 registered medical cannabis patients in the state. That number has dropped steadily almost every month. There was a bump in July when the state announced that the $100 registration fee for a medical card would be waived, but the drop continued again in August and September.
As of the end of September, there were 42,891 registered medical cannabis patients in Connecticut, down 13 percent in the nine months since the state’s recreational market opened. There are also fewer registered cannabis caregivers, going from a total of 4,372 medical dispensaries in January to 3,828 on Sept. 30.
Read more at ctinsider.com