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On the first day of legal cannabis sales here, many customers took to social media to decry what they saw as prices higher in Connecticut than those for comparable products in Massachusetts, among other states. 

“Finally, now I can spend $35 on a pre-roll that won’t even get you high,” one user said, commenting on an Instagram post by Gov. Ned Lamont. 

“But the prices right now are … blowing my mind. Absolutely blowing my mind,” another user said on Reddit.

Kevin Cranford, founder and owner of Cannacticut, which he described as “a cannabis lifestyle brand celebrating the unique cannabis stylings of Connecticut,” said he heard from many friends and followers about what they felt were high prices on the first day of legal sales.

The perception that prices were higher may have contributed to a muted first day of sales. The Department of Consumer Protection said the first day of sales resulted in $359,130 in revenue for the seven recreational dispensaries that were open.

“You’re going to be fighting with the legacy market where people have known where to get the product for cheaper for God knows how long,” Cranford said. “The prices are higher than most places around here. They’re higher than Massachusetts, which is right up the street for many of us. We can just go there.”

A review of prices online as of Jan. 11 shows higher price points in Connecticut for almost every cannabis product. A 100 milligram-package of cannabis gummies at the Fine Fettle dispensary in Stamford, for example, cost $40.

A similar product also containing 100 milligrams of THC, the substance in cannabis that gets a consumer high, cost $25 at Fine Fettle’s dispensary in Rowley, Ma. the same at the RISE dispensary in Bloomfield, NJ, and $35 at Aura in Central Falls, RI. 

A 3.5 gram-container of flower had an online-listed price of $50 at most Connecticut dispensaries as of Jan. 11. A similar product might cost $5 less in Massachusetts, but as much or more in Rhode Island.

Prices on THC-laden vape cartridges were about $55 for .5 grams and $100 or more for 1 gram in most Connecticut dispensaries, on par with Rhode Island. Massachusetts, however, a similar .5 gram vape cartridge might cost $30, with a 1-gram cartridge running $70 or less.

Adam Wood, president of the Connecticut Cannabis Chamber of Commerce said “prices will fluctuate” as supply and demand change. There are currently only nine licensed dispensaries in Connecticut authorized to sell recreational cannabis, seven of which opened for business on Jan. 10, and four cannabis growers.

“You’re going to go from four cultivators, to potentially, depending on how things shake out, 30 or 40-plus cultivators. That’s a major change,” Wood said. “I think retail will also generate competition and competitive pricing.”

The limited number of cannabis retailers and producers allowed prices to be set at a higher level than they might be, according to Cranford. 

“If you have a built-in monopoly, you can put the price point higher and see if people will move for it and then if you own most of the market you can go down as you need to,” he said. “They’re just going to have to keep on experimenting with it.”

Cranford said that higher prices may be only temporary. Prices will drop as the market begins to settle, as they did in other states. 

“Oregon had a couple snafus early but now the pricing is where customers need it to be,” he said. “Connecticut is not there yet.”

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