The Connecticut marijuana market saw a decent sales bounce in August to almost $25 million, but with one of its two cannabis testing labs shuttered in March, questions abound about whether the state is in need of more labs to keep up with its steadily growing marijuana market.
Total sales were up last month from July, when customers bought a total of $23.6 million worth of both medical and recreational cannabis, to $24.9 million total, including $14 million in adult-use sales and $10.9 million in medical, according to statistics from the state Department of Consumer Protection.
Connecticut dispensaries sold more than 354,000 recreational marijuana products and another 278,000 medical marijuana products last month.
Recreational marijuana sales have increased every month since the new market launched in January, just as medical sales have steadily dropped since March. Total recreational and medical sales in January were just $13.1 million.
Is One Lab Enough?
Meanwhile, the upstream supply chain in Connecticut has had to work with just a single operational testing lab since AltaSci – one of just two labs licensed in the state – shuttered in March, the Hearst Connecticut Media Group reported.
State officials told the news outlet there’s been “no impact” on the marijuana supply chain, and it’s unclear why the lab closed down. A spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Protection said the lab was not cited for any regulatory violations or discipline, and that the other lab – Northeast Laboratories – is handling the state cannabis industry workload just fine so far.
But activist Lou Rinaldi pointed out, “Our state’s entire cannabis industry now hinges upon a single testing lab,” since state law mandates that all marijuana products be lab tested for consumer safety.
Not only that, but more companies and brands are in the works, which will mean increased demand for testing services so that the state’s industry can continue to grow, Fine Fettle COO Ben Zachs told Hearst.
“As more dispensaries are coming on and sales increase, meaning more supply, will there be a delay in product getting through to market which could ultimately stifle the market? I don’t know the answer to that. But that’s what I would be worried about,” Zachs said.