As Connecticut edges closer to legalizing recreational marijuana, pot growers are ready to do business - Hartford Courant

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On the coldest and grayest days of winter, a warm and incredibly bright yellow light reliably shines on the dense bushes deep in the converted warehouse. They are marijuana plants, some are as tall as Christmas trees and have flowers.

“For these plants, it’s like July 15th every day,” said Rino Ferrarese, president and co-founder of CTPharma. CTPharma is one of four licensed medical marijuana producers in Connecticut, and the state is entering a A larger leisure market.

The jagged leaves and flowers gleamed under the light of frost, which is a promising signal that the cash crop is about to mature. Whiteness is actually a sticky resin, which contains active ingredients such as hemp, THC and CBD.

Ferrese said that the cannabis content of the weed baby boomers who smoke in college may not exceed 3% or 4% (tetrahydrocannabinol) (tetrahydrocannabinol) by weight. Lexikan is a popular version of his company's popular strain called Lemon Skunk on the street, and its content exceeds 30%.

"That was our big lie," Ferrares said. "That is our Coke classic."

A small bottle of one-eighth ounce (or 3.5 grams) of dried and trimmed Lexikan flowers is expensive, and is currently listed at a medical marijuana dispensary in Hartford (one of 18 states in the United States) at $42. Plants that are now approaching maturity should each produce a pound and a half of flower buds.

State law requires third-party laboratories to conduct tests and list the exact content of THC, CBD, terpenes and other substances in each product sold by the four manufacturers on the label: CTPharma in Rocky Mountain, Sinsberg Curaleaf in West Haven, Advance Grow Labs in West Haven and Theraplant Watertown in Sinai.

Elsewhere in the complex, packaged cannabis flowers, machine-rolled joints, cigarette boxes, tinctures, oils, concentrates, baking powder and other products sit on shelves in the vault, waiting to be shipped.

The cheapest product is cannabis-infused honey for $2 per pack, which is one of the 120 products in the company's ever-changing production line, and each product is marked with an SKU number and a barcode. On the most recent day, Ferrarese estimated the retail value of the items in the vault at $3 million.

Pot is quickly attracting any other consumer products. In the next few months, the conference will decide whether CTPharma's growing product line can be provided to the mass market.

CTPharma is supported by mainstream investors, including the former Republican Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, Michael C. Fedele (Michael C. Fedele). CTPharma's security director is Mark Kaczynski, a retired DEA agent who works part-time as the mayor of a suburb near Berlin. Its registered lobbyist is Gary Berner, a former Republican state legislator and consumer protection official.

Connecticut legalized the possession of marijuana and authorized its use in a designated list of medical malpractices in 2012. Growers and pharmacies opened in 2014, and the physician-certified medical user market has grown steadily, doubling in the past four years.

Taking into account the current market constraints, the new CTPharma building is very large, up to 216,532 square feet, or 4½ football fields. Due to its high headroom, it has the potential for double-layer decoration, which can create 400,000 square feet of usable space, which is 24 times the original facility.

As of last week, the state-wide legal marijuana customer base is 50,142 residents of the state, and one of the 1,390 registered doctors prescribed the use of medical marijuana to treat 38 debilitating medical conditions in adults and 10 debilitating medical conditions in children. Debilitating medical conditions.

Ferrales said investors are seeing the growing maturity of the Connecticut medical market, with at least 80,000 people, and perhaps as many as 110,000 people. Like neighboring Massachusetts, countries that open up to legal cannabis are expected to increase tenfold. The company is also committed to drug development.

Last week, Governor Ned Lamont introduced a piece of legislation authorizing entertainment sales from May 2022. Ferrarese said he and other cannabis growers are preparing to increase production.

The entry price for the production and sale of medical marijuana includes an annual license, the annual license fee for the producer is $75,000, and the fee for the dispensary is $5,000. For recreational licenses, the government is considering charging $750,000 for growers and $250,000 for pharmacies.

An automated system will be created to delete criminal records for easy possession and creation of tiered licenses, including licenses for micro-farmers. The equity committee can make further recommendations before the 2022 start date.

Harris said: "The governor intends to continue intense dialogue with the legislature, supporters, other states, and most importantly, people from black and brown communities who have been unjustly affected by the war on drugs."

Since the private equity group led by Fedele ran for governor in 2010, CTPharma's expansion has come. The company completed a transaction in June 2018 and acquired the company. At that time, the number of people in the medical market did not exceed 27,000. The terms of sale are private.

"They are the original investors, and they did a good job in the transaction," said Fedele, chairman of the board of directors of the closely co-operating company.

Regardless of the sale price, it is only part of the new owner’s investment. According to land records, they paid $7.57 million for the new building on Valentine's Day a year ago. Since then, they have invested more money in business.

More than 100,000 square feet of previously open warehouse space has been converted into laboratories and rooms for growing, drying, pruning, curing and packaging weeds, as well as extracting THC, CBD and other elements for concentration.

There is no giant indoor marijuana. The smaller growth room allows for different artificial seasons throughout the year, thereby enabling a stable flow of harvested products and a stable workflow of 100 employees.

The two rooms are labeled Mother 1 and Mother 2 respectively.

They contain a stock of baby plants cloned from the mother plant, as well as various strains with street names such as headband, car breath, and of course lemon skunk. Connecticut did not allow commercial growers to use street names, so the name was changed.

Compared with seeds, one of the advantages of cloning is that it can ensure that only female plants are bred. Pollination of male plants will cause female plants to produce seeds instead of flowers.

The cloned cuttings were grown in a proprietary mixture of soil and peat, initially in a three-gallon container under a metal halide lamp, illuminated for 18 hours a day, and emitted blue spectrum light that mimics the spring sunshine. The quality and quantity of light promotes the growth and growth of plants, resulting in dense vegetation.

Finally, the plants were replanted in 10-gallon containers and transferred to a growth chamber, where red is the spectrum and pale yellow to the human eye, suggesting summer and autumn. Eventually, the light will be reduced from 18 hours to 12 hours, which is an artificial fall that induces the plants to bloom. In the last few weeks, the temperature drops, which is another signal that promotes flower growth.

The electricity bill requires US$45,000 per month. Artificial sunlight is not cheap.

Everyone wears hairnets, and the atmosphere is between the commercial kitchen and the laboratory. The air exudes the sweet and sour taste of various canned strains. The names of the visitors have been recorded with state regulators, and they are wearing work clothes without pockets. Access to each room is controlled by a key card. An audible alarm will be triggered if the door is half open for 30 seconds. The surveillance cameras are very careful from the inside to the outside.

In addition to the possibility of eventually entering the adult entertainment market, the new ownership led by Fedele also sees the growth potential of cannabis-derived drugs, but the prospect of acceptance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been slow.

CTPharma is currently conducting FDA-authorized investigative drug trials for stress and pain drugs. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine are conducting double-blind testing of the drug.

Ferrarese said: "We are testing the efficacy of various doses of CBD to understand whether CBD is used with THC or alone or in combination with THC." "Is there a difference? Do you know the way patients experience pain and stress in a clinical setting? We actually We are drawing blood. We are also taking vital signs. We are conducting patient surveys in a controlled clinical environment."

While the FDA is preparing to approve Epidiolex, Fedele vigorously promotes the development of the cannabis business. Epidiolex is the first drug to remove cannabis on the US market. The drug is an oral anti-epileptic drug that uses CBD or cannabidiol (a substance in cannabis and cannabis that does not produce high levels).

For parents of children with severe epilepsy who do not respond to other drugs, CBD and Epidiolex have always been miracles, reducing or even preventing seizures, which may torture some children hundreds or hundreds of times a day.

Epidiolex is produced by the British company GW Pharmaceuticals. Last year's sales were US$500 million, and analysts estimate that the market will reach US$1 billion. Two weeks ago, Jazz Pharmaceuticals agreed to acquire GW Pharmaceuticals for US$7.2 billion.

Ferrarese developed from a successor to a canning company, and later to an old Connecticut company, also engaged in the business of extracting products from botanicals: EE Dickinson & Company, the company produces witch hazel for astringent skin cleansers, Soap, mouthwash and cosmetics.

Ferrares said: "The move from witch hazel to marijuana is not that big," he added, adding that their background is likely to help fight for the license. "The state government has learned about us from the faint witch hazel business and knows that we are proficient in farming, harvesting, processing and extracting. Very good."

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