A dose of regulation mixed with free-market observation - What can Connecticut learn as the state enters the cannabis era?

· 2 min. read

It's only been since January, but the cannabis industry in Connecticut is already a hit among consumers.

There was initial worry that the quick expansion of stores and dispensaries could potentially blunt the long-term success of the retail aspect of the product in the state, but according to UConn's Fred Carstensen concerns about the oversupply seen in neighboring states is not a worry.

“It’ll take three to four years to see how the market develops,” said Carstensen, a professor at University of Connecticut and the director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis.

In an article that goes into great detail, Carsten told the Stamford Advocate about the many factors and influences that can impact what has been a volatile market in some states since legalization became the trend.

And as the state government checks the expansion of Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis market, Carstensen said local governments do the same.

He said it wouldn’t matter if Connecticut’s retail cannabis scene was over-licensed, under-licensed, or just right.

“Every municipality has the right to say yea or nay (to retailers),” Carstensen said.

But he said an estimated 69 cannabis retailers in the Nutmeg State’s pipeline will make the bigger picture clearer.

“(Then) it's pretty much available to everybody on a relatively short-travel basis,” Carstensen said. “Then we'll actually know what the market is.”

Regulation and observation will be key to measure the success or failure of the market.

Carstensen said that as the Nutmeg State’s market matures, retailers will “pull that business back into Connecticut when we become more competitively priced.”

Peake agreed that “as (more Connecticut retailers) open up, we can probably expect the vast majority of those folks to be buying cannabis in Connecticut.”

And Carstensen said that as much as interstate cannabis purchases skew understanding Connecticut’s market, it also serves as a check on oversaturating the Nutmeg State’s cannabis economy...

And, Carstensen said, if there were too many cannabis dispensaries, "the market will tell us."

"They’ll close,” the economics professor said.

If you're a journalist looking to know more about this emerging industry in Connecticut and beyond, let us help.

Fred Carstensen is a University of Connecticut professor and director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis. He is a renowned an expert in the areas of public policy, economic history, and economics. Simply click on his icon now to arrange a time to talk today.

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Fred Carstensen, Ph.D.


Professor Fred Carstensen is an expert in the areas of public policy, economic history and economics.

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