Legal, Connecticut-grown medical marijuana is finally for sale, although it’s not yet priced to compete with the underground market.

After an emotional opening at the Compassionate Care Center in Bethel, co-owner Angela D’Amico said her five-year odyssey to bring medical cannabis to the state is complete.

“This has been an arduous process,” she said Tuesday night, after the 53rd patient of the day visited her dispensary, one of six in the state that will serve the 2,300 registered patients who can each buy up to 2½ ounces, about 70 grams, every month.

D’Amico, a Trumbull resident, said patients came from throughout the western half of the state. Patients from Darien, Stamford, Fairfield, Shelton, Ansonia and Litchfield County towns including New Milford also visited the pharmacist-run facility on its opening day.

Like the other five dispensaries, Compassionate Care Center is selling three strains of marijuana with varying percentages of THC, the most active ingredient. But at $100 for 5 grams — there are 28.4 grams in an ounce — it isn’t inexpensive.

Medical-cannabis activist Tracey Gamer Fanning, of West Hartford, president of the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance, said the retail price at $450 to $600 per ounce dispensaries are charging may be too expensive for fellow cancer patients, who have been purchasing lower-priced marijuana from friends and other illegal sources for years.

But D’Amico and Angelo DeFazio, a pharmacist who grew up in Danbury and opened a cannabis dispensary in Hartford’s North Meadows, predict prices will decline sharply, 15 percent or more, as more Connecticut-grown marijuana reaches the market and additional patients sign up for the program.

Hoping for a price drop

At $80 to $90 for 5 grams, the per-ounce cost at DeFazio’s Arrow Alternative Care approaches $450 an ounce — $50 to $100 above street prices for higher-grade cannabis. One cannabis analyst, …read more