Package Stores Reject Selling Pot In Future
The Connecticut Package Stores Association is rejecting any possibility of selling recreational marijuana if it is legalized in the state.
“The stores are in the alcohol beverage business and oppose the inclusion of package stores as a designated seller of recreational marijuana,’’ said Carroll J. Hughes, the association’s executive director and chief lobbyist.
The store owners say they lack the expertise and instead want to maintain their current focus on selling their own products.
“It’s like a package store selling OxyContin,’’ Hughes said in an interview.
The association rejects using the multitiered model of the liquor business that includes manufacturers, wholesalers and then retailers who serve the general public. The idea is being discussed at the Capitol as attorneys are crafting bills to be considered by the general law, judiciary, appropriations and finance committees. A public hearing on marijuana legalization is expected March 13 in the general law committee.
In Massachusetts, some liquor store owners have been lining up to sell marijuana since it was legalized by the voters on the ballot in November 2016.
Rep. Josh Elliott, one of the most outspoken proponents of legalizing marijuana, said that the selling of marijuana does not need to follow the model of alcohol in which wholesalers provide alcohol to the package stores, which then sell it at the retail level.
“I don’t know if the package stores could do it,’’ Elliott said in an interview. “It would be complicated. In my mind, it would be completely unnecessary. I don’t see any real need to have that makeup. Why couldn’t we have the growers sell directly?’’
Despite his strong support for legalizing marijuana, Elliott said the entire question is essentially moot at the moment because there aren’t the votes to pass a new law. No committee of the legislature has ever