Connecticut Marijuana Retailers Can Open On Christmas And New Year’s, But Alcohol Stores Must Close

People in Connecticut can’t legally buy alcohol on Christmas or New Year’s Day, the state Department of Consumer Protection reminded residents this week—but cannabis is A-OK.

“If you choose to consume alcohol with your holiday celebrations, be sure to make those purchases ahead of time, and, of course, please drink responsibly,” Department of Consumer Protection (DPC) Commissioner Bryan T. Cafferelli said in a statement on Wednesday. “And, because we regulate many things you may be wondering about, Connecticut Law does not prohibit the sale of cannabis, or limit your ability to place wagers during the holidays.”

“No matter how you choose to spend the holidays,” he added, “please know your limit, arrange designated drivers and be respectful of the establishments and communities where you celebrate.”

On both New Year’s and Christmas Day, state law prohibits package stores from opening, and grocery stores are barred from selling beer. To-go sales of liquor are also banned.

“Hours for cannabis licensees,” said the Department of Consumer Protection, “are unaffected.”

“Adults who choose to consume cannabis are reminded to do so responsibly,” the agency added, “including storing cannabis products in their original packaging, locked up and out of reach of children and pets.”

Those who do want to drink on Christmas or New Year’s can head to bars or restaurants in the state, which are allowed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption. Businesses can also stay open an hour late on New Year’s morning—until 3 a.m. instead of the regular 2 a.m.

Connecticut law also bars alcohol sales on Thanksgiving Day, as the department reminded people last month. Marijuana retailers, by contrast, could stay open.

“Cannabis sales at all licensed establishments are allowed on Thanksgiving Day,” the agency said at the time. “Any reporting to the contrary is incorrect and should be disregarded.”

Marijuana stores are, of course, allowed to set different hours for the holidays if they choose to. DCP advised customers to check operating hours with retailers directly.

Since the beginning of this month, Connecticut adults have been be able to buy twice as much marijuana in a single transaction as they previously could. Under a change announced by DCP, recreational purchases are now limited to a half ounce of marijuana, up from the current limit of a quarter ounce.

Regulators said the adjustment was the result of ongoing review of available supply and demand in the state.

Sales of adult-use cannabis have grown steadily in the state this year even as medical marijuana sales have slowed. Overall, however, the market is still growing. The state set a new record for legal sales in November, with nearly $25.7 million in total sales for the month.

That figure includes $15.4 million in sales to adult consumers—the highest amount since the recreational market opened in January.

In fact, every single month since Connecticut’s adult-use market opened in January has set a new record for sales.

Connecticut Task Force To Study Allowing Sale Of Homegrown Marijuana Has Yet To Be Formed, With Report Due In January

Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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