Portland, Simsbury, Watertown and West Haven will be home to facilities that produce medical marijuana for patients to use in accordance with state law, officials announced Tuesday.

The selection of four companies to grow marijuana is a key step in the development of the state’s medical marijuana program, created after a law passed in 2012 allowing people with certain debilitating medical conditions to use the drug.

The companies and locations of their planned facilities are: Advanced Grow Labs, LLC, in West Haven; Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, LLC, in Portland; Curaleaf, LLC, in Simsbury; and Theraplant, LLC, in Watertown.

They were chosen from a pool of 16 applicants.

The selection process for dispensaries to sell medical marijuana is underway and three to five are expected to be chosen in the next two months, according to the Department of Consumer Protection. There are 27 applicants.

Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein has touted the state’s medical marijuana program as following a “pharmaceutical/medical model,” requiring producers to grow pharmaceutical-grade marijuana.

“Today we have selected four producers that embrace that clear vision and who will create state-of-the-art production facilities capable of assuring that pharmaceutical-grade marijuana in a variety of dosage forms is available to seriously ill patients whose doctors believe that this medicine is appropriate for them,” Rubenstein said in a written statement.

The drugs will undergo laboratory testing to provide a profile of the active ingredients so patients can know their drugs are unadulterated and consistent from month to month.

The state began registering patients on an interim basis Oct. 1. As of Tuesday, 1,684 had registered.

The law restricts the use of medical marijuana to people with certain conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

Leave a comment