Bustling and bland: Inside New Haven, Connecticut’s first legal weed shop
Leafly visited one of the state’s brand new dispensaries to sample the legal goods. Here’s what we found.
On cold weekend nights, Yale students smoke up a pungent and merry storm on the sidewalks of New Haven’s posh, bar-lined downtown area. Yet the town’s sole pot shop offers a much more restrained vibe.
Connecticut launched legal sales just a few weeks ago, on January 10. Although state officials have only given nine existing medical dispensaries a green-light to begin rec sales so far, the CT Dept. of Consumer Protection began accepting new business applications on February 3rd.
Only one of the first nine shops is located in New Haven. Called Affinity Wellness, the dispensary is situated a few miles from downtown in the quaint neighborhood of Westville.
Curious about checking out the shop yourself? Read on to learn more about Affinity’s menu, its mandatory pre-order policy, our on-site experience, and what we’re told about the shop’s only edible offering.
Lots of flower, very limited edibles
Affinity Wellness requires all adult-use customers to place their orders in advance, and to select a 30-minute same-day window to come and pick them up. Fine Fettle Dispensary—which owns three of the other shops that can currently sell to adults—has instituted a similar policy.
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As for Affinity’s menu, the shop currently offers roughly 20 strains in pre-packaged eighths that sell for $50-60. The menu features ten pre-roll options to choose from, which run for about $30 bucks per two grams of bud.
The flower is sourced from a handful of growers: Advanced Grow Labs, CTPharma, and Curaleaf.
Those same manufacturers also provide the shop’s wide selection of vape carts.
As I prepared to place my order, I noticed that the shop only had one edible available: A CBD-dominant sour strawberry and peach gummy from CTPharma. A few days later, I noticed the item was no longer available on the online menu. As of this writing, it has two different gummy products for sale.
Other shops in Connecticut similarly had few edibles on their respective menus.
The vibe: A cheery pharmacy
The mandatory pre-order policy offers one big incentive: You’re in and out in just a few minutes.
On a Sunday morning, just minutes after Affinity opened its doors, customers had already begun streaming in at a steady clip.
To get inside, customers must show ID at the front door and check in before employees direct them around a corner to the shopping area, where the products for sale aren’t exactly on display.
Customers, including medical patients, don’t have an opportunity to check out what they’re buying at Affinity. Instead, they step up to a window and show their IDs again before an employee retrieves their pre-ordered purchase.
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I asked the Affinity employee who grabbed my gummies how the first weeks had been going. “Busy,” she said, with a smile and wry sigh.
The gummies cost $30 for a pack of 20. A few small taxes are added on top: A $0.13 edibles potency tax, $0.90 for a municipal tax, and just under two bucks for the state sales tax. The grand total for a 100 milligram package of edibles: $33.
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Gummy boasts a nice effect and way too much sugar
The CTPharma gummies offered a mixed experience:
The CTPharma offerings contain roughly 5 milligrams of THC and 11 milligrams of CBD each. They provide a well-balanced and mild high that’s great for unwinding at the end of a long day.
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While the packaging ain’t nothin’ to write home about, their flavor was the most notable turn-off: These gummies are extremely sweet and coated in lots of sugar that fell off the gummies and left a sticky mess on my hands.
Sugar levels aside, the gummies are undoubtedly worth a try. But hopefully Connecticut will see bigger menus and wider access soon enough.