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Conn. medical marijuana business group discussed

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012

The department, meanwhile, is expected to submit regulations to the General Assembly by July 1. The legislation passed by state lawmakers limits the number of marijuana growing operations in the state to a minimum of three and maximum of 10, but did not spell out the number of dispensaries that can be located in the state. The law also did not include any details about possible medical marijuana products that can be produced, such as creams and foods that contain the drug.

Williams said he's concerned that some communities are already considering changes to their local zoning laws that would apply rules for adult-oriented businesses to medical marijuana dispensaries. He attributed such proposals to decades of fear about marijuana, something he said the business alliance could help to overcome by ensuring the industry will be operated professionally like other medical services.

"I think that when you're looking at cancer patients, patients with HIV-AIDS and saying, 'yeah, you need to go to the place right next to the strip club,' that's insulting in so many ways," he said.

Konieczny said there's a potential for more than 100,000 patients in Connecticut to use the state's medical marijuana law. That has prompted interest from everyone from entrepreneurs to attorneys about getting into the medical marijuana business.

Tracey Gamer-Fanning, president of the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance, said she "can't imagine a better business to go in right now." She credits the drug with helping her handle brain cancer.

"This is huge," she said. "This will change the way that people deal with their illnesses."