HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s first retail recreational cannabis sales will begin as soon as Jan. 10, state regulators announced Friday, with about half of the state’s medical marijuana operators expanding their businesses to include the new market for all adults 21 and over.

As many as 40 more retailers, along with dozens of other marijuana-related businesses, are expected to open by the end of 2023.Additional retailers could follow.

«This is is just a start,» said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull. «More retailers will be opening up over time as they build out their businesses and get approval from us.»

Medical marijuana dispensaries in New Haven, Branford, Torrington, Newington, Stamford, Willimantic, Danbury, Montville and business success Meriden successfully completed the necessary steps to convert to a «hybrid license» and therefore will be allowed on Jan. 10 at 10 a.m.to sell cannabis products to all adults — not just people with medical marijuana cards.

They have also met local zone requirements. Roughly 50 of the state’s 169 cities and towns have so far issued a prohibition or moratorium on cannabis establishments.

The Department of Consumer Protection’s announcement of upcoming retail sales comes a little more than a week after customers in were allowed to buy recreational marijuana at five retail stores, a number that could grow to as many as 33 stores.

About 20 states nationwide had approved sales, including neighboring

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