New Haven, Branford cannabis retailers open with long line and vibrancy

James Eaton

Tony Negron was the first in line to buy recreational marijuana in New Haven Tuesday, arriving at the door of Affinity Health and Wellness at 7 a.m. and waiting three hours for the opening.

He went in for an ID check, was asked for the name and the payment method and received the orders he had made online earlier. He spent around $70, a price he said was reasonable for two cannabis products.

“Coming out, buying weed legally, it’s amazing,” said Negron of East Haven. “It’s the rise of cannabis.” 

Recreational cannabis retailers opened their doors in Connecticut Tuesday morning, less than two years after marijuana was decriminalized at the state level. Among area shops to open were Affinity on Whalley Avenue in the Elm City and RISE, formerly known as Bluepoint Wellness of Connecticut, in Branford.

“I’m here to be a part of history. I’m 40 years old and I never thought I would see weed being sold legally in Connecticut,” Negron said of his reason for being first in line. “It should have been around before because it’s pure, it’s natural.”

People stand in line at Affinity Health and Wellness on Whalley Avenue in New Haven before the opening time on the first day of recreational cannabis sales Tuesday.

Arnold Gold/Hearst Connecticut Media

Ray Pantelena, Affinity’s owner, said the opening day was pre-order only, but if customers in line hadn’t placed any order, a staff member with an iPad would help.

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