HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Anticipation is building in the cannabis industry—with adult-use sales expected by the end of the year.
One Hartford cannabis business owner is confident this budding industry will thrive in Connecticut.
“We’ve only begun to tap into the power of the plant, and what it can do,” Tiana Hercules, founder and CEO of Connecticut Cultivation Solutions, told News 8.
Hercules, a Hartford criminal justice attorney turned cannabis pioneer, is set to be the one of the first cultivators in the state. She was one of 16 social equity applicants approved by the state to be marijuana cultivators.
Her partner, multi-state operator Ayr Wellness, will help her build out her vision.
“They really do put the consumers in the community they are in first,” Hercules said. “We need to stay true to the social equity side of this to make sure it is equitable.”
For social equity applicants like Hercules, they’re in this to rewrite history, giving back to communities disproportionally affected by the War on Drugs. Providing job opportunities, and most importantly reinvesting revenue, so that these communities can reap the benefits of the industry.
“You’re helping change socioeconomic behaviors for your neighbors,” Hercules said. “To me, its pretty much top tier of making an impact.”
She’s eyeing multiple potential sites in the Hartford area for her cultivation facility and hopes to begin construction before the end of the year. But zoning regulations still need to be established by municipalities —before she’s supplying products to pot shops.
Hercules is keeping a long-term mindset, in an industry she only sees upside.
“I cant wait to share the story with my kids,” Hercules said. “Then their kids, ‘Did you know your grandma was one of the first cannabis licensers?’ Yeah its super cool.”
New research has the U.S. cannabis market valued at $40.0 billion by 2030 — that future growth driven by increased legalization.