COLCHESTER – For Kyle Provencher, his mom was the inspiration for opening an upscale cannabidiol wellness and supplies store in Putnam almost two years ago.
“My mother got very sick and was given a medical marijuana Rx to help with her ailments,” said Provencher, the majority owner of Green Valley Glass LLC.
“I remember she always felt uncomfortable walking into traditional places. That’s why we wanted to create a place where everyone feels comfortable when they go shopping or just ask questions. “
Provencher and its business partners, who founded the company in 2019, expanded their retail operations to a second store in Colchester. The Green Valley Glass of Colchester at 44 Main Street opens to the public on Wednesday.
“Our vision was to build a clean, education-based company that really helps people with products we believe in,” said Provencher. “We live from the ability to explain to our customers how our products work and which applications are best suited. We also enjoy becoming a community foundation for the CBD and medicinal cannabis industries. “
The store is a newly renovated 1,000-square-foot space across from Colchester Green – a larger retail store had occupied the space but had to consolidate during the COVID pandemic.
The store front is at the intersection of routes 16 and 85.
Provencher said after opening the store in Putnam and having success, they looked for other cities in east Connecticut that shared the same factors: a strong sense of community, support from a local business association, and a citywide commitment to fun, relaxation, and positive energy create.
“Colchester checks all of these boxes and more,” he said. “The Colchester Business Association has been incredibly supportive and the other local small businesses have been very friendly. We look forward to the reappearance of the farmers’ markets and other urban events that bring community members together. “
Cannabis policy reform advocate Nick Bard Stein joined Green Valley Glass earlier this year and will operate the Colchester site.
“Marijuana has been shown to be an effective palliative treatment for everything from relieving pain in end-stage cancer patients, creating peace for veterans and other people with PTSD, to improving the appetite of dangerously frail seniors,” Stein said. “There are currently over 35 conditions that qualify individuals for the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program. New qualification requirements are added every year.
“This has been one of the best-managed medical marijuana programs in the country, and I am proud to join a company that provides resources with CBD wellness, medical cannabis care, and extensive personal experience with cannabis use methods to patients in our community. ”
Make an effort in Putnam
The opening at the end of 2019 could have been a disaster with COVID just around the corner, said Provencher.
“We were so nervous when the pandemic broke out when we were growing fast at the beginning and didn’t want to lose that momentum,” he said. “Here, our business model and welcoming atmosphere helped us stay afloat during the first pandemic.”
The owners have found that more and more customers are willing to travel to the Putnam store from the surrounding cities, despite the problems of the pandemic and. Advertising. The majority of the outlets they contacted turned down attempts to post ads.
Regardless, Green Valley Glass members have worked closely with officials from the Putnam City Council to ensure they respect those who have different views on the industry.
“We’re more than a ‘head shop’,” said Putnam store manager Bryan Langevin, who, together with Wade Hilton, was the key to opening the Putnam store. “We are your local CBD experts and glass lovers.”
With the explosive growth of Connecticut’s medical marijuana program, more patients than ever are in need of high quality glass medical cannabis accessories.
Green Valley Glass obtains a large part of its glass and accessories from artists in the USA and Germany, among others.
“We also offer many electronic devices for a variety of consumption methods,” Provencher said. “For medical marijuana, understanding how best to use their medicine is as important for the patient as it is for them to understand how to use the right medicine for their condition.”
In February, Governor Ned Lamont proposed a law allowing recreational marijuana sales from May 2022.
A bill would tax dry cannabis flowers at $ 1.25 per gram and cut marijuana plants at 50 cents per gram. and wet cannabis at 28 cents per gram. In addition to applying the standard sales tax of 6.35% to marijuana transactions, a 3% surcharge would be added and the proceeds from that would be passed on to local authorities.
The bill would also automatically overturn convictions for possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis before October 1, 2015, and allow those convicted of the offense after that date to apply to the state for deletion.
Stein is passionate about legalizing recreational marijuana and says it would make communities better. He has focused his efforts on a variety of outcomes, including business opportunities for small businesses and state entrepreneurs from communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, and creating a workforce development pipeline in the cannabis industry.
“By creating the best workforce in the nation (or at least New England), Connecticut can attract cannabis companies to our state because of our talent pool,” Stein said. “This approach has been proven in advanced manufacturing, and a similar approach should be followed early in legal recreational cannabis to ensure Connecticut is a leader in this novel, high-potential industry.”