(skip this header)

Westport News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

westport-news.com Businesses

« Back to Article

Southwest Connecticut ranks 'high' on marijuana curiosity list

Updated 9:40 pm, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

nextprevious

  • Testing ... Testing ... Scientists (military and otherwise) have been pretty interested in testing the effects of marijuana throughout the decades, and states are entering a whole new kind of marijuana experiment. Legalization will certainly go down in the history books as a watershed moment in our culture's love/hate relationship with the demon weed ... er, cannabis.  

In this gallery, we explore other surprising and historical marijuana moments in America (not chronological). Photo: Ralph Crane, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image / Time Life Pictures
    Testing ... Testing ... Scientists (military and otherwise) have been pretty interested in testing the effects of marijuana throughout the decades, and states are entering a whole new kind of marijuana experiment. Legalization will certainly go down in the history books as a watershed moment in our culture's love/hate relationship with the demon weed ... er, cannabis. In this gallery, we explore other surprising and historical marijuana moments in America (not chronological).
    Photo: Ralph Crane, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

 

Larger | Smaller
Email This
Font
Page 1 of 1

Fairfield County is home to three of Connecticut's five most marijuana-minded municipalities, according to an online resource positioning itself as the Yelp of pot.

Residents of Stamford, Westport and Fairfield ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively in terms of driving traffic to Leafly.com. New Haven came in first and Hartford second.

All told, the state's appetite for pot-related information has mushroomed 170 percent over the past year.

The report placed Connecticut 29th in the U.S. this past year in terms of residents visiting Leafly, which hails itself as the "world's largest cannabis information resource."

Globally, the company's website and recently added mobile app drew 3.5 million visits this March, an increase of 130 percent over last March, the company said.

The company declined to disclose to Hearst Connecticut Media the actual number of visitors that came from each state.

Founded in 2010, the Seattle-based Leafly was acquired a year later by Privateer Holdings, a private-equity fund focused exclusively on businesses in the legal cannabis field.

Leafly lets visitors access over 70,000 reviews of more than 650 strains of cannabis, whose different properties produce various effects on users and can help treat a range of ailments. The website also lets visitors locate medical marijuana dispensaries, cannabis collectives and delivery services in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Holland, Spain and Belgium.

Privateer Holdings was founded by Yale School of Management alumni Brendan Kennedy and Michael Blue. Previously, Blue had worked at a small Greenwich investment bank called de Visscher and Co., which he credits with sharpening his investment savvy.

"While working in Greenwich for an investment bank, I developed the ability to analyze a large number of potential deals on a daily basis," Blue said in an email to Hearst Connecticut. "This skill is critical in my current endeavor as I review the many opportunities in the emerging legal cannabis industry."

Snapshot of demand

The Leafly report, in addition to showing the relative popularity of the site in terms of geography, offers a window into the desires of people who are seeking information of pot.

For example, Connecticut visitors most frequently cite cancer as the debilitating condition for which they are seeking help. That's followed by anxiety, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and migraines.

Across Connecticut, there are 151 physicians who are registered to certify patients for medical marijuana and 1,990 patients so far certified to use it, said Claudette Carveth, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Consumer Protection. Such patients must suffer from one of 11 debilitating conditions agreed upon by the state for medical marijuana use.

In fact, three of the top five conditions listed by Connecticut residents on Leafly -- anxiety, arthritis and migraines -- are not on the state's list, though there is an appeal process in this state to add other ailments.

In descending order of frequency, Connecticut residents also listed insomnia, lack of appetite, depression, headaches and pain as symptoms they are trying to treat.

The top five "effects" Connecticut residents were seeking are "energetic," "euphoric," "happy," "sleepy" and "giggly."

The top five strains of cannabis sought out by Connecticut residents were "Blue Dream," "Sour Diesel," "Girl Scout Cookie," "Green Crack" and "Granddaddy Purple."

Elsewhere

Not surprisingly, the country's most-populous state, California, topped the list of states whose residents most visited the site over the past year. Then came Texas, Washington, Colorado and New York.

In terms of countries, the U.S. came in first, followed by Canada, U.K., Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Italy and Finland.

Overall, anxiety ranked as the top medical condition for which U.S. patients were seeking treatment followed by ADD/ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, migraines, gastrointestinal disorder, arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia and premenstrual syndrome.

tloh@scni.com; twitter.com/timloh