Connecticut businessman Joe Palmieri is hoping to get one the few state licenses to grow medical marijuana. (Published Friday, Aug. 30, 2013)
A Connecticut man looking to start a medical marijuana growing operation says he's relieved that the U.S. Department of Justice is not planning to go after states that have marijuana laws.
"It lifts a big weight off of all our shoulders," Joe Palmieri, said.
Palmieri is hoping to get a license from the state. He's already constructed a special growing lab inside an old cargo container at a Bridgeport warehouse.
"It's a system that's designed inside," Palmieri said. "It allows us to control the day. Every day is a perfect day inside the container."
Right now Palmieri is growing tomato plants. He spent months researching how to come up with a state of the art growing facility and even traveled to Colorado to test his design by growing pot.
In Bridgeport he is growing tomato plants under special lights and in a climate controlled setting. The plants grow at twice the speed of normal ones.
"Once we get our license it will be very simple to take one plant out and replace it with another," Palmieri said.
Before state regulations were approved on Tuesday, some expressed concerns that the federal government could interfere with Connecticut's new medical marijuana law. That law will allow patients with debilitating conditions to get a prescription for pot under strict guidelines.
Palmieri said the fact that the feds appear to be relaxing their stance on state pot laws is also good news for banks who could help to finance new medical marijuana operations like his.
"I hope so," he said. "The banks need to get on board with us and you know it makes the process a whole lot easier."
Published at 5:29 PM EDT on Aug 30, 2013