Cannabis in Connecticut

CT Social Equity Council Gives Go-Ahead to 16 Cannabis Cultivation Applicants

The applicants must go through a background check and finish the application process,

A close up of cannabis plants
NBC Connecticut

As Connecticut moves closer to opening dispensaries for recreational cannabis use by adults, 16 applicants for cultivator licenses in the communities the state says have been hit hardest by the war on drugs have received approval from the state to move ahead with the application process.

In June 2021, Connecticut approved adult cannabis use and retail sales are expected to begin later this year, according to the state.  

The Department of Consumer Protection said Tuesday that the Social Equity Council has approved 16 Social Equity Applicants that meet the requirements to proceed with the next steps in the application review process for cultivators located in a Disproportionately Impacted Area.

These areas have "either a historical conviction rate for drug-related offenses greater than one-tenth" or an unemployment rate greater than 10 percent, according to the state.

“Thank you to the Social Equity Council for their work in taking this important step in the licensure process for cannabis businesses,” Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull said in a statement.

The Department of Consumer Protection said the 16 applicants and their backers have been asked to submit additional information for the background check, which is expected to take several weeks.

Seagull said the department will review background checks for the applicants who the council approved and provisional licenses will be granted once the background checks are complete and applicants have submitted the required information and fees. Then, licensees could move forward with setting up their business and applying for a final license.

“These important steps mean Connecticut cannabis cultivation will be primarily operated by people from those communities identified as disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, who qualified as Social Equity Applicants,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are establishing Connecticut as a leader in addressing the inequities and injustices caused by cannabis prohibition. We are ensuring those communities most harmed have an opportunity to be leaders in this newly regulated industry.”

Cannabis Applicants Approved by the Social Equity Council:

  • CT Plant Based Compassionate Care LLC
  • Insa CT, LLC
  • Shangri-La Dispensary
  • Soulstar CT, LLC
  • Nova Farms Connecticut LLC
  • The Flower House LLC
  • FFD 149 LLC
  • The Yard Connecticut LLC
  • Quinnipiac Valley Growth Partners, LLC
  • Impact Initiatives LLC
  • MariMed CTP LLC
  • Connecticut Cultivation Solutions, LLC
  • FRC Holdings LLC
  • River Growers CT LLC
  • Connecticut Social Equity, LLC
  • The Cannabis Garden LLC

Applicants for the DIA Cultivator License were not subject to a lottery process, and there was no limit to the number of DIA Cultivator applicants the Social Equity Council could approve, according to the state, which said it received 41 applications.

Fees the applicants pay will go into the Social Equity Innovation account, which the Department of Consumer Protection said is intended to provide access to capital for businesses, technical assistance for the start-up and operation of a business, funding for workforce education, and funding for community investments in Disproportionately Impacted Areas.

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