The state is about to take a major step toward the sale of recreational cannabis for adults in Connecticut.
The first application period for certain licenses will open on Thursday. It is for retailers as well as cultivators setting up in areas impacted by the war on drugs.
Cannabis was approved for adult use in Connecticut in June 2021 and retail sales are anticipated to begin in the state by the end of the year. The state Department of Consumer Protection is going to start accepting the applications.
The Department of Consumer Protection will hold multiple lotteries on an ongoing basis and will announce the number of available licenses before each application round.
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“There's a lot to balance," Michelle Seagull, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection, said.
"You do want to create business opportunities, but also want to be cautious about not having an oversupply in the market or having so many businesses open up that one, maybe the licensing process drags on so long that the workload becomes unmanageable,” Seagull said.
For most license categories, the Department of Consumer Protection will run two lotteries - one for social equity applications and a second general lottery.
There will be application rounds for the eight license types. The application period for the first round of lotteries will remain open for 90 days.
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Applications for social equity cultivator licenses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas will have a one-time 90-day application period beginning Feb. 3 and ending May 4.
Applicants selected in the social equity lottery are subject to review by the Social Equity Council to confirm their social equity status.
To qualify as a social equity applicant, at least 65 percent of the ownership or control of the business must be held by individuals who meet the income and residency requirements for a social equity applicant outlined in the law.
Once the social equity applicants are selected through the lottery process and approved by the Council, DCP will conduct the general lottery. All social equity approved applicants and those selected in the general lottery will be eligible to apply for a provisional license. More information about the lottery process is available at ct.gov/cannabis.
The department expects to open a second lottery application period for most license types in the second half of 2022.
The first application period for each license type will open for a period of 90 days on the following dates:
Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator: Feb. 3, 2022 (non-lottery)
- Retailer: Feb. 3, 2022
- Micro-cultivator: Feb. 10, 2022
- Delivery Service: Feb. 17, 2022
- Hybrid Retailer: Feb. 24, 2022
- Food and Beverage: March 3, 2022
- Product Manufacturer: March 10, 2022
- Product Packager: March 17, 2022
- Transporter: March 24, 2022
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Number of Licenses
An equal number of licenses will be available to social equity and general applicants.
- Retailer: 6 general licenses, 6 Social Equity licenses
- Micro-cultivator: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
- Delivery Service: 5 general licenses, 5 Social Equity licenses
- Hybrid Retailer: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
- Food and Beverage: 5 general licenses, 5 Social Equity licenses
- Product Packager: 3 general licenses, 3 Social Equity licenses
- Product Manufacturer: 3 general licenses, 3 Social Equity licenses
- Transporter: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
Applicants for cannabis establishments licensed under the following provisions are not subject to the lottery process:
- Currently licensed medical marijuana producers converting to engage in the adult-use cannabis market
- Currently licensed medical marijuana dispensary facilities converting to a hybrid retailer license to allow for the sale of cannabis for both medicinal and adult-use
- Applications for social equity cultivators located in a Disproportionately Impacted Area that meet the requirements outlined in Section 149 of Public Act 21-1 of the June 2021 Special Session
- Applicants applying for a cannabis establishment license as an Equity Joint Venture or Social Equity Partner with a licensed medical marijuana producer or dispensary facility
- Social Equity Council Micro-Cultivator Assistance Program (to be developed by the Social Equity Council)
Applications will be available at ct.gov/cannabis.
Interested applicants can view a description of each license type to determine which is appropriate for their business.