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Connecticut Set to Accept Cannabis Business License Applications |

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) said that it would begin accepting applications for some adult-use cannabis license types in 30 days, following the final approval of technical assistance plans by the department’s Social Equity Council earlier on Tuesday.

“This work by the Social Equity Council is a critical step in the licensure process for the emerging Adult-Use cannabis market in Connecticut and will be instrumental in ensuring the equity goals established in the law are met,” DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said in a press release from the agency. 

Connecticut lawmakers legalized adult use and possession last summer. This made Connecticut the fourth state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2021. Connecticut regulators are currently creating rules that will govern adult-use cannabis. The state’s dispensaries should begin selling recreational marijuana as soon as possible this year. 

DCP also disclosed the numbers of licences available for every adult-use cannabis type in the initial lottery round, which will take place later in this year. The total number of licensed retailers, delivery and hybrid retail will amount to 12 and 10 respectively. Licenses for all types are equally distributed among social equity and general applicants. 

In the first round lottery, the department will issue a few licenses to other cannabis-related businesses, including manufacturers, micro-cultivators and transporters. All license types are equally distributed among general and social equity applicants. 

“The initial number of available licenses is not a cap, but a starting point for opening the adult-use cannabis market in an effective, measured and thoughtful way,” Seagull said. “We know people are anxious to apply and see this market open, and we are hopeful that making this information available will help applicants as they begin to prepare for the lottery process.”

Lottery Most licensed 

The application rounds for each of the eight license types that will be selected through the DCP’s lottery process will open on a staggered basis. The first round lottery application period will continue to be open for 90 calendar days. In the second half 2022, most types of licenses will be eligible for a second lottery submission period.

Beginning February 3, applications for cultivators who are located on a pre-identified list of regions disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs will be accepted. These applicants won’t have to enter a lottery. On February 3, the DCP will accept applications from cannabis retailers. Applications for all other types of licenses are open on an ongoing basis until March 24, 2022.

There will be two lottery draws for each type of license: one for social equity and one for general applicants. The Social Equity Council will review applicants who are selected for the social equity lottery to verify their social equity status. At least 65 percent must be controlled or owned by people who are eligible for social equity status.

“Reviewing and vetting applications once they’ve been randomly selected through the lottery process will be a huge task for both DCP and the Social Equity Council,” said Andréa Comer, DCP deputy commissioner and chair of the Social Equity Council. “Establishing the number of licenses that will be available in the first application round is an important step in ensuring the Council, as well as DCP, can fairly and thoroughly review each application and issue licenses in a timely manner.”

DCP said it would hold several lotteries that will allow cannabis businesses to be licensed on an ongoing basis. It is expected that the department will reveal how many licenses are available for each round. Rod Marriott, the director of the DCP’s Drug Control Division, encouraged applicants to complete their applications for cannabis business licenses “carefully and thoroughly.”

“Applications for most license types will be entered into a lottery,” Marriot noted. “There is no advantage for applicants who submit their lottery applications first. Applicants should prioritize submitting the best application they can.”

The lottery is not required for certain types of applicants, which include licensed medical marijuana producers moving to adult-use markets and medical cannabis dispensaries changing to hybrid retailer licenses. A lottery is not required for applicants applying to a license for cannabis establishment as an Equity Joint Venture, Social Equity Partner or with a licensed marijuana producer or dispensary. Also, those who apply for the Social Equity Council Micro-Cultivator Assistance Program or for a Cannabis Establishment License will be granted.

The DCP will allow you to apply online for a cannabis license.