Connecticut To Open Adult-Use License Application Window

Connecticut is preparing to accept applications for specific adult-use cannabis business licenses.

On Tuesday, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced it would begin accepting applications in February.

The announcement follows the Social Equity Council’s final approval of technical assistance plans on Tuesday morning.

DCP also announced the number of licenses it will distribute for each adult-use business type in the first lottery round.

DCP Commissioner Michelle Seagull says the work by the Social Equity Council is a critical step in the licensure process for Connecticut’s new adult-use cannabis market.

According to Commissioner Seagull, the work will be instrumental in guaranteeing that equity goals established by the law are met.

“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,” says Commissioner Seagull. “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.”

Licensing Rounds

According to DCP, it will hold multiple lotteries regularly, and announce the number of available licenses before each round.

DCP says the application round for the eight license types will open on a staggered basis, with the first application period opening for 90 days.

Applications for social equity cultivator licenses in areas disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization will have a one-time 90-day application window from February 3, 2022, to May 2, 2022.

“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,” says DCP Deputy Commissioner Andréa Comer. “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 says it will hold a social equity lottery and a general lottery for each license type.

Social Equity Applicants

The Social Equity Council will review social equity lottery applicants to confirm their status.

Social equity applicants who meet the law-defined income and residency requirements must own or control at least 65 percent of the business to qualify.

Once the Social Equity Council has approved social equity applicants selected through the lottery process, DCP will conduct the general lottery.

According to DCP, all approved social equity applicants and those selected by the general lottery can apply for provisional licenses.

The DCP says it expects to open a second lottery application window for most license types in the second half of 2022.

DCP Drug Control Director Rod Marriott says the Department encourages applicants to be thorough and complete their applications carefully and thoughtfully.

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

The first 90-day application period for each license type will open on the following dates:

  • Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator: February 3, 2022 (non-lottery)
  • Retailer: February 3, 2022
  • Micro-cultivator: February 10, 2022
  • Delivery Service: February 17, 2022
  • Hybrid Retailer: February 24, 2022
  • Food and Beverage: March 3, 2022
  • Product Manufacturer: March 10, 2022
  • Product Packager: March 17, 2022
  • Transporter: March 24, 2022

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)