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CT Consumer Protection Announces Date for First Application Period for Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses

The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will begin accepting applications for certain adult-use cannabis establishment license types in 30 days, following the Social Equity Council’s final approval of technical assistance plans. The Department is also announcing the number of licenses that will be available for each adult-use cannabis establishment type in the first lottery round.

“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,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “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. 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.”

“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 will hold multiple lotteries on an ongoing basis. DCP will announce the number of available licenses before each application round.

The application rounds for the eight license types that will be selected through the lottery process will open on a staggered basis. The application period for the first round of lotteries will remain open for 90 days.

Applications for social equity cultivator licenses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas will have a one-time 90-day application period beginning February 3, 2022, and ending May 4, 2022.

DCP will hold two lotteries for each license type: a social equity lottery and a general lottery. 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.

“We encourage applicants to be thorough, and complete their applications carefully and thoughtfully,” said DCP Drug Control Director Rod Marriott. “Applications for most license types will be entered into a lottery. There is no advantage for applicants who submit their lottery applications first. Applicants should prioritize submitting the best application they can.”

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: 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. The number of licenses available in each category in the first application round are listed below:

  • 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.

Cannabis was approved for adult-use in June 2021. Adult-use cannabis retail sales are anticipated to begin in the state by the end of 2022. For information about Adult-Use Cannabis, visit ct.gov/cannabis.

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