Officials from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) released the names of 16 adult-use cannabis cultivation license applicants on July 19 that they plan to move forward with in a review process.
The announcement came a week after the 16 businesses were approved by the state’s Social Equity Council for satisfactorily meeting the requirements set forth by state law to qualify for the Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA) cultivator license type.
Selected from a pool of 41 applications—from a one-time application period of three months— the social equity licensees must own or control at least 65% of the qualifying business, as well as meet income and residency requirements outlined in the law. Specifically, individuals who applied for the licenses must have resided in a DIA for at least five of the past 10 years or at least nine years before the age of 18.
“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 DCP press release Tuesday.
“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,” he said. “We are ensuring those communities most harmed have an opportunity to be leaders in this newly regulated industry.”
The DIA businesses that were approved by the Social Equity Council and have been contacted by DCP officials for next steps in the review process include:
- 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
The 16 applicants and their backers have been asked to submit additional information for a required background check to be conducted by a third-party processing company. DCP’s review of the applications is expected to take several weeks.
Once the background checks and DCP reviews are complete, the qualifying applicants can pay the appropriate fees and move forward with the next phase of licensure, including establishing their business in a DIA for operation.
“I am proud of the work the council has done to get to this point in the process while maintaining a commitment to equity and inclusion, as well as future reinvestment in the communities most harmed by the war on drugs,” said DCP Deputy Commissioner Andréa Comer, who serves as chair of the Social Equity Council. “We are excited for what comes next, and to see these businesses thrive in this new marketplace.”
Adult-use cannabis legalization was approved by the state Legislature and signed by Lamont in June 2021. Commercial retail sales are anticipated to begin at the end of 2022.