As Connecticut prepares to issue cannabis business licenses, potential applicants are eager to learn the cannabis licensing requirements in Connecticut. While fine-tuning each Connecticut cannabis licensing requirement still needs to be worked out, what’s clear is that understanding the regulatory, financial and marketing landscape will require attention to detail, a little luck, and the help of an experienced and trustworthy partner.
Cannabis Licensing Requirements in Connecticut: Regulatory Framework
As of this writing, the department has not yet determined the maximum number of licenses issued in each category. However, the state has made it clear that one Connecticut cannabis licensing requirement is that at least half of all such cannabis business licenses be allocated to social equity applicants. At present, the state’s Social Equity Council is currently determining the criteria for such applicants.
The Council is required to reach its conclusions no later than January 1, 2022. Some 30 days after the Council has identified the required qualifications and supporting documentation for such applicants, the state may begin accepting cannabis license applications. Thus far, the state has identified nine categories:
- Hybrid Retailer (selling both medical and adult-use cannabis)
- Cultivator (working 15,000 square feet or more)
- Micro-Cultivator (working between 2,000 and 10,000 square feet)
- Cannabis Product Manufacturer
- Cannabis Food and Beverage Manufacturer
- Cannabis Product Packager
- Cannabis Delivery Service
- Cannabis Transporter
Connecticut will process cannabis business license applications through the Department of Consumer Protection (DPA). As of this writing, the department has not yet determined the maximum number of licenses issued in each category. This means that all applicants must—in addition to being familiar with the regulatory framework—be laser-focused on the type of license they’re pursuing.
Licensing and Application Fees
Connecticut plans to hold two lotteries for license applications: The first one will award licenses earmarked for social equity applicants, as noted earlier. The second will include unsuccessful social equity applicants as well as all applicants not designated as social equity recipients. The system is designed to avoid the possibility of applicants having to pay large sums even if they are unsuccessful in being granted a license. The current fee schedule is:
- Retailer or hybrid retailer fee: $500 lottery fee, $5,000 provisional license fee, $25,000 final license or renewal fee;
- Cultivator fee: $1,000 lottery fee, $25,000 provisional license fee, $75,000 final license or renewal fee;
- Micro-cultivator fee: $250 lottery fee, $500 provisional license fee, $1,000 final license or renewal fee;
- Product manufacturer fee: $750 lottery fee, $5,000 provisional license fee, $25,000 final license or renewal fee;
- Food and beverage manufacturer, delivery service, or transporter fee:$250 lottery fee, $1,000 provisional license fee, $5,000 final license or renewal fee;
- Product packager fee: $500 lottery fee, $5,000 provisional license fee, $25,000 final license or renewal fee
You’ll note there are fees for “provisional licenses.” These licenses will be granted to those applicants selected in the lottery; they expire after 14 months and are not renewable. During this time, license-holders may apply for a final license. These final license applications will require:
- A contract with an approved seed-to-sale vendor in accordance with the bill’s provisions
- A legal right to occupy the location where the cannabis business named in the application will be located
- Any necessary local zoning approval for the cannabis establishment
- A social equity plan
- A workforce development plan
- Written policies for preventing diversion and misuse of cannabis and sales to underage persons
- Any and all other security requirements set forth by the department based on the specific license type
- A labor peace agreement entered into between the licensee and a bona fide labor organization
- A certification that the licensee is using a project labor agreement for construction projects of $5 million or more
Navigate through the regulatory landscape and increase your chances of success by working with a cannabis consulting agency to secure your Connecticut cannabis license.