RESPONSIBLE AND EQUITABLE REGULATION OF ADULT-USE CANNABIS ACT (RERACA)
On June 22, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Senate Bill 1201 or "Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act" (RERACA) to legalize and regulate adult-use (21 and older) cannabis beginning July 1, 2021.
The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will be charged with the licensing of cannabis businesses.
The sale, manufacture, delivery, and cultivation of cannabis will require a license. The Connecticut measure contemplates multiple classes of licensed operators including:
- Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator
- Delivery Service
- Hybrid Retailer
- Food and Beverage
- Product Manufacturer
- Product Packager
CANNABIS RETAIL BUSINESSES
Legislators anticipate cannabis retail sales to begin before the end of 2022. Municipalities will maintain the authority to prohibit cannabis businesses altogether or to limit the number of licensed businesses within their jurisdictions. Until June 30, 2024, the ratio of licensed cannabis retailers to residents cannot exceed 1 per 25,000.
Licensed cannabis retailers will be prohibited from selling cannabis flower with a THC concentration greater than thirty percent (on a dry-weight basis) or any other cannabis product with a THC concentration greater than sixty percent (on a dry-weight basis), except that these limitations do not apply to pre-filled vape cartridges and regulators may adjust these percentage limitations.
Licensed medical cannabis dispensaries may also apply to sell adult-use cannabis by submission of a conversion plan along with payment of a fee. Licensed medical cannabis cultivators may also apply to cultivate for adult-use by payment of a fee.
SOCIAL EQUITY APPLICANTS AND INITIATIVES
The Connecticut measure contemplates that half of the cannabis business licenses will go to social equity applicants. Social equity applicants are defined as those individuals from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition and enforcement. For social equity applicants, there must be at least 65 percent ownership or control of the business by individuals who meet income and residency requirements for social equity applicants (see FAQs). Such applicants would be subject to lower licensing fees and receive a fifty percent discount for the first three years of license renewals. They may further receive startup costs coverage, workforce training, and technical assistance.
Tax revenues generated from the legalization of cannabis will be reinvested into communities historically impacted by cannabis prohibition and enforcement.
PREPARE NOW FOR YOUR UPCOMING APPLICATION
The legal cannabis industry is growing, evolving, and highly-regulated. To succeed, it is a must for businesses to obtain licenses and insurance necessary to operate legally and position themselves to expand if desired. Leaf Legal, P.C. is fully equipped to guide your company as it obtains licenses, identifies and recruits our industry's top talent, executes its business plan, and navigates Connecticut's ever-evolving regulatory scheme. Contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. to schedule a consultation.
THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION WILL START ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR CERTAIN CANNABIS BUSINESS LICENSE TYPES BEGINNING FEBRUARY 2022
The DCP will start accepting certain types of cannabis business applications in February 2022. The application period for each type of license varies, as well as the number of licensees approved for each type of license. There will be a general lottery and a social equity lottery (with the exception for Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator licenses).
Applications for social equity cultivator licenses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (non-lottery) will have a one-time 90-day application period beginning February 3, 2022.
For applicants in the social equity lottery for other license types, applications will open on February 3, 2022 for a duration of 90 days.
For applicants in the general lottery, the application period starts on different dates between February 3, 2022 through March 24, 2022, depending on the license type, and will last for 90 days from the start date. Below lists the dates for when the application period opens for each licensing category:
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
NUMBER OF LICENSEES APPROVED FOR EACH TYPE OF LICENSE FOR FIRST ROUND OF APPLICATIONS
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
There will likely be a second round application period in the second half of 2022.
Navigate to our licensing page to find other states where licensing is currently open.