Medical Marijuana in Connecticut
On May 31, 2012, Governor Malloy signed into law HB 5389, or known as An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana, following a 21-13 vote in the state Senate. This Act not only legalized medical marijuana for qualified residents, but also established the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program (“MMP”) under the Department of Consumer Protection (“DCP”). See Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 21a-408-1–21a-408-70 (2012). Currently, the number of producers is four (4) producers and eighteen (18) registered dispensaries.
Recreational Marijuana Use in Connecticut
On June 22, 2021, Governor Lamont signed into law SB 1201, or known as the Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act (“REFRCA”), making recreational use of marijuana legal for Connecticut residents age 21 and up. This Act permits Connecticut adult-residents to possess up to one and a half (1 ½) ounces on their persons, with an additional maximum of five (5) ounces in a locked container at your residence or in your car. Furthermore, beginning in October 2021, medical marijuana patients may cultivate three (3) mature- and (3) immature-plants at their residence for personal use.
Under the REFRCA, the Department of Consumer Protection (“DCP”) was granted governing authority over establishing agency regulations and licensing standards.. This Act lists several different categories of cannabis establishment licenses:
- Product Manufacturer
- Food and Beverage Manufacturer
- Product Packager
- Hybrid Retailer
- Dispensary Facility
- Delivery Service
Furthermore, the REFRCA includes Individual Licenses and Registrations: Backer, Key Employee, and Employee. For further details on cannabis establishment licenses, click CT.gov_Cannabis.
In addition, the REFRCA created the Social Equity Council, which is given the responsibility to create criteria for social equity applicants—those who were negatively impacted by the enforcement of drug laws. To qualify as a social equity applicant, the individual who is applying for the cannabis establishment license must own or control at least 65% of the business and meet the income and residency requirements outlined in the law.
A “Social Equity Applicant” is somebody who:
- Had an average household income of less than three times the State median household income over the last 3 tax years; AND,
- Was a resident of a disproportionately impacted area for at least 5 of the past 10 years; OR
- Was a resident of a disproportionately impacted area for at least 9 years before the age of 18.
Lastly, the REFRCA imposed several tax provisions on consumers purchasing recreational cannabis. The excise tax rates are dependent on the THC content of the product. Furthermore, Connecticut consumers of recreational marijuana will not only pay a gross receipts tax, but also a state sales tax.
Upcoming Marijuana Business License Applications in Connecticut
You can view the 2018 Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility License here: 2018 Application
Our team can work with you to put your application and business plan together.
Currently, the DCP is not accepting Medical Marijuana Business License applications, however, they will be opening another application in the near future. If you are a currently licensed medical marijuana producer or dispensary facility who wishes to engage or convert your license in the adult-use market, you are not subject to the lotteries detailed below.
With recreational marijuana business licenses being the DCP’s primary focus currently, there will be two (2) lotteries to acquire an adult-use license:
1. Social Equity Lottery
- Social Equity Cultivator: Feb. 3rd – May 3rd, 2022
- Micro-Cultivator: Feb. 10th – May 11th, 2022
- Product Manufacturer: Mar. 10th – June 8th, 2022
- Food & Beverage Manufacturer: Mar. 3rd – June 1st, 2022
- Product Packager: Mar. 17th – June 15th, 2022
- Retailer: Feb. 3rd – May 4th, 2022
- Hybrid Retailer: Feb. 24th – May 25th, 2022
- Delivery: Feb. 17th – May 18th, 2022
- Transporter: Mar. 24th – June 22nd, 2022
2. General Lottery
- This second round is anticipated to be in Late Summer/ Early Fall 2023
In each round, there will be an equal number of available licenses under each license category. For more information on the upcoming application process, click DCP Press Release.
Now is the time to build a strong support team to help guide you through this challenging, yet rewarding process. Whether you are preparing to enter the business of recreational cannabis sales or expanding your medical marijuana facility, our team will be with you every step of the way. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts today!
Last Updated: July 20th, 2023