Cannabis plant Credit: Christine Stuart photo

The state Department of Consumer Protection is allowing 16 cannabis cultivators to move forward with their applications. 

The agency is reviewing the applications that were previously approved by the Social Equity Council.

“Thank you to the Social Equity Council for their work in taking this important step in the licensure process for cannabis businesses,” DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said. “DCP will review background checks for those applicants who received a vote of approval from the Council. Provisional licenses will be granted once the background checks are complete and selected applicants have submitted the required information and related fees. Licensees will then be able to move forward with setting up their business and applying for a final license.”

The step is just one of the many in the process. At a meeting on July 12, 25 operators were disqualified from the status because they didn’t meet the criteria. 

In an effort to assist communities harmed by years of government drug enforcement policies, the 2021 law requires that half of business licenses in the newly created industry go to applicants who live in disproportionately impacted communities. 

“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. “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. We are ensuring those communities most harmed have an opportunity to be leaders in this newly regulated industry.”

Although the applicants must live in impacted communities, they are not required to open their initial businesses there. 

“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,” DCP Deputy Commissioner Andréa Comer, who serves as chair of the Social Equity Council, said. “We are excited for what comes next, and to see these businesses thrive in this new marketplace.”

The 16 applicants and their backers have been asked to submit additional information for the required background check. The background check is conducted by a third-party processing company and DCP’s review of the applications is expected to take several weeks. Once the review is complete, the qualifying applicants will be invited to pay the appropriate fees and move forward with the next phase of licensure, including establishing their business in a DIA for operation.

The companies moving to that next phase include:

  • CT Plant Based Compassionate Care LLC
  • Insa, CT LLC
  • Shangri-La Dispensary
  • Soulstar CT LLC
  • Nova Farms Connecticut LLC
  • 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