Online applications open for Connecticut retail marijuana licenses

You can now apply for a license to open a retail marijuana store in Connecticut.
You can do it online, but it is not an easy process. Once you've filled out the application, there is a mountain of paperwork that needs to be submitted. But for some cannabis capitalists, all the effort is worth it.
"We're going to hopefully be going in as a cultivator. And then there's a whole lottery process for hopefully a delivery license. And hopefully a dispensary license," said Wepa! Farms owner Luis Vega.
Dispensaries are already open in Massachusetts. By the end of this year, there could be some open in Connecticut as well.
Applications are now open for a retail dispensary, but the state is only giving out 12 licenses to start. Applicants have 90 days to apply.
All the licenses will be picked in a lottery. Half are reserved for Social Equity Applicants in Disproportionately Impacted Areas hit hard by the drug war.
Connecticut's Social Equity Council will decide who gets priority access, but so far it's not even sure who will approve the applications yet.
Wepa! Farms plans to apply for a Social Equity license.
"Our farm is in Shelton, our lab is in North Haven. I live out in Meriden. So, we're all over the state. I would love something along the I-95, 91, corridor," said Vega.
There will be another round next year for anyone who does not get chosen this year.
Applications can be found here, and must be completed through the online portal. Information about what is required to apply for each license type is available here. Interested applicants can view a description of each license type to determine which license is appropriate for their business.
Applicants are encouraged to submit the most thorough and complete application possible when applying for a cannabis establishment license and not to rush their application submission. Lottery applications will not be reviewed until after the close of the application window. There is no advantage to submitting a lottery application early.
All individuals that are identified as backers associated with the cannabis establishment application must also complete a backer application before the close of the application window to ensure they are considered as part of the application.
Applications available as of February 3, 2022:
  • Lottery applications for adult-use cannabis retailers
  • Non-lottery applications for Cultivators located in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA)
  • Equity Joint Ventures
  • Non-lottery applications for conversion from Medical Marijuana Producer to Expanded Producer
  • Non-lottery applications for conversion from Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Hybrid Retailer
All lottery application periods and the application period for DIA Cultivators will be open for three months. There is no closing date for conversion applications or Equity Joint Ventures.
The remaining 90-day lottery application periods will open on the following schedule:
  • 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
The department expects to open a second lottery application period for most license types in the second half of 2022. Applicants who apply in the first round of lotteries that are not selected and wish to take part in future lotteries, must reapply and pay the lottery fee in subsequent lottery opportunities.
Interested applicants with questions about the application process can email dcp.cannabis@ct.gov.
Cannabis was approved for adult-use in June 2021. Adult-use cannabis retail sales are anticipated to begin in the state by the end of 2022. For information about Adult-Use Cannabis, click here.