Adult use of cannabis is now legal in Connecticut, with possession of up to 1.5 oz. of cannabis permitted. Retail sales for recreational use will likely not be operational until the end of 2022. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will begin accepting applications for certain adult-use cannabis establishment licenses in February of 2022. Applications will be selected through a random lottery process, with separate lotteries for social equity applicants and general applicants. Applications then will be reviewed and vetted by the DCP and the Social Equity Council. The first 90-day application period will open on February 3rd and close on May 4th. There will be multiple lotteries, and DCP will announce the number of licenses available before each application round. In the first round, there will be 56 state licenses available for retailers, micro-cultivators, and other cannabis businesses throughout Connecticut. They will be evenly split between social equity applicants and general applicants. There are also a few license types that are not subject to the lottery process.
In November of 2021, the East Hartford Planning & Zoning Commission approved zoning regulations pertaining to retail sales and production of cannabis. In November of 2022, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to amend their existing cannabis regulations to expand opportunities for cannabis cultivators and consolidate and clarify the regulations. Businesses must first receive a license through DCP before applying to receive a special permit to operate in East Hartford. Please see the following links for the approved regulations, which include definitions of various cannabis uses, and general illustrative maps of where retail and production uses will be permitted as Special Permit Uses.
Social equity provisions in the law legalizing adult use of cannabis are intended to help address long-standing inequities brought about by the prohibition of legal cannabis sales. Social equity applicants are business entities that are at least 65% owned and controlled by an individual or individuals who meet income and residency requirements. Social equity licenses will be for businesses in areas deemed to be disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. Click here to view the map of disproportionately impacted areas in East Hartford, highlighted in blue.