Connecticut Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS CONNECTICUT'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Connecticut’s adult-use legalization efforts have been slow moving, although recreational cannabis use has been decriminalized throughout the state. Connecticut is aiming to create an equitable program, encouraging participation from social equity participants, and collaborating with surrounding states New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island to standardize and regulate a majority of the Northeast market. Currently, Connecticut has a medical cannabis program with 14 operating dispensaries, four operating producers and 41,391 patients.
WHAT ARE CONNECTICUT'S CANNABIS LAWS?
On June 1, 2012 the Public Act 12-55 was signed into law by Governor Malloy allowing patients with qualifying debilitating medical conditions the opportunity to purchase and possess medical cannabis with the written certification from a physician. However, unlike other states allowing medical cannabis, the law did not allow patients the right to grow the plant within the privacy of their home. Under the Public Act 12-55, the state allowed ten dispensaries, all of which are currently occupied. A patient or caregiver is allowed to possess the amount deemed necessary by a physician to meet a one month supply for the patient. Connecticut's current medical cannabis laws can be found here.
Although recreational cannabis is still illegal in Connecticut, major cannabis reform changes may be forthcoming depending upon the outcome of multiple bills, including the Governor supported S.B. No. 16. Additionally, two ancillary bills are pending in legislation in regard to expungement. The Clean Slate Bill will erase specific cannabis related convictions automatically upon legalization, and it’s opposing bill takes an even more expansive approach to cannabis decriminalization. Connecticut's actions to legalize cannabis are focused on equity ensuring those who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, specifically cannabis, have an opportunity to emerge in the industry's new opportunities.
WHAT IS CONNECTICUT'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Connecticut is not currently accepting cannabis business license applications at this time. Point7 will provide an update when the legislature allows otherwise. Stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter, the Cannabis Industry Weekly Rollup.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN CONNECTICUT?
In June 2011, after a close vote in the Senate and a 90-57 vote in the House, Governor Malloy signed legislation decriminalizing cannabis possession. Governor Malloy said, “ Let me make it clear- we are legalizing the use of cannabis. There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders.” Governor Malloy is clearly stating his advocacy for the legalization of cannabis. Although recreational cannabis is decriminalized, possession offenses are subject to fines ranging from $150-500 for under one-half ounce to $2,000 and a possible one year jail sentence for possession of more than one-half ounce.
One year after decriminalization, Governor Malloy signed into law HB5389, legalizing medical cannabis in Connecticut. Afterwhich, Chapter 120f, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marjiana, was added to the Connecticut General Statutes. This initiative made the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) the state’s regulatory body for medical cannabis. Under this law, a patient may possess up to two and one-half ounces or 56.7 grams per month, unless a lesser amount is recommended by his/her physician. Prohibited under HB 5389 is the ability to grow in-home plants.
DOES CONNECTICUT HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE CONNECTICUT CANNABIS MARKET?
Although Connecticut cannabis proponents have failed in their attempts to legalize recreational cannabis in the past, the momentum for reform on recreational cannabis remains strong within the state. Governor Lamont voiced his support during his February State of the State address, speaking on his work with chairmen of key legislative committees to draft legislation that would legalize cannabis for a statewide recreational, adult-use market. During these early stages of development, there are many ways to support the cannabis movement within your state. Contact Point7 to learn the steps you can take to ensure readiness when recreational passes and licenses become available.