Twelve CT Cannabis Delivery, Product Packaging, Approved Businesses

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Another dozen applicants have received preliminary approval for cannabis licenses ranging from delivery services to product packaging, bringing them closer to being among the first companies to operate in the new adult-use market of the Connecticut.

The state’s Social Equity Council voted on Friday to approve 12 applications for five different types of cannabis licenses and deny 11 others with little discussion in a special meeting that lasted about 10 minutes.

Here is a breakdown of approvals and denials:

Delivery Service – approved four equity requests; refused a

Micro grower – approved two equity requests

Commodity Packagers – Approved two equity requests; refused a

Retailer – has approved an equity request

Hybrid retailer (can sell both medical and recreational products) – an equity claim was denied

Half of all new cannabis licenses in Connecticut are reserved for social equity applicants who meet income, residency and property criteria – in a bid to prioritize those who have been targeted by the ban and past application.

The council’s vote comes amid a series of lawsuits by denied equity plaintiffs, mostly for grower licenses, challenging the licensing process. One of the lawsuits sought to temporarily suspend the selection of the sixth retail license applicant.

The state issues 12 retail licenses to begin with, six of which are reserved for equity claimants. On Friday, the council approved an application for a sixth license. Previously, the board had given the green light to five requests from stock retailers, which are currently being reviewed by the state Department of Consumer Protection.

The council also forwarded 16 equity cultivator applications to the DCP, which will issue provisional licenses to those who pass a background check. Candidates should not be identified until this process is complete.

On Friday, the board also considered applications for joint-stock ventures — partnerships between licensed medical marijuana producers, cultivators or retailers and plaintiffs — rejecting most proposals. These commercial entities must be owned and controlled at least 50% by a candidate for capital.

Out of 10 EJV applications for retail licenses, three were approved and seven were denied. The council also rejected an application by EJV for a micro-cultivator licence. These applicants did not have to go through the lottery process and now have the option of modifying their applications and resubmitting them to the DCP.

The board engaged the CohnReznick firm to perform an initial review of the equity requests and recommend which ones should be approved or denied. The board rarely, if ever, deviated from the company’s recommendations.

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