Connecticut overwhelmed by response to cannabis licensing exercise

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Only 12 cannabis licenses are available, but there were over 15,000 applications

More than 15,000 applications have been received by the state of Connecticut after the first dozen retail cannabis licenses were announced. The overwhelming number may also be the result of multiple applications, as they were allowed as long as a fee was paid for each submission. Still, there appears to be a large number of parties interested in becoming part of the industry in the Constitution State.

The race to be one of the 12 holders of adult-use cannabis retail licenses in the state appears to be quite fierce. It is possible that some applicants will have better odds than others when the winning lottery ball is drawn.

The first six social equity licenses had a deadline of May 4. A total of 8,537 applications were submitted during that period. An additional 7,245 applications were reported for the first six general licenses. The figures were shared by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

While it would seem that with the sheer number of applicants, this week’s decision would be difficult, in reality, not all applicants have an equal chance of winning. “They can apply all they want, but they have to pay a fee each time,” said DCP communications director Kaitlyn Krasselt.

The nonrefundable application fees for social equity retail licenses and general retail licenses were $250 and $500, respectively. Krasselt made it clear that social equity applications not selected in the social equity lottery will be added to the general lottery.

It has been said that social equity licenses are reserved (in part) for those whose household income is low. However, Connecticut’s application system is intended to give an advantage to those who can afford multiple applications. Once the lottery process is conducted, DCP officials will conduct a thorough investigation before awarding licenses to the winners.