Key Aspects of the Recently Passed Connecticut Adult Cannabis Use Act

Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize cannabis for adult use when Governor Ned Lamont put the SB 1202 program into effect on June 22, 2021.

The new law comes into force on July 1, 2021.

Below are answers to the who, what, when, and where questions surrounding this significant Connecticut industry expansion.

Who is overseeing this initiative?

  • The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and a newly created Social Equity Council

  • The DCP will license and regulate cannabis companies

  • A 15-member Social Justice Council will be set up (within the Ministry of Economic and Community Development) to set the criteria for social justice claims, including making recommendations to DCP for an equitable cannabis program

When are the important dates?

  • On July 1, 2021: Adults aged 21 and over are allowed to legally own cannabis and cannabis products

  • Until July 31, 2021: All appointments are made to the Social Equity Council

  • On or before September 1, 2021: The Social Equity Council publishes the necessary documentation requirements to educate applicants about ownership, residence, and income requirements to qualify as social justice applicants.

  • On October 1st, 2021: Medical patients can grow marijuana at home

  • No later than 30 days After the Social Equity Council sets ownership, residence and income criteria for social justice applicants: DCP / Social Equity Council will begin accepting applications for all license classes

  • Sometime in 2022: Retail sales of cannabis will begin

  • On July 1, 2023: Adults 21 and older can grow marijuana at home

What adult license types will be available?

  • Retailer / Hybrid Dealer
  • Cultivator
  • Microcultivator
  • Product manufacturer
  • Food and beverage manufacturers
  • Product packer
  • Delivery service or carrier

There will be a two-step licensing process: deployment (expires after 14 months) and final license.

Where can these establishments be located?

  • Until June 30, 2024, the municipalities cannot grant more retailers or smallholders a zoning permit than a number that would allow one retailer and one smallholder per 25,000 inhabitants

  • The DCP cannot approve the relocation of pharmacies or hybrid retailers to a location that is more than 10 miles from their current location

  • Communities can restrict the proximity of cannabis facilities to religious institutions, schools, charities, hospitals, veterans homes, or certain military facilities

  • Municipalities can prohibit all classes of cannabis operations from opening within their jurisdiction, but they cannot prohibit or prohibit the supply of cannabis

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