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It’s a big day for prospective cannabis licensees in Connecticut. The state has opened applications for social equity adult-use licenses – ahead of New York – following the Social Equity Council’s final approval last month. 

Qualified retail applicants will enter a lottery system to apply for a provisional license. The first round will remain open for 90 days and award 12 licenses: six to general retailers and six to qualified social equity applicants. 

The council will conduct the general lottery after selecting social equity applicants. To qualify as a social equity applicant, at least 65% of the ownership or control of the business must be held by people who meet the income and residency requirements. 

Cultivator license applications for those in disproportionately impacted areas will also have a one-time, 90-day application period without a lottery process. More application periods will open over the next month, with most offering two lotteries: one for social equity applicants and one for the general public. 

This major step towards recreational sales comes shortly after Connecticut legalized cannabis last summer. Cannabis sales are expected to begin in the Nutmeg State as early as the second half of this year. 

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