MJBizMag January 2023 - 36

New York
Maryland
Slim Odds
With incredibly limited
licenses available,
Connecticut is proving
to be a difficult market to
crack-though investment
opportunities exist
By Omar Sacirbey
C
onnecticut is a potentially
lucrative market that was
expected to be up and running
by now.
Just one day before this issue went to
print, state regulators announced that
recreational cannabis sales would begin
Jan. 10.
While a firm launch date is welcome
news, the number of licenses is limited,
so entrepreneurs seeking to break into
that market will have few options.
SLOW START
On Dec. 6, the cannabis program's
Social Equity Council approved
the existing four licensed medical
marijuana producers to supply medical
and adult-use retailers. That led to the
Department of Consumer Protection
approving nine locations held by six
businesses to start selling recreational
cannabis Jan. 10.
Lotteries for the other licensing
categories-such as delivery, product
manufacturing, product packaging and
transporter-haven't been held.
Competition to win a lottery
license has been and continues to
be monumentally stiff. There have
been:
* 8,360 applications for six social
equity retail license applications.
* 7,246 applications for six regular
retail licenses.
* 5,528 applications for two social
equity micro-cultivation licenses.
36 January 2023 | MJBizMagazine
CT
* 2,936 applications for regular
micro-cultivation licenses.
* 1,019 applications for five
social equity food and beverage
manufacturing licenses.
* 952 applications for regular food
and beverage manufacturing
licenses.
* 436 applications for three social
equity product manufacturing
licenses.
* 425 applications for three regular
product manufacturing licenses.
* 944 applications for five social
equity delivery licenses.
* 262 regular applications for five
regular delivery licenses.
Regulators will continue to run
lotteries to issue additional licenses.
" And then they'll assess where they go
from there, " said Bob Wagener, vice
president of business development
at Colorado-based consulting firm
Canna Advisors. " Once you get a
legal market established, it's easier
to build up to an equilibrium. We've
seen states like Oklahoma, (where)
there was no limit, and it was like the
Wild West. "
ADVANTAGES FOR ALL
While licensing caps limit the number
of opportunities in Connecticut, there
are some provisions in the program
rules to try to help small businesses,
including creating a microbusiness
category, reserving half of all licenses
for social equity applicants and having
relatively low application fees.
That said, smaller entrepreneurs
will have to compete against some
of the most dominant multistate
operators in the country, some
of which already operate in
Connecticut's medical marijuana
market. These include Acreage
Holdings, Curaleaf Holdings, Green
Thumb Industries, Trulieve Cannabis
and Verano Holdings.
Moreover, the $3 million licensing
fee for cultivators from so-called
Disproportionately Impacted Areas
(DIA) has also drawn criticism. So far,
nine DIA applicants have received the
provisional licenses.
And while social equity applicants
will get lottery results before nonequity
applicants, existing medical
operators will be allowed to convert
Missouri

MJBizMag January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag January 2023

MJBizMag January 2023 - 1
MJBizMag January 2023 - 2
MJBizMag January 2023 - 3
MJBizMag January 2023 - 4
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