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In 2012, Connecticut became the 17th US state to legalize medical marijuana for qualifying patients. Following a two-year period in which the state drafted and agreed on regulation, the state’s first dispensaries opened in 2014.
Since then, the state legislature has progressed in small – but significant – steps towards a more open marijuana environment. Whereas the entire state only licensed six dispensaries in 2014, by 2019, the number has risen to 18 approved dispensaries.
Recreational sale remains illegal, but the state’s new governor supports recreational use and enjoys a majority margin in the state’s General Assembly – which means 2019 could be a historic year for marijuana legislation in Connecticut.
Yes. Connecticut’s most recent dispensary license application period ended in April 2018. The state is strict about the number of licenses it gives and requires individual employees to apply for licenses as well.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is in charge of managing cannabis dispensary licenses, cannabis producer licenses, and individual cannabis licenses.
Submit an application during the next cannabis license application period. Connecticut typically approves between three and ten new dispensaries during every application period, and the state’s rapidly growing market for medical marijuana means that new dispensaries may be needed in the near future.
Cannabis dispensaries must demonstrate that their medical clinic is headed by a physician in good standing with the state. Dispensary applicants must show how they plan on preventing marijuana from being diverted onto the black market and implement a robust security system for the physical dispensary and its logistics.
Dispensaries must pay a series of non-refundable fees to apply for a medical cannabis dispensary license in Connecticut. The initial application fee is $1,000, followed by a $5,000 registration fee. Cultivators pay significantly more – $25,000 for the initial application and $75,000 for registration.
Yes. Connecticut cannabis licenses must be renewed on an annual basis. The renewal fee is equal to the registration fee for the license in question – $1,000 for dispensaries and $75,000 for cultivators. For employees, individual licenses cost $100.
Dispensaries need to maintain a facility license that applies to the dispensary as a commercial entity and maintain individual licenses for each employee. Connecticut grants employee licenses exclusively to pharmacists without criminal records or other risk factors.
Connecticut isn’t issuing retail licenses as of February 2019, but it announced its last round of newly approved dispensaries about six months after the application period ended. Once approved, applicants have 14 days to pay the registration fee and collect their licenses.
Yes. Connecticut’s medical marijuana dispensaries would receive the state’s first retail licenses upon recreational marijuana legalization. State lawmakers proposed a bill outlining this transition in January 2019, with input from the state’s current medical marijuana dispensary owners.
Medical marijuana dispensaries must be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools, religious centers, charitable institutions, hospitals, and military establishments. Individual cities retain the right to amend state laws or institute new ones.
There is no state law stipulating a license requirement for cannabis-related events in Connecticut. Events of this kind happen regularly in the state and are generally open exclusively to licensed medical marijuana patients.
No. Cannabis event organizers and exhibitors do not need to apply for special licensing to hold cannabis events.
There is no state law preventing a cannabis dispensary from hosting or organizing a cannabis-related event. The state does enforce laws concerning the advertising of marijuana towards the public, which event organizers will need to pay close attention to.
Connecticut licenses each individual dispensary employee, which complicates the compliance environment for dispensaries. People interested in opening a dispensary should appoint an experienced compliance officer from day one and implement software solutions to ensure that reporting needs are met.
Dispensaries must implement robust security policies to ensure compliance. The state requires dispensaries to maintain alarm systems, log visitors in and out of the premises, and build a secure vault for cannabis products.
Connecticut asks cannabis license applicants to specify how much of their planned floor space is to be dedicated to marijuana packaging and labeling. This implies that dispensaries will need to package and label their products.
Connecticut state law fails to mention the sale of alcohol or tobacco in dispensaries, but the state will revoke licenses for dispensaries that encourage the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Because neither tobacco nor alcohol has therapeutic uses, it’s unlikely that the state would condone their presence in a medical clinic.
Yes. Connecticut dispensaries can apply for producer licenses in order to vertically integrate their cultivation operations and clinics. This involves applying for two separate licenses and paying two separate fees, but the state allows marijuana cultivators to own stakes in dispensaries.
No. Connecticut state law specifically forbids dispensary employees from providing patients with product samples containing marijuana. It also prohibits physicians from giving samples to patients, except in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration laws, which only apply to testing laboratory conditions.
Connecticut does not impose operating hours on its dispensaries. The state does require dispensaries to display their operating hours in block letters at least a half-inch high at every entrance to the facility.
Yes. Connecticut state law provides for public-facing displays that serve a medical or educational purpose. Displays that portray minors or represent non-medical marijuana use are prohibited. Non-medical terminology like “getting high” is also prohibited.
Licensed medical marijuana patients must be over the age of 18 and have one of the state’s qualifying medical conditions. Minors can gain access to cannabis products only if their primary care provider and a board-certified expert in the minor’s qualifying condition agree that medical marijuana use carries medicinal value.
Seed-to-sale reporting software gives dispensaries the ability to track individual cannabis batches through the entire logistics chain. Connecticut state law requires dispensaries to track batch numbers and report cannabis product sales to authorities.