HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state has unveiled a new website to provide up-to-date information on the rollout of legalized cannabis in Connecticut, ranging from basic information about the law that took effect on July 1 to resources for prospective marijuana-related businesses.
While portions of the new law have taken effect, including making it legal for individuals age 21 and older to possess or consume up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of “cannabis plant material,” several key parts of the legislation don’t begin for another year or two. The establishment of retail stores, for example, isn’t expected until the end of 2022.
“This new website will be an important resource for consumers and interested business owners,” said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, in a statement. “We will continue to provide information about the licensing and application process as it becomes available, and we are committed to a clear and transparent process.”
State officials are encouraging residents to check the site regularly for updates on various provisions of the new, wide-ranging law, including the Social Equity Council, which will oversee the verification of “equity applicants” for marijuana-related licenses. The council is also charged with creating new programs to support cannabis businesses and manage the state’s investment of cannabis-tax revenue in communities harmed by the nation’s war on drugs. That yet-to-be-appointed 15-member council needs to be up and running before retail sales can begin in the state.
Meanwhile, new information on license applications will also be posted to the cannabis website. The consumer protection agency began working in earnest on new state regulations and licensing applications needed for the new legalized industry a couple months ago. Seagull said the applications should be available in the upcoming months. The list includes retailer, hybrid retailer, cultivator, microcultivator, product manufacturer, food and beverage manufacturer, product packager, transporter, and delivery service licenses. Some people may need to go through a lottery, depending on the number of applicants. Meanwhile, there will be a parallel track for other applicants for the same licenses.
“We know the public will have a lot of questions about this process in the coming months, and this website will be an important resource for people who have questions about the new law or who might be interested in starting a new business in this market,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement.