Cannabis Knowledge & Insights

What’s Wrong with the Connecticut Cannabis Market?

The eruption of the Connecticut cannabis market is on the horizon. Although medical use was legalized in 2012, adult-use legislation recently passed on July 1, 2021, and is quickly approaching the next phase. Adults can have up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis on their person and up to 5 ounces at home or locked in their car trunk or glove box. 

Connecticut was the 18th state to legalize adult-use cannabis and currently has just over 53,000 registered patients with four producers and eighteen dispensary locations. While Connecticut is positioned for excellent potential, here are some factors to consider before diving into the new market. 

Should New Operators Enter the Connecticut Cannabis Market?

Considering Connecticut’s industry performance may fall short of its neighbor to the north, New York, there are still many reasons to investigate the market to decide if it’s a wise strategy for your operation. Regulators in Connecticut anticipate a 90-day application period starting on February 3, 2022. They are projecting launching recreational sales in Q4 of 2022. 

Many operators will try to apply for licenses in this highly anticipated new market soon, here are three things to consider when analyzing how opportunities in the Connecticut cannabis space fit into your business model. 

Forecast

Organizations such as MJBizDaily anticipate high sales for the adult-use market, projecting $250 million in the first year and $750 million by year four, but there is still some cause for concern. Will New York’s market deter things down the road? Initially, things may be busy but, can slow down once the New York adult-use market launches. 

Connecticut’s Social Equity Program

Connecticut expects to launch one of the most robust social equity programs we have seen. Public Act 21-1, An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis, provides various options to help rectify some of the systematic problems caused by the War on Drugs. 

A Social Equity Council will oversee the process for applicants. Their role is to ensure opportunities for operators and businesses to grow in communities that need the most support. To qualify as a social equity program applicant, individuals must meet all state requirements and hold a minimum of 65% of ownership of the business. 

Connecticut cannabis operators who qualify as social equity applicants can look forward to a higher chance of obtaining a license. At the same time, other traditional applicants may be out of luck this first round depending on the number of applications that come through.

The Competition with NY

According to industry experts at MJBiz, they anticipate the Connecticut market to have a more substantial social equity program than New York. Cannabis in New York is projected to have a national and global impact since New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world. 

And the proximity near Connecticut poses concerns for limitations around growth and sustainability once New York launches their adult-use program. Check out our interactive map for a full breakdown of costs and market potential analysis affecting states across the US.

License Application Process and Details for Connecticut Market

DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull recently stated in a news release that the initial number of available licenses in the adult-use market is a starting point and not a cap. 

First Round

  • Licenses are selected by lottery with the exception of social equity cultivation permits.
  • Half of the available licenses will be distributed to social equity applicants in each vertical. 
  • The lottery is held and once results are relayed to applicants, they will then be subject to paying licensing fees in addition to the application fees they’ve already paid. 
  • The state anticipates a second lottery application period in late 2022. 

Timeline

  • February – The first round of cannabis licensing begins. 
  • February 3 – Retailers, 12 licenses
  • February 10 – Cultivators, 4 licenses
  • February 17 – Delivery Services, 10 licenses
  • February 24 – Hybrid Retailers, 4 licenses 
  • March 3 – Food and beverage, 10 licenses
  • March 10 – Product manufacturers, 6 licenses
  • March 17 – Packagers, 6 licenses
  • March 24 – Transporters, 4 licenses

Fee Breakdown

Next Steps For Your Cannabis Operation

Are you ready to expand into another market or take your company public? Whatever stage you are at, the accounting, tax, and business professionals at GreenGrowth CPAs can help decide which strategy will work best for your business. They can complete a customized plan to help you get your business to the next level.

For assistance with discussing your options for expanding markets, reach out to our team of financial experts at GreenGrowth CPAs. For more information on the Connecticut cannabis market and other markets across the US, check out our interactive map. We are here to help your cannabis venture through any level of the accounting and tax filing process. We employ several financial programs that can assist the company with its fiscal responsibilities including, tax planning and compliance, outsourced CFO support, audit preparation, tax controversy support, and much more.

For recommendations and assistance with tax planning and accounting services, schedule a free consultation or contact us at 1-800-674-9050.

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