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November 1, 2022

11 more cannabis growers have social equity status approved

Contributed | A cannabis plant.

Eleven prospective cannabis cultivators had parts of their social equity status approved Tuesday after resubmitting documentation, bringing the total number of potential new growers in the state to 27. 

Following an executive session Tuesday, the Social Equity Council voted to accept CohnReznick's recommendation to approve social equity ownership and control status for 11 more disproportionately impacted area cultivators that had previously been denied. Social Equity Council Chair Andréa Comer said companies only rejected based on ownership and control will now be referred to the state Department of Consumer Protection to move forward with the provisional licensing process.

Companies that failed other parts of the social equity criteria guidelines can continue their appeals with the state.

The council didn’t name the companies granted approvals, but in October, 11 entrepreneurs who were suing based on their rejections dropped their challenges. The companies were: Acreage Connecticut Cultivation JV; Coastal Cannabis; Connectibuds; Core Cult; DF C3; Elm City Agg; The Goods THC Co.; The Hartford Cannabis Company; Leaf CT; Let’s Grow Hartford; and Nautilus Botanicals.

These companies had filed lawsuits against the state in July after the Social Equity Council rejected their social equity status for disproportionately impacted area cannabis cultivator businesses. At the time, the state had received 41 applications, approving 16 and denying the rest.

Social equity cultivators pursuing this license type, which allows for large-scale grow operations, had a one-time window to apply in a process not subject to the lottery.

In September, the council voted to approve language clarifying its ownership and control guidelines so that a social equity candidate “exercises operational authority over daily affairs of the business, has the voting power to direct the management agents and policies, and receives the beneficial interests of the business."

Following that clarification, the council allowed several entities to resubmit their respective social equity applications with updated ownership and control information.

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