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August 3, 2022

East Hartford cannabis business appeals cultivation denial

Contributed | Pixabay A picture of dried cannabis flower

An East Hartford company that was denied social equity approval for a cultivator license is appealing the state’s decision, making it at least the second prospective company to do so.

The Good THC Company, with a business address of 24 Patricia Drive, East Hartford, is appealing the Social Equity Council’s (SEC) July 12 decision to deny its disproportionately impacted area cultivator social equity status based on application analysis from CohnReznick.

CohnReznick is the third-party accounting firm picked by the state to independently look at applications and recommend them for approval or denial based on income, residency and ownership requirements.

The Good THC Company’s appeal, which was filed in Hartford Superior Court on July 26, says that the state Department of Consumer Protection’s letter of denial claims that there was “no evidence that the SEA(s) influence at least 65% of daily affairs,” and the application was missing details about Katherine Diaz, social equity applicant.

The appeal argues that nowhere in the state’s application checklist was there language requiring an application to include details about a social equity applicant’s breakdown of control of daily affairs at the business.

Forty-one social equity applicants submitted paperwork for DIA cultivation licenses, a one-time, 90-day window not subject to the lottery, like other license types. Last year’s cannabis law defines a disproportionately impacted area as a U.S. census tract in Connecticut that has a higher historical conviction rate for drug-related offenses, or an unemployment rate greater than 10%. The SEC ultimately approved social equity status for 15 DIA cultivators and denied the 25 other applications.

Just days before this filing on July 22, The Hartford Cannabis Company, with a business address of 37 Alden St., filed a similar petition for administrative appeal alleging the SEC was incorrect in its determination that it did not meet the criteria to qualify as a social equity applicant for a disproportionately impacted area cultivator license. The company’s president and social equity partner is Gloribel Diaz, according to the complaint.

According to The Good THC Co.’s appeal, the same financial backers of that business also are backers of The Hartford Cannabis Company.

Like the appeal in Hartford, The Good THC Company’s appeal was also filed by attorneys at Murtha Cullina LLP. The appeal names the Social Equity Council, state Department of Economic and Community Development and Department of Consumer Protection as defendants.

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