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September 20, 2022

Fine Fettle awarded 6 cannabis licenses for social equity partnership dispensaries

HBJ FILE PHOTO Branded merchandise sold at medical marijuana dispensary Fine Fettle in Newington.

Fine Fettle has won provisional licenses for six cannabis equity joint ventures, an expansion that will give the company an expected nine dispensaries in the state.

Fine Fettle, a Connecticut-based cannabis company with medical dispensaries in Newington, Stamford and Willimantic, received six, 14-month provisional licenses Monday to begin starting up joint ventures with social equity partners, according to information from the state’s online licensing database.

Ben Zachs, chief operating officer at Fine Fettle, declined to name the company’s social equity partners but said it was easy to find good candidates. He said all their social equity partners passed the Social Equity Council’s management and control, residency and income requirements.

“Fine Fettle is local — we know a lot of people who we’ve known for a long time and we care about and people that we’re excited to be partners with,” Zachs said. “There’s a really personal connection to create entrepreneurs and opportunities.”

According to information from the state’s business search database, Fine Fettle formed LLCs for each of its existing medical dispensary’s equity joint venture businesses in February. Those businesses name Hartford residents Carnetta Ellis, Kennard Ray and Diane Drakes as principals.

Zachs said the equity joint venture dispensary furthest along in the process is one targeted for Manchester, because the town Planning and Zoning Commission already approved a special exception permit for the retail cannabis business in June.

“Our goal is to get each six of these converted to final (licenses) as soon as we can and get this market going,” Zachs said. “It’s a really incredible opportunity with our social equity partners. We think part of the reason they built this (equity joint venture) model was because you bring together the expertise of operating and licensing with partners who are fixing the wrongs of the past.”

All of Fine Fettle’s medical dispensaries have received local zoning approval to convert to hybrid stores, but the company is still waiting on state officials to OK their conversion applications. Zachs said the company is ready to go forward with adult-use operations once the state gets done with final approvals.

Fine Fettle also has cultivation, processing and two hybrid retail businesses in Massachusetts and recently acquired a license to operate a dispensary in Georgia.

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