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March 21, 2023

Hemp farmers move closer to tapping into CT’s recreational marijuana market

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Brant Smith stands in his 70,000-square-foot greenhouse hemp facility in Cheshire.

Several bills that would make changes to the state’s adult-use cannabis market, including one that would allow current hemp producers to grow recreational marijuana, drew support from the General Law Committee this month and now await further approvals.

The bills are expected to be placed on the House calendar for consideration. They include:

  • HB 6695, which clarifies the definition of "control" for social equity applicants and equity joint ventures. It also eliminates the requirement that the Social Equity Council recertify the disproportionately impacted areas map annually and modifies the criteria the council uses to identify such locations by replacing unemployment rate with an adjusted poverty rate metric.
  • HB 6697 makes several technical and clarifying changes to the state’s adult-use cannabis law from 2021.
  • HB 6699 establishes off-site event permits for retailers and hybrid retailers of adult-use cannabis and requires the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection to adopt specific regulations concerning cannabis labeling and packaging.
  • HB 6700 allows a licensed hemp producer to apply for a cultivator or micro-cultivator license from the state Department of Consumer Protection to grow cannabis for the state's adult-use market. These hemp growers would pay $12 per square foot of grow space as the initial licensure fee. Hemp farmers’ collective grow space would be limited to 250,000 square feet.

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