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December 7, 2022

Key approval moves CT step closer to recreational cannabis industry launch

HBJ PHOTO | Brad Kane & Matt Volpini Signage outside Theraplant's location in Watertown.

The Social Equity Council on Tuesday approved medical cannabis grower Theraplant’s social equity workforce development plan, a key step in pushing the state closer to announcing the launch date for the recreational marijuana market.

As stipulated in last year’s legalization law, adult-use marijuana sales can’t begin until there is at least 250,000 square feet of growing and manufacturing space in the state. The Department of Consumer Protection said this threshold will be met when the four existing medical cultivators convert to a hybrid license, which allows them to serve both the medical and recreational markets.

Three of the four growers have already won a hybrid license. Therplant is in the approval process. One requirement for the hybrid license is the approval of a workforce development plan. 

In addition to Theraplant, the Social Equity Council (SEC) on Tuesday approved workforce development plans for two medial dispensaries: D&B Wellness LLC and Thames Valley Apothecary LLC.

Councilman Michael Jefferson asked SEC Chair Andrea Comer if Theraplant’s approval would put Connecticut above the statutory threshold of 250,000 square feet of grow space required to launch the adult-use market, and she confirmed it would, pending final DCP approval.

“These workforce development plans will provide that grow space in order to get us closer to the market opening,” Comer said.

If the businesses discussed Tuesday are given their final hybrid license approvals by the DCP, all four medical cannabis growers and nine medical dispensaries will have fulfilled their requirements to serve the adult-use market.

The Department of Consumer Protection said it will give a 30-day notice when adult-use sales can begin.

The Social Equity Council on Tuesday also approved status for disproportionately impacted area cultivator Green Meadows LLC, an entity that was appealing the SEC’s previous denial in court.

Based on recommendations from accounting and advisory firm CohnReznick, the SEC also said Let’s Grow Hartford LLC and the White Oak Apothecary LLC meet social equity ownership and control criteria based on their resubmitted documents. The applications were previously denied based on that criteria, but they also appealed that decision with the state and were allowed to resubmit certain paperwork.

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