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January 4, 2022

Social Equity Council approves technical assistance guidelines; cannabis business application process to begin within 30 days

Social Equity Council members hold a virtual meeting Jan. 4.

The Social Equity Council on Tuesday approved a technical assistance plan to help prospective retail cannabis entrepreneurs, paving the way for the business application process to begin within 30 days.

The technical assistance and business accelerator plan, which Social Equity Council Interim Executive Director Ginne-Rae Clay said is expected to be implemented immediately, includes help spanning from general industry information to tips on how to grow and sustain a business.

“Over the next 120 days, and going forward, we will tap every resource available to ensure that disproportionately impacted residents have the information and assistance they need to enter the cannabis market,” Clay said during Tuesday’s meeting.

Clay said the plan includes business support services for anyone hoping to participate in the cannabis market. Broken into several phases, the first part of technical assistance includes general outreach to prospective entrepreneurs and businesses explaining the process and what they’ll need. This can include a detailed overview of the cannabis industry, business plan structure, or resources needed for next steps.

The plan also includes help with navigating the lottery process and provisional license application. Further down the road, more assistance can be provided as a business prepares for a full license and business launch.

The business accelerator part of the plan can include mentorship opportunities where business owners learn to grow and sustain their businesses into the future.

“We will continuously strive to improve technical assistance, business acceleration services, and our ongoing efforts to level the cannabis playing field for anyone who wants to start a cannabis business in Connecticut,” Clay said.

Last month, the SEC approved ownership and control requirements, social equity plan criteria, and workforce development requirements for those hoping to start cannabis-related businesses in the state.
Following the SEC’s December meeting, the Department of Consumer Protection extended the first window for lottery application submissions from 60 to 90 days.

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