Connecticut is the latest state to permit the sale of adult-use cannabis. The possession of cannabis by adults has been legal in Connecticut since 2021, following the enactment of Public Act No. 21-1. Impressively, this law also erased 43,754 convictions for cannabis offenses.
In December, the state’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced that hybrid retailers would be allowed to sell to anyone 21 or over, starting on January 10, 2023. Hybrid retailers are medical cannabis dispensaries that have converted to a license type that permits adult-use sales. So far, a total of nine hybrid retailers have obtained the necessary approvals to sell adult-use cannabis in Connecticut. Given the state’s compact size, most Nutmeggers will not have to travel far to buy cannabis legally.
Connecticut has also established a licensure process for adult-use only retailers, for applicants that aren’t participants in the state’s medical cannabis industry. The first round of applications will see the Constitution State issue up to 12 adult-use only retail licenses, six of them to social equity applicants. Half of the licenses available in other categories, such as cultivator, product manufacturer, and delivery/transport, are reserved for social equity applicants. In 2022, social equity and general lotteries were conducted to whittle down the large number of retail applicants in both categories. According to state records, it appears that licensure process has not yet been completed or any of the adult-use only retailers.
As our interactive map shows, legalization continues to advance in the American Northeast, with most of Connecticut’s neighbors already having legalized adult-use cannabis. Last year, Rhode Island legalized recreational cannabis and, in November, Maryland voted in favor of legalizing recreational use. If Pennsylvania soon follows suit, not only will the entire Acela Corridor have legal adult-use cannabis, but the speed of legalization will have been far more remarkable than that of the Acela trains. Legislative advances on cannabis are welcomed, but it’d be great to see our legislators do see something about our substandard railways …