Connecticut Cannabis Attorneys

In 2021, Connecticut became a “fully legal” state, allowing recreational cannabis usage as well as medical cannabis usage. The cannabis industry is now in the process of becoming a fully regulated and taxed industry that contributes to the overall wealth of the state.

While the medical cannabis industry has been established here for years, with programs available for patients with a long list of ailments, recreational cannabis has been another matter.

Connecticut Cannabis Attorneys

Legalization was a big step and, like in most states where it has been legalized, strict regulations apply. Most of the relevant laws are still being written and amended. The Social Equity Council has been created specifically to ensure that the cannabis market in Connecticut is grown equitably.

Aspiring business owners must be careful to follow the evolving regulations and abide by the local and state laws.

Despite the decriminalization of cannabis, the cultivation or distribution of even relatively small amounts can be a criminal offense and, in large amounts without a license, it remains a felony crime with life-changing penalties.

The cannabis attorneys at Cannabis Law Solutions have followed the evolving legalization of cannabis in Connecticut closely. We have a comprehensive understanding of the regulations in the state and can help you navigate the complex legal landscape here.

As an aspiring cannabis business owner, we can help you capitalize on the opportunities provided in all sectors of the industry here.

Laws for possession (personal use) in Connecticut

The Connecticut laws for possession of cannabis for personal use are as follows:

Up to 1.5 oz in public

  • No incarceration or fine

Up to 5 oz in a private residence

  • No incarceration or fine

1.5 oz or more in public

  • Misdemeanor offense with potential one-year incarceration and a $ 2,000 fine.

Laws for distribution and cultivation in Connecticut

The Connecticut laws for distribution and cultivation will change from July 1, 2023, when adults will be able to legally cultivate cannabis.

At present, however, the regulations/penalties for noncompliance vary according to the amounts of cannabis involved and also the location. The following are the main ones to bear in mind at present:

Cultivation of up to three mature and three immature plants (first offense)

  • Written warning (no incarceration or fine)

Cultivation of up to three mature and three immature plants (second offense)

  • Civil offense with a fine of $500 (no criminal penalty)

Cultivation of up to three mature and three immature plants (subsequent offense)

  • Misdemeanor criminal offense with a fine of $500 (no incarceration)

Less than one kilogram (first offense)

  • Felony crime with jail time up to seven years and a fine of up to $25,000

One kilogram or more (first offense)

  • Felony crime with a mandatory minimum jail term of five years (up to 20 years) and a fine of up to $25,000

One kilogram or more (subsequent offense)

  • Felony crime with a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 years (up to 25 years) and a fine of up to $100,000

Anyone caught cultivating or distributing cannabis (or in possession with intent to distribute or cultivate it) within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school, public housing project or daycare center faces an additional three years imprisonment.

If a person 18 years or older distributes to a person under 18, the offense is also more serious and punishable by an additional two years imprisonment.

However, under proposed new laws decriminalizing the possession of cannabis, anyone in the state with a conviction for cannabis possession under four ounces before October 1, 2015, would have their records automatically expunged. Those with possession convictions for less than four ounces after October 1, 2015, would be able to petition the court for expungement (for free).

What is a Connecticut cannabis establishment license and how do you apply for one?

In 2021, proposed Connecticut state legislation permitted the sale and possession of recreational cannabis in the state from 2022.

Predominantly, the cannabis industry here would rely on infrastructure that was already in place to support the existing medical cannabis producers and dispensaries in Connecticut. However, opportunities were also recognized for newcomers to the industry in the state.

To enable newcomers to enter the cannabis sector, the Equity Commission has introduced a system of cannabis establishment licenses for those intending to operate in various activities within the cannabis market here.

Anyone who enters the cannabis industry here agrees to pay a portion of the tax revenues generated from their activities to support residents in communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition.

To apply for a cannabis establishment license, you will need to examine the qualifications for applicants and prepare your business for the stringent requirements accordingly.

The system is competitive, with a maximum number of applications accepted for each license type and only a limited number of licenses awarded. Where excess applications are received, a lottery system determines which applications should be reviewed by the Equity Commission.

Certain factors will disqualify applicants, including some past convictions, violations of the application rules or administrative violations in another state or country.

All applicants who are selected in the lottery have 60 days to apply for a provisional license, which lasts for 12 months and is non-renewable. During this time, a final license may be awarded at any point, entitling the licensee to possess, distribute, manufacture, sell or transfer cannabis.

After 12 months, if no final license has been awarded, a provisional licensee can apply for a final license.

At Cannabis Law Solutions, we are familiar with the maze of regulations and the challenges of obtaining a license. Our attorneys can advise you on how to get your cannabis establishment license to operate legally in Connecticut.

What types of cannabis licenses are available in Connecticut?

There are eight different types of Connecticut cannabis establishment licenses available, depending on the size of the business you intend to establish and the activity you want to focus on.

There are as follows:

  1. Retailer license
  2. Hybrid retailer license
  3. Cultivator license
  4. Micro-cultivator license
  5. Product manufacturer license
  6. Food and beverage manufacturer license
  7. Product packager license
  8. Delivery service license

What are the license fees in Connecticut? 

The applicable fees for each type of license vary. There is a non-refundable application fee to enter the lottery, another payable fee for successful applicants who receive a provisional license, and a final fee payable to receive a full license.

Retailer license: 

  • Application fee: $500
  • Provisional license fee: $5,000
  • Final license: $25,000

Hybrid retailer license

  • Application fee: $500
  • Provisional license fee: $5,000
  • Final license: $25,000

Cultivator license

  • Application fee: $1,000
  • Provisional license fee: $25,000
  • Final license: $75,000

Micro-cultivator license

  • Application fee: $250
  • Provisional license fee: $500
  • Final license: $1,000

Product manufacturer license

  • Application fee: $750
  • Provisional license fee: $5,000
  • Final license: $25,000

Food and beverage manufacturer license

  • Application fee: $250
  • Provisional license fee: $1,000
  • Final license: $5,000

Product packager license

  • Application fee: $500
  • Provisional license fee: $5,000
  • Final license: $25,000

Delivery service license

  • Application fee: $250
  • Provisional license fee: $1,000
  • Final license: $5,000

Cannabis business legal planning, advice and support in Connecticut

Whether you want to grow, manufacture, retail or otherwise be part of the burgeoning cannabis industry in Connecticut, the legal hurdles are likely to be substantial.

Our cannabis business attorneys can provide the knowledge and support you need to plan, incorporate, protect, and grow a successful cannabis business.

For informed legal advice, call 866-329-0729 for a consultation with a knowledgeable cannabis attorney at Cannabis Law Solutions.

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How will our cannabis and psychedelic business services help you

Cannabis & psychedelics business entity formation

Whether you are looking to form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, our experienced business lawyers can discuss the pros and cons of both and help you incorporate your business with the optimal structure to achieve your goals.

Cannabis & psychedelics business licenses

If you want to run a cannabis or psychedelics business, you will need a valid business license issued by your state authority as well as local permits. Eligibility criteria are likely to be stringent and we can help you navigate the often-complex license application process.

Cannabis & psychedelics corporate documentation

Whether you need to prepare for a license application, transfer of business ownership, change of corporate structure, transfer business location or another business process, we can help you identify and draft the documentation you need to operate legally in your state.

Cannabis & psychedelics administrative law

State authorities watch licensed and unlicensed cannabis and psychedelics businesses closely. If you violate regulations, you could face an administrative penalty. Our attorneys can provide representation or help you prepare for an administrative hearing, settlement conference or appeal.

Cannabis & psychedelics disputes and litigation

Whether you have a dispute with another business, a legal issue with one of your partners or a licensing or administrative issue, you may need legal assistance to help resolve it. We are adept at alternative dispute resolution methods as well as civil litigation.

Cannabis & psychedelics regulatory compliance

As the cannabis and psychedelics industries emerge in states around the U.S., they are more heavily regulated than most other industries. We can help your business navigate the red tape and plan to stay on the right side of the regulatory authorities in whichever state you are based.