The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced on Friday that the marijuana retailers and cultivators selected as social equity applicants can now move on to the next steps of the licensing process.

The approved applicants and their backers will now have to submit information for a background check and the provisional license application. The background checks will be conducted by a third-party processing company and once complete the applicants can move on to the final phase of the licensure process.

All in all, six retailers, three joint-equity ventures and two micro-cultivators were approved by the Social Equity Council to move forward after meeting the requirements set forth by the Connecticut General Assembly to qualify for social equity status.

 The 11 selected businesses will receive the only Social Equity Licenses available for each type of license in the lottery’s first round. Other social equity applicants not selected by the Council in this round will be added to the General Lottery. Additional businesses hoping to get social equity status will have to wait for future lotteries.

The State’s social equity licensing process has raised questions from marijuana advocates in the past, with some wondering if the State’s social equity guidelines are sufficient in ensuring those most impacted by the War on Drugs are being prioritized in the licensing process.

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Tom Hopkins wrote for CII from April 2022 to February 2023. Prior to joining CII, he worked in print, television, and as a freelance journalist.

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