How to Get a Dispensary License in Connecticut
Considering opening a dispensary in Connecticut? There is no time like the present to get your foot in the door. The state of Connecticut is one of the latest to legalize recreational cannabis and has had a medical cannabis program in place since 2012. Nevertheless, opening a dispensary in CT can require a bit of work and a lot of patience due to licensing limitations. Below is a look at how to get a dispensary license in CT.
How to Get a Dispensary License in CT
The cannabis program in CT is overseen by the Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection. The state offers a limited number of both medical and recreational cannabis, and grants priority to social equity applicants.
1. Educate Yourself About CT Cannabis Regulations
Whether you want to open a medical or recreational cannabis retail establishment, be sure to take your time to familiarize yourself with the current laws and regulations. Cannabis is a relatively new business model in the state, which means a lot of laws and regulations are still being ironed out and consistently updated.
One of your primary resources to watch that can help you in your research efforts is the CT State Department of Consumer Protection website. State laws will let you know a lot about how your business can function, such as:
- Where to get your cannabis supplies
- Who can legally apply for a license
- How you can transport goods to and from your facility
- Where your dispensary can be located
- How to handle payments at your facility
2. Create a Comprehensive Business Plan
A comprehensive business plan is a framework or roadmap that details how your business will function. This will include details about the physical storefront, supplies, employees, and profitability just like any business plan. However, the plan should also include ideas on how you will navigate some nuances of the cannabis retail business, such as:
- How you will securely transport your inventory
- How you intend to manage cash transport to and from the establishment
- How you will secure funding to open the establishment
- How you intend to market the business both online and otherwise
3. Determine How You Will Finance the Business
Opening a dispensary in CT will take a considerable amount of funding. Not only will you have to come up with a significant amount of money to cover the cost of your license, you will also need funding for your storefront, securing inventory, and paying your employees. Traditional funding is not always accessible for cannabis businesses. Therefore, you may have to consider capital brokers, private investors, or some type of personal loan using collateral other than business assets.
4. Submit Your Dispensary Application
Connecticut does have limitations on how many medical and adult-use dispensaries can be opened in the state. As of July 2022, the license portal for medical retailers was closed, and the state was not accepting more adult-use licenses. The state has chosen to award licenses by using a lottery to grant licenses to only a specified number of retailers periodically. However, they do have intentions of opening up applications to meet social equity objectives periodically as well. Because a CT dispensary license can be difficult to come by, it is best to have all your plans in place when applications are accepted.
Even though the state only accepts license applications periodically, there are documents that explain some of what must be included with your application, including but not limited to:
- Applicant information, such as identifying information and cannabis industry knowledge and experience
- A financial statement that details the financials of the business
- A proposed site plan for the dispensary that includes a floor plan, photos of the neighborhood, and signage you intend to use
- A comprehensive business plan that details the products, services, and daily operations
- Marketing plans for the business, including templates for your intended website and copies of marketing materials
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Dispensary in Connecticut?
Securing funding for opening a dispensary in CT can be a challenge, but this is an important thing to have in place before submitting your application. The non-refundable application fee for medical dispensaries is $100 with an annual fee for renewal that is also $100. The fee for the medical marijuana dispensary facility license is $1,000 for the application, $5,000 for registration, and $5,000 for annual renewal.
The adult-use license fees are $500 if chosen with the lottery, $5,000 for a provisional application, and $25,000 for the final license. Applicants selected due to social equity initiatives have lower fees to pay: $250 when chosen by the lottery, $2,500 for the provisional application, and $12,500 for the final license.
There can also be fees associated with things like cannabis delivery, inspections, and other necessities set forth by the state. And, you may be required to show liquid assets in a certain amount to adequately fund the operation before being granted the license.
Need Help Planning For Cash Transport and Inventory Shipments?
The Plymouth Armor Group is an armed transport service that specializes in cannabis transport, cannabis warehousing, and cash transport for cannabis businesses. If you would like to know more about our services, reach out for more information.