June 22, 2021 was a great day for cannabis consumers, dispensaries, and business hopefuls. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Senate Bill 1201, or the "Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act" (RERACA). It legalizes and regulates adult-use (recreational) cannabis beginning July 1, 2021.
Though it’s no longer illegal for adults to possess cannabis in Connecticut without a medical card, getting it into your hands legally is an extensive process. Over a year after legalization, the Department of Consumer Protection is ready to launch the Connecticut adult-use cannabis industry.
“We are excited about this expansion of the Connecticut cannabis industry,” says Ben Zachs, an executive at Fine Fettle. “The state has put a lot of effort into making sure they have worked out all of the kinks. There are a lot of regulatory hoops throughout the industry, but Fine Fettle is a seasoned company in the space, and understands the level of detail it takes to be fully compliant.”
What to Know About Connecticut Adult-Use Cannabis
Legal Connecticut adult-use cannabis sales begin at Fine Fettle at 10 a.m. on January 10, 2023.
Preparing for your visit
Fine Fettle will have a dedicated line for medical marijuana patients in anticipation of long adult-use lines. Pre-orders through finefettle.com will be required for both medical and adult-use purchases, along with choosing a pick-up time. Once you receive confirmation that your order is ready, it is time to head to the dispensary. If you’re a first-time buyer, the friendly staff at Fine Fettle can help answer any questions.
What to bring
You’re required to present your valid identification, such as a driver's license or passport. Cash is the accepted form of currency at dispensaries.
How much you can purchase
Cannabis will be available at licensed dispensaries, for anyone over 21 years old. Sales will be limited to 1/4 ounce of cannabis flower, or its equivalent, per transaction when the market opens.
Examples of what 1/4 of an ounce of cannabis flower or its equivalent might look like include:
- Up to 7 pre-rolled cigarettes that weigh 1 gram each, or 14 pre-rolled cigarettes that weigh 0.5 grams each. Or any combination up to 7 total grams, which equals 1/4 ounce.
- Two to four vape cartridges, which come in .5 mL and 1 mL sizes.
- Edibles vary by type and size. A standard-sized brownie or cookie can be the equivalent of .08 grams of cannabis flower. One edible serving cannot have more than 5 milligrams of THC.
There are also limitations for dispensaries. Retailers can’t sell cannabis flower with a THC concentration greater than 30% (on a dry-weight basis). They also can’t sell any other cannabis product, such as edibles and tinctures, with a THC concentration greater than 60% (on a dry-weight basis). These limitations don’t apply to pre-filled vape cartridges, however.
Steering Equitable Growth
Connecticut’s recreational cannabis oversight board recently hired a third-party auditing and accounting firm to help the Social Equity Council steer equitable growth in the adult-use cannabis program.
The council ensures that funds from the Connecticut adult-use cannabis program are used to assist communities negatively impacted by the “war on drugs.” Several other states are also taking action to promote social equity in the industry.
“As a company that has already faced the high barriers to entry, we understand the hurdles and are happy to see others being given an opportunity to succeed in the legal cannabis industry.” - Ben Zachs
Types of Cannabis Business Licenses
There are eight different types of adult-use business licenses in Connecticut, with only a handful of licenses available for each category. Half of the licenses have to be filled by businesses that fit the state standards for social equity. These requirements pertain to income, residency, business ownership, and more.
- Food and Beverage: 5 general licenses, 5 Social Equity licenses
- Product Packager: 3 general licenses, 3 Social Equity licenses
- Product Manufacturer: 3 general licenses, 3 Social Equity licenses
- Transporter: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
- Retailer: 6 general licenses, 6 Social Equity licenses
- Micro-cultivator: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
- Delivery Service: 5 general licenses, 5 Social Equity licenses
- Hybrid Retailer: 2 general licenses, 2 Social Equity licenses
Connecticut’s Adult-Use License Lottery
There were nine dispensaries approved to sell adult-use marijuana and Fine Fettle was awarded three of these licenses, one for each of our Connecticut dispensaries.
The application period has closed for all licenses. The third-party auditing and accounting firm was hired to help the Social Equity Counsel review the applications and administer a lottery for the licenses.
The state received 37,000 applications for the 56 licenses available, which shows people are excited about this growing industry.
Equity Joint Ventures
As a medical operator, Fine Fettle has the opportunity to open up to six “Equity Joint Ventures.” Each medical operator who converts to a hybrid location can have two per license. With three locations, we can do six!
These licenses are incredibly important and exciting partnerships. The partnership is a 50-50 deal between the operator (Fine Fettle) and social equity partners. These partners meet criteria regarding income and area where they live or grow up.
As a locally owned and operated business, we’re partnering with friends we’ve known for up to 47 years! It’s an exciting opportunity to create legacies and partnerships beyond just a business deal. We want to change the face of cannabis and be a force for the greater good.
Connecticut Adult-Use Cannabis in January 2023
Fine Fettle’s Connecticut dispensaries are proud to transition from medical-only to offer both medical and recreational use cannabis.
“Our Massachusetts dispensaries currently operate as medical and adult-use hybrid businesses,” adds Zachs. “And although each state has its own regulations, we are confident in our ability to smoothly transition in Connecticut. We look forward to a future where we can open our doors to all adult consumers.”
Come visit any of our Connecticut dispensaries on January 10th for the opening day of recreational use. We can’t wait to meet you and help you find the right cannabis products to fit your needs.