When Will CT Cannabis Retail Sales Start: 5 Things To Know

CONNECTICUT — Recreational cannabis use has been legal for Connecticut adults since July 2021, but retail sales haven’t started yet.

State officials are still setting up the legal system for retail sales and determining who will get a license.

Here are five things to know about retail sales in Connecticut:

When will retail sales starts?

There is no set date when retail sales will start, but state officials are aiming for the end of this year, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.

Possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis has been legal since July 1, 2021. Residents can store up to five ounces in a locked container at home or transport it in a locked glove box or trunk.

Can towns ban cannabis establishments?

Municipalities are allowed to have one cannabis retailer and one licensed micro-cultivator per 25,000 residents.

Municipalities have to approve zoning changes if they want to allow retail cannabis establishments.

A total of 18 municipalities have approved at least some zoning changes for cannabis establishments, another 38 have issued a moratorium and 16 outright prohibit them, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.

What about growing at home?

Adults 21 and older will be able to legally grow marijuana starting on July 1, 2023. Medical marijuana patients 18 and older have been able to grow at home since Oct. 1, 2021.

Home grow limits are the same for medical and nonmedical adults at three mature and three immature plants at any time. Plants must be grown indoors and not be visible from the street; they must be grown at a primary residence and where underage individuals won’t have access.

How many licenses are available?

There are 56 available licenses across eight license types related to retail marijuana. Each license type has a social equity lottery and then a general lottery.

More than 8,300 social equity retail lottery applications and 7,200 general lottery applications have been submitted as of May 19. There are six general and six social equity licenses available.

Another 5,500 social equity and 2,900 general lottery applications have been submitted for micro-cultivators. There are two social equity and two general licenses available.

What is a social equity applicant?

This is how the state defines a social equity partner: A Social Equity Partner is a business entity at least 65 percent owned and controlled by an individual or individuals, or the applicant is an individual, who:

  • Had an average household income of less than 300 percent of, or three times, the state median household income over the last 3 tax years

AND, either

  • Was a resident of a disproportionately impacted area for at least 5 of the past 10 years; OR
  • Was a resident of a disproportionately impacted area for at least 9 years before the age of 18.

Disproportionately impacted areas are defined as U.S. Census tracts that were disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. The formula is based on historical conviction rates for drug-related offenses and unemployment rates. Most of the tracts are located in or near cities.