Social Justice Council approves technical assistance guidelines; Application process for cannabis business starts within 30 days

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The Social Equity Council on Tuesday approved a technical assistance plan to help budding cannabis retailers and pave the way for the business application process to begin within 30 days.

The technical support and business accelerator plan said by Ginne-Rae Clay, interim executive director of the Social Equity Council, is to be implemented immediately.

“Over the next 120 days and in the future, we will develop all available resources to ensure that disproportionately affected residents receive the information and support they need to enter the cannabis market,” Clay said during the meeting on Tuesday.

Clay said the plan includes business support services for anyone interested in entering the cannabis market. The first part of the technical assistance is divided into several phases and includes the general contact with potential entrepreneurs and companies, in which the process and their requirements are explained. This could include a detailed overview of the cannabis industry, the business plan structure, or the resources needed to take next steps.

The plan also includes help with navigating the lottery process and applying for a preliminary license. More support can be provided later as a company prepares for a full license and business start-up.

The Business Accelerator portion of the plan may include mentoring opportunities where business owners learn to grow and keep their business going for the future.

“We will continuously strive to improve technical support, business acceleration services, and our ongoing efforts to improve the playing field for cannabis for anyone wishing to start a cannabis business in Connecticut,” said Clay.

Last month, the SEC approved ownership and control requirements, criteria for a social justice plan, and workforce development requirements for those wishing to start cannabis businesses in the state.
After the SEC meeting in December, the Department of Consumer Protection extended the initial window for submitting lottery applications from 60 to 90 days.