House Speaker-designate Matt Ritter's 50–50 odds on cannabis legalization passing in the state legislature in 2021 was prescient. The Connecticut Senate, by a close 19-17 margin, passed a bill early Tuesday that would legalize legalize adult-use cannabis, with sales expected to begin in spring 2022.
The state House of Representatives still must pass Senate Bill 1118 Wednesday, June 8, 2021. Governor Ned Lamont (D) has indicated he will sign the measure.
A compromise agreement ironed out over the weekend would give social equity applicants priority status in obtaining cultivation and retail licenses.
Additionally, existing medical marijuana cultivators could apply for an adult-use license but would be required to pay a fee of $3 million, or $1.5 million if they create at least two social equity joint ventures. Moreover, a prospective adult-use marijuana operator would also be required to make a “good-faith effort” to enter into a labor peace agreement with a union before receiving its final license.
Under the agreement, local jurisdictions could prohibit retail sales through zoning ordinances, but residents could petition for a local referendum on the issue.
July 2020 | Curaleaf acquires Arrow Alternative Care Dispensaries
January 2019 | GTI acquires Advanced Grow Labs
With adult-use legalization on the horizon, the market could easily generate $250m in sales in the first full year and $725m in the fourth year.
Major MSOs have already identified this state as an attractive market, with both Curaleaf and GTI making inroads. The Constitution State enjoys an attractive population density with a limited license regulatory framework. Look for the regulatory framework to expand, allowing for more patients and revenue while the northeast continues its march towards full legalization thanks to pressure from adult-use neighbors Massachusetts and New Jersey.