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Applications are rolling in to open retail marijuana stores in Connecticut

Jeff Chiu

Over 15,500 businesses applied for a license to sell recreational marijuana in Connecticut before the deadline closed Wednesday night.

Adam Wood, the president of Connecticut’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, said the state has been making strides with decriminalizing possession and sale of pot.

“Last year, the state of Connecticut passed a legal bill to legalize the adult use cannabis market in Connecticut,” Wood said. “And in doing so, took it a step further to decriminalize possession, which is a major step forward in terms of folks who've been really disproportionately impacted in a negative way by the War on Drugs, and cannabis use in particular.”

“This year, that law is beginning to take effect and hopefully by the end of the year, the market will be up and functioning and awards will have been made for these new businesses to be licensed and those businesses will be up and running throughout the state,” he said.

More than 8,000 of the submissions were from social equity applicants. They are from parts of Bridgeport, New Haven and other communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.

The state is required to award half of the licenses to social equity applicants.

Natalie is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.