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Cannabis business left in the lurch as Connecticut regulators give second chances for licenses

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WILLPOWER STUDIOS / William Ismae
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After giving hope to denied cannabis companies last week, Connecticut regulators said they sent feedback on Monday that would allow applicants another chance at licensure — at least one company is left waiting as the state’s marijuana industry grows.

The Connecticut Social Equity Council tasked itself with notifying seven previously denied cannabis license applicants to resubmit the ownership and control sections of their applications in its Sept. 26 meeting, though a notice for Leaf CT, LLC was delayed.

Leaf CT had not received notice of the reversal as of Wednesday morning, according to Mary Miller, legal representative for the company and shareholder at Reid and Riege, P.C.

“We'd actually expected to receive some sort of mail last week,” Miller said on Wednesday morning. “But [the council] didn't give it a definite time, so we were glad to see the vote went through. We're confident we will get notice at some point, but as far as I checked with my client, this morning he still hadn't received it.”

Kristina Diamond, the legislative program manager for the council, said in email that the council is sending notices to the companies that can revise their applications.

“On Monday, the Social Equity Council has notified all applicants concerned by the reconsideration decision of the council, including Leaf CT LLC,” Diamond wrote. “All individuals listed as primary contacts on their applications were notified.”

Diamond wrote that the notices were sent via email.

The council’s reversals mean that those seven applicants could revise the ownership and control sections of their applications within 10 days of receiving notice of the reversal. This requirement was updated in September after 11 denied applicants sued in a consolidated lawsuit.

The council has 30 days within sending notice of the reversals to vote on the revised applications.

The ownership and control criteria on the council’s website state that applicants must have been residents of a disproportionately impacted area for five of the last 10 years or nine years before turning 18. That means the applicants come from areas with excessive drug convictions or unemployment rates above 10%.

In its Sept. 26 meeting, the council approved new language for ownership and control as “exercises operational authority over daily affairs of the business, has the voting power to direct the management agents and policies and receives the beneficial interests of the business.”

Kalleen Rose Ozanic is an intern at WSHU for the fall of 2022.