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Starting a Legal Business

Resources for Aspiring Cannabis Entrepreneurs

Starting a Legal Business FAQs

How long does it take to apply, receive a response, and be fully authorized to operate my cannabis business?

  • The CT Social Equity Council (SEC) must issue its final approval on the application requirements, and the CT Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will make applications available 30 days after the SEC’s final requirements approval.

    • Once the decision on paperwork requirements is made, you can view them here.

  • Once applications are open, there will be a 90-day window to apply to the first Social Equity lottery.

  • Social equity applications will be prioritized. The first batch of social equity licenses must be approved, before reviewing non-social equity licenses.

  • CT expects that retail sales will begin in the end of 2022, indicating a motivation to provide licenses within 12 months.

  • You can sign up for news alerts from the Department of Consumer Protection here.

What is the lottery process like?

  • Social Equity applicants must first verify that they are eligible to apply and meet the following conditions:

    • Had less than 3x the state median household income for the past three years and was a resident of a disproportionately impacted area for at least 5 of the past 10 years or at least 9 years before turning 18.

  • Applicants must submit an application with CT’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

    • The application paperwork requirements are still being determined by the Social Equity Council; however, it will likely include paperwork to provide proof of the income and residency requirements.

  • Once the DCP verifies social equity conditions, the application will be placed in a social equity lottery that will be run and supervised by an independent third-party

  • Once the lottery is finished, the DCP will again verify the social equity conditions and will issue licenses

  • Social equity applicants that were not selected in the social equity lottery are able to participate in the general lottery

How much will it cost me to get my license?

  • Applications for licensure are to be submitted on:

  • The license fees and lottery fees for different license types in the Adult Use Cannabis Program area are as follows:

License Costs.png

Who can help me with the application process?

The Social Equity Council is developing an outreach program and will soon release its program and contact. Please check here for more information.

What public resources, accelerators, mentors are available to help me build my business?

  • Social equity applicants can receive technical assistance for applying, receiving start-up funding, assistance from an accelerator program, and/or workforce training. Funding for these programs will be provided by the Social Equity and Innovation fund, which has $50 million in seed funding under the legislation.

  • There are also several private accelerators in the nation that could supplement any public assistance

Where do I register my business?

To register your business, visit the online application at the Connecticut government website here.

Do I need to apply for a sales tax permit?

You must obtain a Sales and Use Tax Permit from the Department of Revenue Services if you intend to engage in any of the following activities in Connecticut:

  • Sale, rental, or lease of goods;

  • Sale of a taxable service; or

  • Operating a hotel, motel, or lodging house.

You must obtain a Sales and Use Tax Permit before making any sales. If you are purchasing an existing business, you may not use the Sales and Use Tax Permit issued to the previous owner. You are required to obtain a new Sales and Use Tax Permit if you will have more than a single place of business, you must obtain and display a Sales and Use Tax Permit for each location. You can apply for a sales tax license here.

Helpful Articles

ACE and its consultants have not received any financial support from any of the companies listed below, nor is this an endorsement of them. We encourage cannabis entrepreneurs to perform their own research


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One financial challenge for any cannabis entrepreneur or operator is IRS Tax Code 280E, which states that "no deduction or credit shall be allowed in running a business that consists of trafficking a controlled substance." This code impacts cannabis businesses across the nation, causing unnecessary fiscal and operational stress.By understanding the history of the code, and best practices related to tax management and cannabis accounting, you can avoid 280E pitfalls and approach it with confidence.

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