How to open a medical marijuana dispensary in connecticut
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After Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis, it became the 19th US state to do so, a market expected to grow to over $700 million within a few years.

Considering opening a dispensary now that cannabis sales will get underway in Connecticut.

The process of opening a dispensary can be challenging, especially because other dispensaries are anticipated to open at the same time. To remain competitive, you must not only educate yourself about these new laws but also take all measures to stand out from the crowd.

However, if everything works out, you’ll be a big moneymaker.

Luckily for you, we’ve already taken a few steps to help you get your work done. During our research, we discovered the basic steps needed to open a cannabis dispensary here in Connecticut. This guide will allow you to understand better what you can do now to gain approval and what steps you need to take to sell cannabis.


What is a Cannabis Dispensary?

Medical cannabis dispensaries are small businesses or franchises that offer the drug for medical purposes. Since new legislation and new trends will affect how your dispensary operates in the future, it’s vital to stay on top of these developments.

Cannabis was legalized in Connecticut for medical purposes in 2016, but certain restrictions were set, such as age restrictions for its use and possession limits. The restrictions imposed on cannabis use for medical purposes are still in place. As a result, it is vital to stay informed about the latest legislation regarding medical marijuana.

In the future, dispensary owners will be affected by state changes.


How to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license in CT

To open and operate a recreational dispensary in Connecticut, you must obtain a license. Licensing for recreational dispensaries in Connecticut is handled by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Online Application

  • Visit to access the system.
  • Use the account information associated with your pharmacist license to log in.
  • Select “Initial Application” from the Activities menu.

In case you don’t have your log-in information, please send an email to including the following:

  • The name
  • Type of license, permit, or registration
  • Registration number, license number, or permit number
  • Email address
  • Password and User ID requests

Documentation required

Fill out all sections of the online application

Applicants should provide information/documentation for the following:

  • Information about you
  • Licensing, permits, and registrations at the state and local levels
  • Information about recent employment
  • Information about the dispensary
  • Acts of criminality
  • Government-issued photo ID from the US
  • The dispensary facility owner must provide documentation confirming your employment.
  • Additional information may be requested by the Department if necessary.

Application Fee

There is no refund or transfer of fees.

Initial Fee – $100

Annual Renewal Fee- $100



  • A dispensary license expires one year after issuance.
  • To renew a license, dispensaries must submit an application and fee 45 days in advance.
  • Before the license expiration date, if the renewal application has not been filed, the license will become void.
  • An applicant must submit a new application if a renewal application is not submitted within thirty calendar days following the license’s expiration date.


What things need to keep in mind while opening a weed dispensary in Connecticut

There is more to the licensing process than meets the eye. You must comply with many laws and factors when applying for a dispensary license.

  • Dispensaries in CT can only open if located near a school, public park, or another dispensary.
  • Dispensaries cannot be located within 1500 feet of schools or public parks.
  • The business must also be open Sunday through Thursday until midnight and Friday and Saturday until 1 am.
  • Also, don’t forget to take enough security measures.
  • To prevent theft, you may put in a video surveillance system, install an alarm system, put up a perimeter fence, or take other steps.
  • As if these hurdles were not enough, financing the ongoing operation of a cannabis dispensary is also a big concern for small businesses.
  • There is a lack of investment by large banks in cannabis businesses.
  • Schedule 1 drugs like cannabis are illegal.
  • Taking into account these cannabis financing roadblocks will require alternative options.
  • Financial institutions and peer-to-peer lending marketplaces are options, or you can use your finances.
  • Some investors are willing to fund cannabis dispensaries.


4 Steps to Opening a Cannabis Dispensary in CT

Unlike other states, Connecticut has a unique licensing process for dispensaries. To apply for a dispensary permit in the state, owners must complete an application process, undergo an inspection of the dispensary, sell their products through their POS systems, prepare a business plan, and complete a final dispensary inspection. To open up a dispensary in Connecticut, you will need to collect the following items.


Dispensary Prerequisites

The Department of Consumer Protection must license dispensaries before applying for a dispensary permit, and the dispensary owner must possess a valid pharmacist license. A licensed medical marijuana dispensary facility in Connecticut must also be available for the owner to work to sell recreational marijuana.


Dispensary Permits

Owners of marijuana dispensaries must register with the Department of Consumer Protection. Applicants for cannabis retail establishments are required to submit a cover letter, a permit application, a site plan, and contact information for the owner or manager of the retail establishment.


Dispensary Application

An application for a dispensary includes articles of incorporation, bylaws, and members of the dispensary board. A cannabis dispensary application must also have standard government documents attached, including information about the applicant, a copy of their state and local licenses, business information, details about the relevant facility and business, and records of past criminal actions.


Dispensary Inspection

If you own a cannabis business, you must ensure you are ready for inspection so that your business may be inspected. Owners of dispensaries must pass dispensary inspections after submitting a dispensary application. CT requires dispensaries to undergo pre-operational inspections, operational inspections, and annual inspections in order to remain in business.


Types of Cannabis Licenses in Connecticut

Connecticut will not be issuing any new licenses for medical cannabis.

A recreational license will be available in nine different types, each with a different cost. There are several different types of licenses, which are pretty self-explanatory, right up until the hybrid dispensary license and the difference between the delivery license and the transporter license.

Licenses for hybrid dispensaries are available only to existing medical cannabis dispensaries, with holders of these licenses being able to sell both medical as well as recreational marijuana.

The delivery license allows you to provide cannabis to end users, while the transporter license permits you to deliver it to other holders of cannabis licenses.

Micro-cultivators are cannabis cultivators with growing areas between 2,000 and 10,000 square feet. A regular cultivator has a growing area of at least 15,000 square feet. Micro-cultivator can only expand their grow by 5,000 sq ft per year, and once they reach 25,000 sq ft, they can convert to regular cultivators-only licenses.


Requirements To Get a Cannabis License In Connecticut

As far as we know, Connecticut has the following requirements for opening a dispensary.


Adult Use Cannabis License Fees

Non-Social Equity Fees

  • Cultivator – $1000 lottery, $25000 provisional license, and $75000 license
  • Micro-cultivator – $250 for a lottery, $500 for provisional, $1000 for a license
  • Retailer – $500 for a lottery, $5000 for provisional, $25000 for a license
  • Product Manufacturer – $750 lottery, $5000 provisional, $25000 license
  • Food and Beverage – $250 lottery, $1000 provisional, $5000 license
  • Delivery/Transport – $250 lottery, $1000 provisional, $5000 license
  • Product Packager – $500 lottery, $5000 provisional, $25000 license
  • Hybrid – $500 for the lottery, $5000 for the provisional license, and $25,000 for the license


Social Equity Fees

  • Cultivator – $500 in the lottery, $12500 in the provisional permit, $37500 in the license
  • Micro-cultivator – Lottery of $125, Provisional of $250, and License of $500
  • Retailer – $250 for a lottery, $2500 for provisional, and $12500 for a license
  • Product Manufacturer – $375 lottery, $2500 provisional, $12500 license
  • Food and Beverage – $125 lottery, $500 provisional license, $2500 license
  • Delivery/Transport – $125 lottery, $500 provisional, $2500 license
  • Product Packager – $250 lottery, $2500 provisional, $12500 license
  • Hybrid – $250 for the lottery, $2500 for the provisional, and $12500 for the license


Adult-Use Cannabis License Application Dates

Cannabis licenses can be applied for as early as February 3, 2022. For each of the types of licenses, here is an overview of the initial application window:

  • February 3rd: Retailers, equity joint ventures, disproportionately affected areas cultivators, expansion of non-lottery producers and conversion of dispensaries to hybrid retailers
  • February 10th: Micro-cultivator
  • February 17th: Delivery
  • February 24th: Hybrid Retailer
  • March 3rd: Food and Beverage
  • March 10th: Product Manufacturer
  • March 17th: Product Packager
  • March 24th: Transporter

Joint ventures and conversion requests have no deadlines. There will be a 90-day deadline for all other applications. Two lotteries will be held for each license category: one for social equality and one for general licenses. As soon as the social equity applicants have been selected through the lottery, DCP will conduct the general lottery.

A provisional license may be applied for by social equity applicants and general lottery winners. Lotteries are held for most license types, but for certain types of business licenses, they are not held.

Applications for a license to operate a cannabis business should be detailed and as complete as possible. It is not advisable to rush the application submission process. You can find applications at



When it comes to opening a marijuana dispensary in Connecticut, there are a variety of things that need to be taken care of. The state’s population is predicted to reach approximately 3.55 million by 2021, making it clear that this will be a hot market for starting a cannabis business. On the other side, it does throws challenges as well. Don’t worry. We are always available to help you in all ways possible.

Count on us, and you will have the best experience with us.

Also Read: Connecticut Medical Marijuana Card Renewal: Quick and Easy



Q. If someone is going to apply for a dispensary facility license and has 2 possible locations, how would they submit that in an application? Would they print one bound application with the information for 2 possible locations in Section B, Location and Site Plan, or would they print 2 separate bound applications for each of the two different locations?

It is possible to include two locations in one application. The information for Section B would need to be separate from that for any other section, which might vary based on location. In the case of different security companies being used at different locations, for instance, these details would have to be clearly explained in the information provided. The one advantage of filing a single application is that only one location would be eligible to be selected, so only a single license could be issued if you file a single application. It’s best to submit separate applications for each location if you want two licenses (i.e. one for each).


Q. Does the state have an inventory tracking system that the dispensary facilities must use?

Unfortunately not.


Q. How does the dispensary facility confirm a patient registration is legitimate?

In order to verify patients, the Department will make the patient verification site available to the selected dispensary facility.


Q. I own a property that the town has already approved for a dispensary facility and was wondering if our property location can be listed on two separate applications with one application being marked the priority application and the second application being the backup application in case the priority applicant is not approved?

So long as both applicants provide evidence that they have the right to occupy the business location at the time of application, those competing for the same location would not be disqualified. However, only one license would be awarded. Each application will be evaluated on how well it meets the entire range of evaluation criteria outlined in the RFA on a competitive basis.


Q. Do I only need to submit 1 separate electronic file of the 3 years of tax returns?

Applicants will need to submit only one electronic file.


Q. Does the original plus 4 paper copies NOT include any tax returns? Please clarify.

The original application and four copies should not contain tax returns.


Q. In reading the RFA documentation, it indicates in Section E. 6. that if the applicant’s entity was formed within the year preceding the application, they provide certified financial statements for the period the applicant has been in existence as opposed to audited financial statements. How do certified financial statements differ from audited financial statements?

The terms are synonymous in this application.


Q. Who would need to certify the financial statements?

Certification of financial statements results from a review and approval by a licensed certified public accountant.


Q. Would they require a report (audit, review or compilation report) from a Certified Public Accountant, or would certification by the applicant be sufficient?

A certified public accountant must review and approve the report.


Q. With regard to Section A, Appendix B – E, is it acceptable to have one person fall into more than one category? To illustrate, will my Facility Manager have to complete the information for Appendix C (Directors, Owners, Officers, Employees) as well as information for Appendix D?

When applicants want to apply for more than one category, they should include the personnel in each category if they meet more than one of their criteria.


Q. If I only have one Backer, and this Backer exceeds 5% ownership, does this Backer have to complete both Appendix B (Backers) and Appendix E (Backers >5%)?

Those selecting anything except “Sole Proprietorship” in Appendix B, section A must fill out both forms.


Q. In the Business Information of Applicant section, it states that the summary should be no longer than five double-spaced pages. Please confirm this does not include the financial information being requested as an attachment.

Financial information is not included in this requirement


Q. In the application under “Site Plan,” number 9 states, “A blueprint, or floor plan drawn to scale, of the proposed dispensary facility, which shall, at a minimum, show and identify the following:” Does this mean that we provide permit ready engineered plans, or simply drawn to scale concept plans for the dispensary floor plans, site, and its surroundings? Please elaborate.

A detailed engineer’s plan, a blueprint, or a floor plan drawn to scale can be submitted by applicants as long as it adequately shows and identifies the items listed in subparts A through K.


Q. Would “block” be within the “lot” lines of the proposed dispensary facility if all the items are on just one lot, or is it considered the entire area encompassed by the surrounding streets forming the block? And when would it be applicable?

It is normal for a block to refer to an area that has four streets that are found in it.


Q. Would the municipal GIS mapping be acceptable for any required mapping?

It doesn’t matter what kind of map you use, so long as it shows the things listed in the RFA like streets, property lines, nearby stores, etc.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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