Starting a Cannabis Dispensary in CT in 2021

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Starting a Cannabis Dispensary in CT in 2021

If you have been thinking about opening a dispensary in Connecticut, now is the time to do it! Recreational marijuana became legalized in CT in July 2021. This is projected to be a multi-billion dollar industry. Connecticut is the third most densely populated state in the US. It has one of the highest cannabis consumption rates due to its proximity to other nearby major suburban areas.

While medical cannabis in CT will earn less than 200 million in sales this year, sales prospects for recreational adult-use cannabis project 250 million in its first year. By year 4, upwards of $750 million. The cannabis industry has truly taken off, with many states legalizing recreational use as well. This makes New England one of the fastest-growing regions for cannabis expansion.

Clearly, opening a dispensary in CT will be relatively easy. The legal framework already set up for you to operate within. In recent years, the State of Connecticut began cutting regulations on cannabis and other businesses as they see numbers growing exponentially. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind before opening up shop.


What is a Cannabis Dispensary?

A dispensary is a type of small business or franchise that offers cannabis for medical use. It’s essential to keep up with new legislation and the latest trends in this market since it will affect how you operate your dispensary in the future.

In 2016, Connecticut legalized marijuana for medical purposes but only if certain conditions are met, such as age restrictions and possession limits. Those restrictions are still in place, and it’s important to keep up with the latest legislation regarding cannabis for medical purposes, such as licensing.

The state has made some changes that will affect dispensary owners going forward. Hence, it would help if you stay informed by attending conferences or viewing blogs like this for information on what is required of dispensary owners today.


4 Steps to Opening a Cannabis Dispensary in CT

The dispensary licensing process in Connecticut is particular, and a little different than in other states. The state requires dispensary owners to apply for a permit, complete the dispensary application process, pass dispensary inspections, and a final dispensary inspection. All of these items are required for dispensary owners to open up shop in CT. 

1. Dispensary Prerequisites

Before applying for a dispensary permit, the dispensary owner will need an active pharmacist license issued by the Department of Consumer Protection. Additionally, the owner will need to have a position with a Connecticut licensed medical marijuana dispensary facility. 

2. Dispensary Permits

Dispensary owners must submit an application to the Department of Consumer Protection. The dispensary owner needs to include several things: a cover letter and dispensary permit application, dispensary site plan if available, and dispensary owner/manager information.

3. Dispensary Application

The application process requires owners to submit dispensary articles of incorporation, dispensary bylaws, and dispensary board member names. Also, in CT, cannabis dispensary applications need standard government documents including personal information, state and local licenses, employment and facility information, ID, and records of any past criminal actions. 

4. Dispensary Inspection

It’s important that you make sure your cannabis business is ready for inspection. After dispensary owners submit the dispensary application, they must pass dispensary inspections. The state requires a pre-operational inspection, an operational inspection, and an annual dispensary inspection for dispensaries to stay open in CT. 


Waiting for the CT Cannabis Licensing Process

It takes about six months to process dispensary licenses. The state is currently processing dispensary license applications on a first-come, first-served basis, and the waitlist for dispensary license has been closed for the last 3 years. Being now 2021, and considering how rapidly cannabis legislation changes, it’s crucial to stay informed so you’re not left waiting or wondering what your next steps should be.


Financial Considerations: Opening a Dispensary

When opening a dispensary in CT, it’s important to keep in mind how much money is required. The application fee for dispensary license costs a non-refundable and non-transferable fee of $100 with an additional $100 annual renewal fee. 

Also, the medical marijuana facility license is required when applying for dispensary applications and permits. This license requires 1-time payments of $1000 to apply, a $5000 registration fee, and annual renewal fees of $5000.  

It takes about six months to process licenses. So, if you have extra funds or are looking for small business loans, it might be worth investing those financial resources into your cannabis dispensary now so that you can start making profits as soon as possible.

If you don’t currently have a running business with capital behind it when apply, then there will be more qualifications needed. This may include things such as the proving of assets, paying taxes on time, or having at least $60,000 in liquid assets.

Tips and Ticks

It’s essential to keep up with the latest legislation regarding dispensary licensing so that you can stay on top of your game and make sure you’re operating within CT cannabis laws.

Small business owners should always look for ways to grow their company and find new growth opportunities before becoming too dense or outdated. Keeping up with trends is a great way to prepare yourself for both, what might or might not be happening. Still, it also helps improve small businesses now by taking advantage of opportunities as soon as possible.

For help, refer to BitX. BitX Funding is the online marketplace for marijuana startup loans. We accept entrepreneurs with great business ideas and people looking to fund a cannabis-related businesses. BitX provides info on loans for startup businesses in the marijuana industry. Also, we work in other industries such as real estate, technology, retail stores, cultivators, and dispensaries.


When Opening a Dispensary in CT, Keep in Mind:

The dispensary licensing process is not as simple as it may seem. There are many factors to take into account and laws to comply with for your dispensary license application to be successful.

One of the most critical factors that will affect whether or not your dispensary can open in CT, is how close you are located near a school, public park, or another dispensary. A dispensary cannot be within 1500 feet of a school or public park. It must also have operating hours that are no later than midnight on Sundays through Thursdays and until one o’clock in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays.

You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of 1 very important thing: security measures. This may include a 24-hour video monitoring, a state-approved alarm system, a perimeter fence, or other actions that will deter theft.

If these were not enough, the biggest hurdle small businesses need to account for is financing their ongoing cannabis dispensary. Large banks are reluctant to invest in cannabis business owners. Cannabis’ status is an illegal Schedule 1 drug. You’ll need to look for alternative options to account for these cannabis financing roadblocks. These options can include using your personal finances, applying for small business loans in a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, or seeking out financial institutions. Some are willing to provide funding for cannabis dispensary businesses, such as BitX Funding.


Financing a Cannabis Dispensary in CT in 2021

If you are a cannabis business owner in need of a loan, great, don’t wait! BitX Funding can help. We offer competitive rates and low-cost loans for marijuana businesses that want to grow their operation, or expand into new markets. Get started today by filling out this quick online form, so we can get back to you with information about your application! If you would like more info about starting up a dispensary in CT in 2021, reach out to us at You can also contact one of our loan specialists at 800-824-2407, or start the application below!


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Written by Chris Davies, cannabis copywriter at Labate Marketing

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