Cannabis retailers selected in lottery

Today, the Department of Consumer Protection says several applicants are one step closer to getting their license.
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Soon, the state of Connecticut could see over a dozen places selling or growing their own marijuana.

Today, the Department of Consumer Protection says several applicants are one step closer to getting their license.

State officials told Channel 3 they received over 15,000 applications but only a little over 16 applicants were selected.

Two of the spots belonged to one Connecticut woman who hopes to open shops around the center part of the state.

In 2021 cannabis became legal in Connecticut.

By the end of this year, people could see stores open up that sell and grow.

“We want it to be approachable so it’s not so many choices that you are overwhelmed, but not so few choices you are restricted. We really want to make a comfortable, reliable, experience that you can come in and repeat,” said Amanda Ostrowitz, President of Slap Ash LLC.

Amanda lives out of state but grew up in Glastonbury, an area where she hopes to open up a shop by the end of the year.

Cannabis has got a stigma of a bunch of stoners, but that’s a small portion of consumers of cannabis. We want to serve everyone from patients that have, to elderly folks, to people who want an alternative to alcohol,” said Amanda.

Amanda could soon get two retail licenses.

One was awarded through the general lottery and the other through the social equity lottery, which is a program meant for people from neighborhoods most impacted by the war on drugs.

Now that the lotteries are on pause, those who were selected can continue.

“Once they pass their background check and submit their provisional application, if that all checks out, they will receive a provisional license which does allow them to move forward with actually setting up their business for operation,” said Kaitlyn Krasselt, Director of Communication for CT Department of Consumer Protection.

A major part of the final step is finding a place to set up shop.

“Where you want to place a store and where you can place your store are two very different things,” said Amanda.

On top of business strategies like where to get more customers, there are other hurdles. Some cities, including Waterbury, will leave it up to voters in November to decide if these businesses are welcomed.

“In order to establish your business you do need local zoning approval. You do need to submit that to us, that you are properly zoned for where you are planning to establish your business,” said Kaitlyn Krasselt.