Getting any type of marijuana license is challenging, but Connecticut certainly wins the prize for one of the most rigid marijuana licensing systems.
In Cannabiz’s new free report, Tracking the Connecticut Licensed Marijuana Economy: 2015 Edition, we crunched the numbers in the Cannabiz database as well as from numerous state databases and primary sources to develop the most comprehensive picture of the Connecticut marijuana licensing landscape.
Based on our research, we can report without question that everything is licensed in the Connecticut medical marijuana ecosystem. Let’s take a closer look.
Connecticut Marijuana Licenses
Every touchpoint in Connecticut’s medical marijuana supply chain requires a license. That’s because it’s the first state medical marijuana program to be based on the traditional pharmaceutical/medical model, which means everyone has to be licensed, including:
- Producers (i.e., manufacturers and growers)
- Dispensaries (i.e., retailers)
- Financial backers of producers and dispensaries
- Employees of producers and dispensaries
As of October 29, 2015, Connecticut had over 7,000 active licenses covering licensed marijuana businesses, products, professionals, and patients.
Let’s take a closer look at what these licenses are.
Medical Marijuana Producer Licenses
As of October 2015, there were only four licensed medical marijuana producer companies in Connecticut producing 551 medical marijuana licensed products with 165 licensed employees.
Producer: Production Facility Employee Licenses
This license is required for individuals who have access to the production facility, including independent contractors who are routinely on the production facility premises.
Producer: Business Licenses
Any company that operates facilities which securely produce marijuana indoors in some way and by a licensed professional has to be licensed.
Producer: Product Licenses
All products sold by medical marijuana producer business licensees must be licensed with its own Medical Marijuana Brand Registration (not to be confused with a trademark or any other kind of legal registration).
Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses
In mid-October of this year, there were 6,726 registered medical marijuana patients in Connecticut but only six licensed dispensaries across the state where these patients could get the marijuana doctors recommended to them. These six dispensaries employ a total of 90 people.
Dispensary: Business Licenses
To dispense marijuana legally in Connecticut (to licensed patients and primary caregivers only), you must obtain a dispensary facility license.
This license is for individuals who are qualified to acquire, possess, distribute, and dispense marijuana. In order to have this license, you must have an active pharmacist license in good standing.
Anyone who works for a dispensary or has access to a dispensary facility (e.g., independent contractors), must have a medical marijuana dispensary employee license.
This registration is for an individual working within a dispensary facility assisting in the dispensing of the medical marijuana. This license isn’t available to everyone. To get one, you have to have a pharmacy technician license in Connecticut that has been active within the past five years.
Medical Marijuana Testing Facilities Licenses
There are three licensed medical marijuana testing facilities in Connecticut. To test marijuana, individuals or businesses must obtain a Controlled Substance Laboratory license if they function within the state as a laboratory to research, instruct, or analyze controlled substances.
Medical Marijuana Physician Licenses
Only 244 physicians in Connecticut are qualified to certify patients for medical marijuana. Not only must the physician have an active Connecticut medical license but they also need a state controlled substance registration and an active Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substance registration.
Making Sense of Marijuana Licenses in Connecticut
Wading through the marijuana license quagmire in Connecticut isn’t easy. This article simply introduces you to the primary business-related licenses without diving into how hard it is to actually get these licenses and how much they can cost!
To learn more, be sure to download our free report, Tracking the Connecticut Licensed Marijuana Economy: 2015 Edition, for details and to find out how each of the Connecticut licensed producers and dispensaries ranked in our 2015 report card.
Susan Gunelius, Lead Analyst for Cannabiz Media and author of Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, is also President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, and she is a popular marketing and branding keynote speaker. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.