How to Open a Dispensary in Connecticut

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The first dispensary licenses were issued by the state in 2014. Among the 27 applicants, a total of six were chosen. Connecticut also licensed four medical marijuana cultivators. Today there are a total of nine dispensaries currently operating in the state.

Currently, there are no new applications being accepted, but when this window is reopened it, this will be valuable information. Below are the details you’ll need to know to open a marijuana dispensary in Connecticut.

Legalization in Connecticut

The Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act was signed into law in late May 2012 by the state of Connecticut. The law required that only licensed pharmacists may operate dispensaries, and only a limited amount of patients could qualify for the treatment. Qualified health professionals were also required to have undergone training on the proper handling of controlled substances as well as have experience in patient counseling regarding drug interactions.


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The first dispensaries licenses were issued by Connecticut in April 2014. At that time, Connecticut had about 2,000 registered medical patients. Among the 27 applicants, a total of six were chosen. The state also licensed four medical marijuana cultivators from a pool of 16 applicants.

In September 2015, by the time the second licensing application window closed, the number of qualified medical patients had more than doubled to 5,357. It had quadrupled to 8,201 by the beginning of 2016.

Number of Dispensaries Operating in Connecticut

Currently, 9 dispensaries operate in the state of Connecticut. The state’s medical cannabis program is monitored by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, Medical Marijuana Program). In May 2016, the state approved the participation of minors in their medical cannabis program, though they are not allowed to smoke or vaporize cannabis.

The Department of Consumer Protection began accepting applications for cannabis research starting October of 2016. The state will also accept applications for medical marijuana research programs.

What is Connecticut’s Cannabis Market Worth?

In 2016, sales of medical cannabis reached 29.3 million  and this expected to increase exponentially over the next three years. In 2021, projected medical sales are expected to reach 104.9 million. When recreational cannabis is legalized, the recreational market is expected to generate 60.3 million dollars worth of revenue by 2021.

Licensing & Financial Requirements

As of right now, the state of Connecticut is not accepting new applications for licenses. Of course, as soon as the new cannabis program is expanded, this will reopen the licensing period.

License & Financial requirements

Licensing & Financial requirements – Image Source:

You can expect to pay the following fees:

  • Dispensary Facility License Initial Application Fee: $1,000
  • Dispensary License (individual) initial Application Fee: $100
  • Dispensary Facility Backer Initial Application Fee: $100
  • Dispensary Facility Employee Initial Application Fee: $50
  • Dispensary Facility Technician Initial Application Fee: $50
  • Dispensary Facility License Registration Fee: $5,000
  • Dispensary Facility License Renewal Fee: $5,000
  • Dispensary License (individual) Annual Renewal Registration: $100
  • Dispensary Facility Backer Annual Registration Renewal Fee: $100
  • Dispensary Facility Employee Annual Registration Renewal Fee: $50
  • Dispensary Facility Technician Annual Registration Renewal Fee: $50


As with any business, starting a dispensary in Connecticut can take some time. You should allow up to a year, or in some cases more, before you’re able to get your business up and operating.

 Consulting Companies

The following consulting companies can help you figure out everything you need to know to open up a dispensary in the state of Connecticut. You can find information on state requirements, permits, and everything else you need to get off of the ground running!



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