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State releases initial figures for cannabis applications

The first lottery for the social equity slots is expected within the next week.

HARTFORD, Conn — More than 15,600 applications were submitted before this week's deadline for a chance to be awarded one of the first dozen licenses to open a retail marijuana shop in Connecticut.

State Department of Consumer Protection figures released Friday show that 8,357 applications were submitted before Wednesday's deadline for the first six licenses that are reserved for social equity applicants — those located in mostly urban and low-income areas that were disproportionately impacted by the government's war on drugs. The state received 7,245 license applications to the general lottery for adult-use cannabis retailers.

RELATED: Connecticut looks to bar out-of-state marijuana advertising

The first lottery for the social equity slots is expected within the next week. The winners will undergo an eligibility review before the general lottery is held, according to the department.

The state did not set a limit on how many applications one entity could submit, but under its rules will not give more than two licenses to any one applicant.

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The department also received 1,896 applications to become micro-cultivators of marijuana, which will allow a licensee to grow in spaces between 2,000 and 10,000 square feet (3,048 meters). Other licenses will be available to sell medical marijuana, operate delivery services, make cannabis infused food and beverages and other cannabis products, as well as package and transport products.

RELATED: Enthusiasts call for equity in cannabis during Hartford rally

The recreational use of marijuana became legal in Connecticut last July, allowing residents over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of marijuana, or up to 5 ounces (142 grams) locked at home or in a vehicle’s glove box or trunk. But retail recreational cannabis stores are not expected to begin operating in the state until late this year at the earliest.

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