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Social Equity Council approves 16 new marijuana cultivator licenses

Impact Initiatives LLC, a Norwalk-based company, is moving on to the move on to the next stage of the cannabis licensure process, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) said. Former Norwalk Mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra is the company’s principal and agent, according to the State’s website. The Norwalk Common Council Ordinance Committee plans to hold a public hearing on its drafted cannabis regulations in September.

The following article was originally published on Inside Investigator.

Sixteen new applications for marijuana cultivators from Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIA) have been approved to move on to the next stage of the licensure process, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced Tuesday.

The state’s Social Equity Council, which was created to promote and encourage full participation in the cannabis industry by people from communities disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs, approved the applications for the special license type only available to those who meet a certain set of requirements set forth by the General Assembly.

These 16 new applications for marijuana cultivators are said to be advancing to the next stage of the licensure process. Vinny Mangiacopra is the Impact Initiatives’ principal and agent, according to the State’s website. (NancyOnNorwalk)

“These important steps mean Connecticut cannabis cultivation will be primarily operated by people from those communities identified as disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, who qualified as Social Equity Applicants,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are establishing Connecticut as a leader in addressing the inequities and injustices caused by cannabis prohibition. We are ensuring those communities most harmed have an opportunity to be leaders in this newly regulated industry.”

The state received 41 applications for the DIA Cultivator license. The 16 approved applicants will have their background checks reviewed by the DCP and once approved will receive a provisional license. After paying the related fees, the applicants can move on to setting up their business and applying for a final license.

“I am proud of the work the council has done to get to this point in the process while maintaining a commitment to equity and inclusion, as well as future reinvestment in the communities most harmed by the war on drugs,” Andréa Comer, DCP Deputy Commissioner who serves as chair of the Social Equity Council,” said. “We are excited for what comes next, and to see these businesses thrive in this new marketplace.”

The Social Equity Council used data from marijuana-related arrest and conviction records between 1982 and 2020 gathered from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). The data was then converted from street addresses to longitudinal and latitudinal points on a map to identify areas with a historical conviction rate for drug-related offenses greater than one-tenth. The Social Equity Council also includes areas with an unemployment rate greater than ten percent.

Some of the areas identified as disproportionately impacted include parts of Hartford, Norwalk, Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven and New Britain.

7 comments

Seriously July 21, 2022 at 9:18 am

Marijuana is a drug, no long term studies on its effects, teens will get their hands on it easier than ever. People are already having their babies and pets accidentally eating edibles rising up ER visits. And no way for officers to find out “how high” a driver potentially is? I know marijuana has SOME medical benefits, but this is irresponsible all around.

DrewT July 21, 2022 at 9:42 am

Just curious ..What does getting stoned have to do with Equity? Are only certain people allowed to get stoned? Only Minorities? Only Males? Only Women?

Piberman July 21, 2022 at 10:11 am

Reportedly neither CT’s Medical Association nor our CT Medical Schools approved public distribution of pot. CT’s Legislators potted ?

Get high, high, high July 21, 2022 at 8:04 pm

Sat at the light in front of the old YMCA on West ave on Saturday. 4 people in the car next to me just puffing away -includes the driver. What gives? So sad that this is the best our politicians offer the poc communities. Here, go get high… #equity

Piberman July 24, 2022 at 10:10 pm

Is anyone surprised City Dens enthusiastically support making pot legally available ?
Who will be responsible for City teenagers taking pot and moving up the “drug chain’ ?
And the inevitable fatalities from drug overdose.

City Dems ?

JLG July 27, 2022 at 12:36 pm

all they’re doing is changing who the dealer is while making sure those same areas continue to have drug problems … but now they get a cut.

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