Connecticut requests consolidation of eleven lawsuits against equity council
In Connecticut the state is asking that those who filed a lawsuit after being denied social equity status be consolidated into one case. The Connecticut Social Equity Council is being challenged with at least twelve lawsuits after denying several applications for social equity status. According to the motion to consolidate most of the lawsuits center around similar claims. Businesses claim in their lawsuit that they denied for failing to meet the criteria for a “social equity applicant” on the grounds that the entity was not “at least sixty-five per cent owned and controlled by” an individual with income below the statutory threshold and residence in a “disproportionately impacted area.
The businesses claim that the council either did not timely disclose the 65% requirement to applicants or the Council’s decision about the plaintiff’s ownership and control was factually erroneous and arbitrary. The state is in favor of consolidation because it reduce the administrative burden associated with having almost a dozen separate lawsuits. Businesses that receive social equity status qualify can either enter the social equity lottery for a cannabis license or operate Equity Joint Ventures which are not subject to the lottery but require applicants to pay fees that go as high as $3 million dollars.