Connecticut lottery raises equity concerns after winners chosen

Increased odds? Lottery winners sent in hundreds of applications

Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis licensing system includes a lottery system that is raising eyebrows after a report from the Hartford Business Journal showed that the companies competing for a license submitted hundreds of applications to increase their odds at winning. In September the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection selected winners in the retailer and micro-cultivator license types. According to data from the licensing database of Connecticut’s cannabis lottery system those winners were able to increased their odds at success by submitting as many applications as they could afford. Application fees for the general lottery ranged from $250 to $1,000 depending on the license type. The application fee for retailers was $500, for example.

One business, Slap Ash, submitted 901 applications in the general lottery for a retail license according to the Hartford Business Journal. This came at a cost of more than $450,000 to the company. In the end, the move proved to be worth it as Slap Ash was chosen in the first general lottery for adult-use cannabis retail. The practice of submitting hundreds of lottery applications is being seen across both the social equity and general lotteries happening in Connecticut. Some entrepreneurs and advocates are disappointed that Connecticut law did not cap the number of applications an entity could submit. This move puts entrepreneurs that do not have investment at a disadvantage because of their inability to spend large amounts of money on non-refundable lottery fees.

Find the full story from the Hartford Business Journal on their website here: