The number of lawsuits filed against the Connecticut Social Equity Council continues to climb as more business owners feel that the state has denied their social equity status improperly. There are now a dozen lawsuits after the Social Equity Council denied several applicants for failing to meet ownership and control requirements. This includes Luis Vega, CEO of Nautilus Botanicals, one of the companies challenging their denial. Vega, a Latino hemp farmer in Connecticut, owns 65% of the company along with three investors. According to complaint, Nautilus Botanicals says that the Social Equity Council misread its application documents and acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
Kebra Smith-Bolden is another applicant suing the Social Equity Council. Smith-Bolden is the founder of CannaHealth which provides medical cannabis certifications to patients in Connecticut. In her lawsuit she says that the Social Equity Council failed to intelligibly define control and arbitrarily determined that her company did not qualify as a social equity applicant. Smith-Bolden is asking the court to issue a temporary and permanent injunction that would prevent the Department of Consumer Protection from issuing any further provisional or final licenses until this case is resolved.
Read the lawsuit from Nautilus Botanicals here: https://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=23288268
Read the lawsuit from Kebra Smith-Bolden here: https://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/DocumentInquiry/DocumentInquiry.aspx?DocumentNo=23283462