LEAP in Connecticut
Green Thumb Industries, the NAACP Greater New Haven and Vicente Sederberg hosted a five-day cannabis license webinar series for Connecticut residents. This webinar provided aspiring entrepreneurs, current business owners, and job seekers a comprehensive overview of the adult-use cannabis licensing process, including how to qualify as a social equity applicant.
Attendees gained essential knowledge about the realities of operating a cannabis business in Connecticut, as well as additional opportunities to enter the cannabis industry beyond licenses, through ancillary business or transferrable skills.
How far we’ve come . . .
LEAP launched in September 2019 as a free resource for Illinois social equity applicants looking to enter Illinois’ highly competitive regulated cannabis industry. Phase One, described below, provided pro bono guidance through the license application and deficiency notice periods.
Phase 1: Round One Application Assistance
- Private Consultations and Ongoing Communication
- Each week Green Thumb’s application professionals offered 30-minute time slots for confidential one-on-one consultations. We also keep in touch with participants via frequent email blasts to share insight into newly released information, events and resources.
- Small Group Sessions
- At weekly informational sessions open to all SEAs, we explained newly released license application information, responded to frequently asked questions, and provided a networking forum for SEAs to collaborate over resources and challenges.
- Technical Guides
- Green Thumb created written application guides tailored to each license type (dispensary, craft grower, infuser, transporter). These valuable guides provide insight into the application timeline, strategy and best business practices, and are updated as appropriate.
- Tailored Presentations & Webinars
- Green Thumb’s experienced professionals and/or third parties presented hour-long information sessions focused on LEAP participants’ most frequently cited challenges, followed by Q&A. In-house and external experts volunteered their time to walk SEAs through high-priority tasks such as drafting a strong business plan, securing real estate, preparing security plans and layouts.
- Strategic Partnerships
- Green Thumb was able to leverage valuable partnerships for its LEAP applicants. This includes LEAP participant discounts and pro bono legal services from volunteer attorneys and application editing in partnership with local law schools.
What’s next for LEAP?
Green Thumb operates in over a dozen states, many of which have begun to launch new social equity licensing programs. We are in the process of exploring how to expand LEAP services to new markets.
LEAP in the News
Stay informed about our social responsibility initiatives and events, as well as thought leadership and news related to the cannabis industry.
Crain’s Chicago Business: “No Easy Path Sharing Marijuana Wealth.”
Twenty strangers squeeze into a small conference room in a River North loft on a Wednesday afternoon, anxious for tips and insights about how they, too, can get a piece of a marijuana industry that's set to explode after recreational sales become legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.