NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) – A vape shop in Norwich is hoping to win one of the state’s cannabis retail licenses.
The owner of Juiceman’s Cloud City Vape Shop is applying under the social equity part of the program, and he is able to do so because he has lived at least five of the past 10 years in Norwich, which is considered a disproportionately impacted area of the state.
“It is determined by unemployment as well as incarceration rates or conviction rates, I should say,” said Andrea Comer, Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection.
Those with an average household income of less than three times the state median household income also qualify for that part of the program. That allows those applicants to pay a discounted application fee.
In February, the state started accepting social equity and non-social equity applications for a lottery. There is a 90-day window, so in May, the winners of the licenses for both retail stores and mini-cultivators will be picked.
A social equity cultivator can skip the lottery and receive a license if approved but the provisional license fee is a lot higher.
“I know there’s a lot of ways weed helps people and it helps me too, so I want to be able to make sure everyone can get that from a safe place. Especially since a lot of times recently there’s been like laced things on the streets, and I don’t think that’s good,” said Travis Chambers, owner of Juiceman’s Cloud City Vape Shop.
If Chambers wins one of the licenses, he would have to upgrade security at the shop, which could include putting bars on the front windows and adding vaults, so they could lock up the product at night.
Right now the number of retailers and cultivators is determined by population but there is also legislation looking to change that to allow communities to decide themselves how many to allow.