HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – News 8 met with a Hartford mother, criminal defense attorney, and city councilor who is ready to make a breakthrough in the state’s emerging cannabis industry. She is doing it as a social equity applicant and she is calling it her responsibility.

“I’m someone who comes from a community disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs and someone who will ensure profits from my business are placed into the community,” said Tiana Hercules, a Social Equity Applicant in Cultivation & Retail.

Tiana Hercules is the founder of Connecticut Cultivation Solutions, and she is one of the 16 approved social equity cultivators.

“It has that name because we want to help the entire state. Hartford will be my priority for sure, I’m on the city council I have children here, but we recognize it may be difficult to grow in Harford,” said Hercules.

This cultivator license means Tiana would not have to go through the lottery process again, since she could convert to a hybrid retailer license.

Like many applicants, she had to turn to an outside investor firm to cover the $3 million license fee.

“That fee is going into the social equity fund which will be reinvested in communities. It’s a huge price point, but it will pay dividends for communities harmed by the war on drugs,” said Andrea Comer, the DCP Deputy Commissioner.

The cannabis retail licenses are next up for the council slated to vote on them next week July 28th.

“If you have unlimited retailers and no supply. You have a problem,” said Andrea Comer.

She said out of the 37 thousand retail applications, only 6 social equity applicants will be selected.

And while we wait it out for the retail social equity applicants to be approved do know that retail sales in the state are slated to begin by the end of this year.