NOTICE: To protect the health and safety of the public and our employees, DCP employees will no longer be at 450 Columbus Blvd. Please do not send mail. We recommend using our online services, or sending an email to the appropriate division/person instead. Phone lines will have limited support, and voicemails will be returned when possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Dispensary Facility Questions & Answers for Applicants
 
FAQs - 2018 RFA:
 

 

NEW Q. If someone is going to apply for a dispensary facility license and has 2 possible locations, how would they submit that in an application? Would they print one bound application with the information for 2 possible locations in Section B, Location and Site Plan, or would they print 2 separate bound applications for each of the two different locations?

A: You may include 2 locations in one application. You would need to include separate information for Section B and for any other Section where there would be variation depending on location.  For example, if a different Security Company would be used at each location, that information would have to be clearly explained.  If you choose to file a single application, only one location would be eligible to be selected and a single license could be issued.   If you are interested in being considered for 2 licenses (i.e. one for each location), you should submit a separate application for each location.

 

NEW Q. Does the state have inventory tracking system that the dispensary facilities must use?

A: No.

 

NEW Q. How does the dispensary facility confirm a patient registration is legitimate? 

A: The Department will provide the selected dispensary facility with access to the patient verification site.

 

NEW Q. I own a property that the town has already approved for a dispensary facility and was wondering if our property location can be listed on two separate applications with one application being marked the priority application and the second application being the backup application in case the priority applicant is not approved? 

A: Applicants vying for the same business location would not be disqualified so long as each applicant provides evidence that it has a right to occupy such location at the time of the application. Only one applicant, however, would be awarded a license.  Both applications will be judged on a competitive basis with regard to how well the entirety of the application meets the full range of the evaluation criteria set forth in the RFA.

 

NEW Q. Do I only need to submit 1 separate electronic file of the 3 years of tax returns?

A: Yes, an applicant will only need to submit 1 electronic file.

 

NEW Q. Does the original plus 4 paper copies NOT include any tax returns? Please clarify.

A: Tax returns should not be included in the original or 4 paper copies of the application.

 

NEW Q. In reading the RFA documentation, it indicates in Section E. 6. that if the applicant’s entity was formed within the year preceding the application, that they provide certified financial statements for the period of time the applicant has been in existence as opposed to audited financial statements.  How do certified financial statements differ from audited financial statements?

A: For the purposes of this application, the terms are synonymous.

 

NEW Q. Who would need to certify the financial statements? 

A: A certified financial statement is one that has been reviewed and approved by a licensed certified public accountant.

 

NEW Q. Would they require a report (audit, review or compilation report) from a Certified Public Accountant, or would certification by the applicant be sufficient?

A: Must be reviewed and approved by a licensed certified public accountant. 

 

Q. With regard to Section A, Appendix B - E, is it acceptable to have one person fall in to more than one category?  To illustrate, will my Facility Manager have to complete the information for Appendix C (Directors, Owners, Officers, Employees) as well as information for Appendix D?  

 

A: Yes, applicants should include personnel or key staff in multiple categories, if the person meets the criteria for more than one category.

 

 

Q. If I only have one Backer, and this Backer exceeds 5% ownership, does this Backer have to complete both Appendix B (Backers) and Appendix E (Backers >5%)?

 

A: Backers must fill-out both forms if they selected anything other than “Sole Proprietorship” in section A of Appendix B.

 

 

Q. In the Business Information of Applicant section, it states that the summary should be no longer than five double-spaced pages.  Please confirm this does not include the financial information being requested as an attachment.

 

A: This requirement does not include financial information.

 

 

Q. In the application under "Site Plan" number 9 states “A blueprint, or floor plan drawn to scale, of the proposed dispensary facility, which shall, at a minimum, show and identify the following:” Does this mean that we provide permit ready engineered plans, or simply drawn to scale concept plans for the dispensary floor plans, site and its surroundings?  Please elaborate.

 

A: Applicants can provide either a detailed engineered plan, a blueprint or a floor plan drawn to scale so long as it is sufficient to show and identify the items listed in subparts a. through k.

 

 

Q. Would “block” be what’s within the “lot” lines of the proposed dispensary facility, if all the items are on just the one lot,  or is it considered to be the entire area encompassed by the surrounding streets forming the block?  And when would it be applicable?

 

A: A block would normally refer to an area bounded by four streets.

 

 

Q. Would the municipal GIS mapping be acceptable for any of the mapping required?

 
A: Any map drawn to scale including maps from municipal GIS mapping are sufficient, so long as they display the items listed in the RFA such as streets, property lines, nearby establishments, etc.

 

Q. Do applicants need to submit fingerprints for background checks?  If so, can you please describe the process, particularly for out-of-state individuals?

A: No, applicants do not need to submit fingerprints as part of their applications.

 

 

Q. Are there restrictions on who can handle the marijuana products inside the facility, including during delivery, securing inventory, and sale to patients?

 

A: Dispensaries (pharmacist) and/or dispensary technicians are responsible for handling marijuana and marijuana products, securing inventory and sale to patients.

 

 

Q. Other than what is required in the application, are there any other specific facility design requirements that I should be aware of?

 
A: All requirements are outlined in the RFA and in the applicable laws and regulations for Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program.  In addition, the town where your proposed facility is located may have zoning requirements or other local ordinances or requirements that must be met.
 
 
Q. Would DCP have any issues of co-tenancy for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary with other state or federal agencies?
 
A: The regulations do not prohibit a dispensary facility from operating in the same building as a different organization, including a state or federal agency, so long as the security and other requirements of the regulations and the RFA are met with regard to the location.  However, there may be federal ramifications to being a co-tenant with a federal agency.  DCP cannot speak to those federal consequences.

 

Q. Is it required to have a Sale and Use Tax Permit for the application?

A: Yes, a copy of your Sale and Use Tax permit is required with your application submission. More information on how to apply for a Sales and Use Tax Permit can be found on the Department of Revenue Services website here: http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?A=1477&Q=269928.

 

Q. Who do we make the check to for the $1,000 application fee?

A: Checks or money orders should be made payable to “Treasurer, State of CT”

 

Q. If a dispensary is allowed in a town but requires site plan approval is that site plan approval required before the application is submitted as per section B number 2 or is that type of mere formality not necessary to satisfy the question? 

A: The applicant must provide documents sufficient to establish that state and local building, fire and zoning requirements and local ordinances are met for the proposed location of the dispensary facility.  This would include approval of a site plan if that is a requirement of the town.  If site plan approval is received after the submission deadline, that information should be immediately provided to the Commissioner in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the RFA.   Such subsequent information will be considered, or not considered, as part of the evaluation process the same as all other information that is submitted subsequent to the submission deadline in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.

 

Q. Is there anything in statute or the regulations that would disqualify a CT licensed producer from applying for dispensary facility license?

A: No, although any financial arrangements between an affiliated producer and dispensary facility cannot circumvent the requirements of the regulations, particularly Section 21a-408-52, that prohibit a producer from discriminating in their dealings with dispensary facilities.

 

Q. Would the department be inclined to support, oppose, or be neutral on granting a dispensary facility license to a licensed producer?

A: There is nothing in the statue or regulations that prohibit an existing producer from applying for a dispensary facility license.  All evaluation criteria are set out in the RFA. Points will only be awarded based on how well an application meets either the mandatory or the bonus point elements of the RFA.  

 

Q. Is a person who has decision making power in daily operations of a proposed dispensary, such as the dispensary facility manager, but does not have any ownership control of the dispensary consider a facility backer?

A: Whether a dispensary facility manager would also be considered a backer will depend on the percent of ownership the person has in the dispensary facility.  A backer is defined as “any person with a direct or indirect financial interest in a dispensary facility, except ‘dispensary facility backer’ does not include a person with an investment interest in a dispensary facility provided the interest held by such person and such person’s co-workers, employees, spouse, parent or child, in the aggregate, do not exceed five per cent of the total ownership or interest rights in such dispensary facility and such person does not participate directly or indirectly in the control, management or operation of the dispensary facility.”

 

Q. In Section B of the Dispensary Application, it requires applicants to provide “photographs of the surrounding neighborhood and businesses sufficient to evaluate the proposed dispensary facility’s compatibility with commercial or residential structures already constructed, or under construction, within the immediate neighborhood.”  How many photos should we provide and what features should be included, such as existing buildings, geographical features, aerial views,  neighbors to either side, any sidewalks or other easements, etc?

A: The Department does not have a requirement for how many photographs an applicant needs to include in their application submission. However, the applicant should provide a sufficient amount of photographs to allow the Department to properly evaluate the proposed dispensary facility’s compatibility with commercial or residential structures already constructed, or under construction, within the immediate neighborhood.

 

Q. In Section B of the Dispensary Application, it requires applicants to provide “photographs of the surrounding neighborhood and businesses sufficient to evaluate the proposed dispensary facility’s compatibility with commercial or residential structures already constructed, or under construction, within the immediate neighborhood.”  Can you clarify if there is an area radius for how far from the proposed facility photos should be taken to help the program decide compatibility?

A: The RFA does not provide a radius for how far from the proposed dispensary facility location the photographs should be taken.  Most important is for the photographs to be sufficient for the Department to properly evaluate the proposed dispensary facility’s compatibility with commercial or residential structures already constructed, or under construction, within the immediate neighborhood.  Elsewhere in Section B, the Department requires a map identifying establishments within 1000 feet of the proposed dispensary facility location.

 

Q. In Appendix A, Section K: Financial Statement, do you want only cash expenditures that have already been incurred or will be incurred up to Application submission, or do you want foreseeable/knowable expenditures from the near future, but that occur after the application submission as well?

A: The Department is seeking all expenses incurred in connection with the establishment of your business.  Future expenditures do not need to be included if those expenses have not yet been incurred.

 

Q. Does the applicant need to be the person dropping off the application on April 9 or can the manager of the dispensary drop off the application?

A: No. The application can be dropped off by anyone or any delivery service on your behalf.

   
 
Q. Are there a maximum number of hours a dispensary department can be open? Are there restrictions on the opening time or closing time of a dispensary department or dispensary facility?
 
A: Dispensary departments or facilities do not have a maximum number of hours they must remain opened for, or restrictions on when to open or close the department or facility. However, the regulations require that a dispensary department be open for qualifying patients and primary caregivers to purchase marijuana products for a minimum of 35 hours per week.  In addition, when reviewing the RFA, the Department will evaluate the hours the dispensary facility and dispensary facility department will be open and consider the impact those hours will have for patients, caregivers and the surrounding community.

 

Q. What do you mean by a certificate of good standing from the Secretary of the State’s office?  Is it for the landlord?  Is it for the newly formed Dispensary LLC?

A: A certificate of good standing (also known as a certificate of legal existence) verifies that a business entity is registered with the Secretary of State and is up-to-date with the filing obligations of the Secretary of the State. Information on how to obtain a certificate of good standing/legal existence can be found on the Secretary of the State’s website here:   http://portal.ct.gov/SOTS/Commercial-Recording/Legal-Existence.  The certificate should be for the RFA applicant. 

 

Q. Could you please clarify whether administrative buildings or other structures that are owned and used by a public or private school must be listed on a map if no actual education takes place on the premises?

A: Applicants must identify places that are primarily used for public or private school. Buildings and other structures that are owned by a public or private school, used primarily for administrative functions and not primarily used for instruction or educational purposes may be excluded from the map listing.

 

Q. If a building is currently occupied, would a copy of the existing certificate of occupancy be sufficient to establish that state and local building and fire codes are met?

A: No, new documentation will be required as part of the application.

 

Q. If a town has established a list of all properties in town that are "Eligible Properties for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries", would that be sufficient to establish that zoning and local ordinances are met?

A: Applicants are required to submit documents sufficient to establish that state and local building, fire and zoning requirements and local ordinances are met for the proposed location of the dispensary facility.  The exact form of the documentation is left to the discretion of the applicant and the local authority.

 

Q. Are all questions and answers from previous years still valid?

A: Yes to the extent those answers reference identical language or requirements in the current RFA.

  

Q. Can an alternative site address be substituted after an application has been submitted?

A: If an applicant decides to provide an alternative site location, that information, along with all other site-specific information required by the RFA, including but not limited to the items set forth in Section B. (Location and Site Plan),  should be immediately provided to the Commissioner in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the RFA.   Such subsequent information will be considered, or not considered, as part of the evaluation process in the same manner as all other information that is submitted subsequent to the submission deadline in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.

 

Q. Does a licensed dispensary have to be in an approved location for a specific period of time before being able to move to another site, even in another town?

A: No. However, prior to changing a location, a dispensary must notify the Department in accordance with the procedure described in § 21a-408-17(d) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies and receive approval by the Commissioner for the location change.

 

Q. Can site locations be pre-approved by landlords with the state prior to applications being submitted?

A: No.

 

Q. Can separate business groups submit applications with the same potential site address? 

A: Yes. Applicants vying for the same business location would not be disqualified so long as each applicant provides evidence that it has a right to occupy such location at the time of the application. Only one applicant, however, would be awarded a license.

 

Q. Can other businesses or residential tenants be in floors above or below a dispensary that is on a 1st floor?

A: Yes so long as all security requirements set forth in the regulations can be met.

 

Q. Does the state or towns determine how many dispensaries can be in any one town?

A: Towns may set requirements regarding the availability of locations for dispensary facilities in their zoning regulations, which may include the number of dispensary facilities that the town will allow within its boundaries.  In evaluating dispensary facility applications, the Department will evaluate the applicant’s proximity to other dispensary facilities and whether the location will improve patient access to the program. 

 

Q. May a medical marijuana dispensary use the word “apothecary” in its name?

A: No.

 

Q. Does the dispensary facility application have to be accompanied with a county application?

A: No. However, proof of zoning approval will be required as part of the application.

 

Q. Is it possible to submit an application while in the process of getting zoning approval and amending the application once zoning approval is issued?

A: An applicant may submit an application, pending zoning approval, on or before the submission deadline. If zoning approval is received after the submission deadline that information should be immediately provided to the Commissioner in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the RFA.   Such subsequent information will be considered, or not considered, as part of the evaluation process in the same manner as all other information that is submitted subsequent to the submission deadline in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.

 

Q. If a proposed location is within 1000 feet of a "place of religious worship", is the location immediately not viable?  

A: The regulations do not prohibit a dispensary facility from being located within 1000 feet of a school, church or similar organization. The regulations do, however, provide that DCP will consider "whether the proximity of the proposed dispensary facility will have a detrimental effect upon any place used primarily for religious worship, public or private school, convent, charitable institution, whether supported by private or public funds, hospital or veterans' home or any camp or military establishment.” See Section 21a-408-14(c )(2)( C).  For this reason, the RFA requires that all applicants provide the location of schools, churches, etc. within 1000 feet of the proposed dispensary facility.

 

Q. Does having local zoning approval supersede the 1000 foot requirement?

A: No.

 

Q. Would plans that are stamped by the town's fire marshal and building inspector be sufficient for DCP?

A: In order for an application to be considered complete, all information requested in the RFA must be provided, including documents sufficient to establish that state and local building, fire and zoning requirements and local ordinances are met for the proposed location of the dispensary facility. 

 

Q. Can we use a location that is currently being renovated/constructed and will be available for occupancy by the summer of 2018? 

A: Yes, however, the regulations anticipate that a dispensary facility will be opened within 4 months after a license has been awarded by DCP.  As part of its evaluation, the Department may consider the likelihood that the applicant will be able to open in a timely manner.  

 

Q. Besides complying with the distance from religious institutions, schools etc. and local zoning requirements is there any requirement for a dispensary to be located in a free standing building as opposed to an office building or shopping center?

A: No.

 

Q. Does the Department give preference in the application process to the type of location (free standing building, office building or shopping center)?

A: No.

 

Q. May an applicant satisfy the "proof of zoning approval" requirement set forth in the FAQ's for the 2018 RFA and the additional location documentation requirements of Section B.2. of the RFA by (i) providing proof that a medical marijuana dispensary is a permitted special permit use in the zone in which the proposed location is located, and (ii) submission of a copy of the submitted special permit application, indicating that the proposed location/plan meets state and local building, fire and zoning requirements and local ordinances?

A: Applicants are required to submit documents sufficient to establish that state and local building, fire and zoning requirements and local ordinances are met for the proposed location of the dispensary facility.  The exact form of the documentation is left to the discretion of the applicant and the local authority.

 

Q. How long is it expected to take for the DCP to decide on new licenses after the April 9th deadline?

A: At this time, it would be difficult to determine the expected timeframe as the amount of applications the department will receive is unknown.

 

Q. Will the DCP consider extending the deadline for applications considering many towns require "special use permits" for Dispensaries that can take a few months or more for Zoning Board approval?

A: At this time, there is no plan for changing the RFA submission deadline.  An applicant may submit an application, pending zoning approval, on or before the submission deadline.  If zoning approval is received after the submission deadline, that information should be immediately provided to the Commissioner in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the RFA.   Such subsequent information will be considered, or not considered, as part of the evaluation process in the same manner as all other information that is submitted subsequent to the submission deadline in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.   The Department reserves the right to, but is not obligated to, postpone awarding one or more dispensary licenses pending the outcome of zoning approvals.

 

Q. Will DCP notify applicants of unsuccessful applications as well as applications that are selected for a license?

A: All applicants will be notified by the Department once a determination has been made.

 

Q. Can you please clarify as to what class of vault is considered "approved" for the purpose of storing marijuana?

A: The requirements for approved vaults and approved safes are set forth in section 21a-262-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, which can be found on DCP’s website on the “Laws & Regulations” page under Drug and Pharmacy or at the following link: https://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Browse/RCSA?id=Title%2021a|21a-262|21a-262-1|21a-262-1

  

Q. How is that 1000 feet measured? Is it building to building? Is it property to property? Is it driving distance?

 
A: The 1000 feet can be measured by using a 1000 square foot radius around the site location.
 
 
Q. Is the dispensary permitted to deliver marijuana products to card holders requesting product?
 
 A: No. Dispensary facilities are not permitted to deliver product directly to a patient’s residence. However, dispensary facilities can deliver to a hospice or other inpatient care facility licensed by the Department of Public Health.
 
 
Q. Is a card holder permitted to grow a limited number of marijuana plants?
 
A: Per CGS, Section 21a-408d, medical marijuana must be purchased from a CT approved medical marijuana dispensary facility.

 

 

Q. Can more than one pharmacist be listed on the application as a proposed dispensary facility manager?

 

A: As part of the RFA application, an applicant can only include one dispensary facility manager per location.

 

 

Q. Is the dispensary facility manager required to be on premises during all hours of operation open to patients? Or, can a dispensary technician/pharmacist on staff supervise while the individual dispensary facility manager is away (i.e. vacation, sick time, emergency, etc.)?

 

A: A dispensary facility manager or a dispensary (pharmacist) must be on the premises during the hours of operation when medical marijuana products are being sold/dispensed.

 

 

Q. Is there a separate approval process for licensing of a dispensary facility manager as compared to the license awarded to the dispensary facility?

 

A: Yes, dispensary facility licenses are only available during the request for application (RFA) process. While a dispensary facility manager must be identified in connection with the RFA, the dispensary facility manager can change over time and license application forms are available to any pharmacist who has been hired or moved into a dispensary facility manager position in any of the state’s dispensary facilities.

 

 

Q. If a dispensary facility needed to hire a new dispensary facility manager, does that new dispensary facility manager become a licensed dispensary per DCP by submitting the requisite dispensary facility manager change form and required fee (subject to DCP approval)?

 

A. The new dispensary facility manager would need to apply for a dispensary license with DCP if they are not already a licensed dispensary.  In addition, the dispensary facility would need to submit the requisite dispensary facility manager change form and fee.

 

 

Q. If the dispensary facility is required to hire a new dispensary facility manager, what happens if the proposed new permanent dispensary facility manager is not approved/awarded a license? Can the dispensary facility continue to operate with the acting dispensary facility manager and continue to look to find a permanent replacement?

 

A: The dispensary facility owner must assign one of their other dispensaries (pharmacists) as the new dispensary facility manager until a permanent dispensary facility manager is hired.

 

 

Q. Aside from the renewal fee, what is entailed for the annual renewal application?

 

A: Completion of an online application and renewal fee will be required.

 

 

Q. If there has been a change to the staff (i.e. a change in personnel or a new dispensary facility manager) would that change be reflected in the renewal application form or would a new, separate application be required reflecting the change of the dispensary facility manager?

 

A: Changes to dispensary facility personnel are not reflected in the dispensary facility renewal process. A change in personnel is a different process and requires the completion of specific forms. For example, the new employees would have to apply for the applicable license for the position they would hold.

 

 

Q. Does DCP know of any financial institutions that will do business with the Medical Marijuana industry?

 

A: DCP cannot provide or recommend banking institutions to applicants. Applicants are encouraged to contact banking institutions in state to determine their interest in participation with the industry.

 

 

Q. Does DCP allow a dispensary to operate a drive-thru for pick-ups?

 

A: DCP regulations do not prohibit the use of a drive-thru. However, the applicant must provide DCP with the appropriate security measures, as further described in the regulations, that will be available to ensure the safety of patients, caregivers, products and the surrounding community.

 

 

Q. Do I need to have an approved dispensary facility location before I can begin the RFA application?

 

A: You do not need an approved location to begin the application.  A completed application, however, must include the proposed location and proof of zoning approval.    

 

 

Q. What does the application mean by charitable institution?

 

A: Generally speaking, a charitable institution refers to an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy or social well-being.  For a more complete definition of “charitable organization” in Connecticut, please review Section 21a-190a of the Connecticut General Statutes.  https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_419d.htm#sec_21a-190a

 

 

Q. What type of tax/financial history would be required for the application process for a newly formed entity?

 

A: Please review the RFA, which sets out which tax returns and financial documents must be submitted. Section E.8 on page 8 of the RFA instructs that the applicant submit any tax return that it filed in the past three years.   Newly formed entities may have none.   Section E.9 on page 8 of the RFA requires the submission of tax returns by each dispensary facility backer and each member of a backer identified in Appendix B.  With regard to other financial statements, the applicant is required to provide the financial statements requested in E.6 of page 8 to the extent they exist.  In addition, if pro forma financials used for business planning purposes exist, they should be provided pursuant to E.7 on page 8.  

 

 

Q: What are the preferred geographical locations for dispensary facilities in Connecticut?

 

A: DCP is seeking applications for dispensary facilities in any location throughout Connecticut.  We will, however, evaluate the applicant’s proximity to other dispensary facilities and whether the location will improve patient access to the program.

 

 

Q: Can only a pharmacists apply for a dispensary facility license?

 

A: No. The RFA application is opened to anyone interested in applying.  A dispensary facility, however, must employ a dispensary facility manager who is a licensed pharmacist. Appendix D of the RFA requires identification of the dispensary facility manager together with the manager’s pharmacist license information.

 

 

Q: Is it required to always have a pharmacist on site?

 

A: Medical marijuana can only be dispensed by a Connecticut-licensed dispensary (pharmacist) in a dispensary facility. Therefore, during hours of operation when medical marijuana products are being dispensed/sold,  a pharmacist must be present.