October 5 2021 Minutes - Council Meeting

Read time: 6 minutes


October 5, 2021 Special Meeting 10 a.m.

Legislative Office Building (LOB), Hearing Room 1D, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106



This meeting was recorded by CT-N - To watch, visit: https://ct-n.com

(direct link: https://ct-n.com/ondemand.asp?ID=18990 )


A special meeting of the Social Equity Council was held in person on October 5, 2021.

  1. Ojala Naeem opened the meeting noting the presence of a quorum, called the meeting to order at 10:01 a.m. 


  2. Attendance

    Council members present: 

    Subira Gordon
    Michael Jefferson
    Ojala Naeem
    Edwin S. Shirley
    Corrie Betts
    Avery Gaddis 
    Joseph Williams 
    Dr. Kelli Vallieres 
    Marilyn Alverio 
    Christine Shaw, designee for Shawn Wooden
    Melissa McCaw
    Kyle Abercrombie, designee for David Lehman

    Staff attending/ presenting:  Ginne-Rae Clay, Exec. Director, SEC and Rodrick J. Marriott, PharmD, Director, Drug Control Division, Dept. of Consumer Protection


  3. Approval of Meeting Minutes (9/7/21 and 9/14/21)

    Ojala Naeem asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the September meetings on 9/7/21 and 9/14/21.   Michael Jefferson made the motion, Melissa McCaw seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


  4. Committee Reports and Call for Action
    1. Finance Committee, Christine Shaw, Chair

      Christine Shaw reported that the finance committee has not met since the September meeting of the council.  Their work is dependent on the timeline from other committees.  She explained that the revenue assumptions and the majority of the committees work will take place in late November and early December. 

      Ojala Naeem spoke of the committee’s efforts on the working document with recommendations for governance document for the council.  Specifics about quorum and meeting requirements.  She noted that in December, the Council will be asked to vote on a schedule for meetings which is due to the Secretary of State in January 2021.  She noted that the document is under legal review and the official document will be brought to the full council at the next meeting.


    2. Outreach Committee, Marilyn Alverio & Subira Gordon, Co-Chairs
    3. Subira Gordon spoke of the committee’s efforts on the working document with recommendations for household income and residency requirements for applicants. She explained the types of documents and considerations for these items and that the document will be worked on further and will be brought to the full council at the next meeting.

    4. Policy Committee, Edwin  Shirley, Chair  
    5. Edwin Shirley spoke of the work of the policy committee on the Social Equity Plan requirement, and that they have been comparing and reviewing against best practices (Massachusetts Plans, and have found other items that would fall under workforce.  And so our Policy committee would like to meet with the Workforce Committee in a joint meeting to create an outline for what will fall under social equity and what will fall under the separate Workforce Plan requirement.

    6. Workforce Committee Kelli-Marie Valleries, Chair
    7. Kelli-Marie Valleries spoke of background work happening regarding data and best practices, that will be presented to the Workforce committee when they meet before the November full council meeting.  The Workforce committee chair noted that they look forward to meeting with the Policy committee.

      Subira Gordon asked about the process for taking recommendations for revisions to the legislation.  Policy Committee Chairman Shirley stated that he would hope that councilmembers would send recommendations to the policy committee for consideration, research and for the policy committee to bring recommendations to the full Council.  

      Melissa McCaw shared that - by the legislation, once the RFP study report is in the council will review that report and presumably create a body of recommendations that can be worked into legislation.

    8. From the Executive Director Ginne-Rae  Clay, Interim Executive Director
    9. Ginne-Rae Clay reported on staff hiring progress. Positions that were posted, and applications are in for: Program Manager, Admin. Asst., Comm. & Leg. Mgr., Staff Attorney.  

      The review committee will include the SEC Chair, Exec. Director, and Chair of the Policy Committee.  It will also include representatives from: DECD, OPM and OTG.   

      Ms. Clay also detailed meetings, activities and events that she has attended. 

      Christine Shaw asked about the makeup of the review committee and for information about an event Ms. Clay mentioned.  The event will be hosted by Hartford Business Journal.  Ojala Naeem mentioned the HBJ’s Cannabis Insider newsletter and encouraged all to sign up for that as it might be helpful.

  5. Public Comment Period
    • Jeff Sauve, Windham, CT came forward to thank the council for the work and stated his interest to be a social equity applicant for the retail dispensary license.

      Ojala Naaem reminded the public that, at future meetings, members of the public that wish to participate (3 minute slots) in the public comment period must do so in person and sign up before 9:50 A.M.

  6. Presentations

    Rodrick J. Marriott, PharmD, Director, Drug Control Division, Dept. of Consumer Protection presented on the License Types, their various descriptions and restrictions and the application and renewal fees related to each, as described in the legislation. He spoke of concerns for the medical market supply and how the license lotteries will be timed carefully.  There was discussion of fees and the timing and time projections for SEC funds (revenue projections). Melissa McCaw spoke of the fiscal note where in the first year, the expected cost of regulation will be almost $16M.  Dr. Marriott spoke of staggering the lotteries and the limit per town for each type of license. Melissa McCaw noted that through regulation, towns and cities can choose to put moratoriums on marijuana businesses.  She mentioned that OPM has been keeping a list of those municipalities that have blocked those businesses and will share it with the Council.

    Marilyn Alverio asked about the possibility for co-ops and how that structure might allow lower income participation in the industry.  Dr. Marriot answered that a co-op would be a different kind of business structure and he doesn’t think there is anything in the legislation that prohibits that, and he will look into that more.  A discussion ensued. Edwin Shirley noted that he expects significant interest from the private sector in financing marijuana businesses.

  7. For the Good of the Order – New Business, Updates and Information    

A discussion around the timeline ensued:

Christine Shaw would add to the timeline - the development of the budget will likely not be ready by that (Dec. Meeting vote) time, and wanted to flag that.

Subira Gordon, looking at the timeline would like more guidance for the Outreach Committee - how to connect to communities, and said it is on us to put information out to the communities that have been most disproportionately effected. 

Ojala Naaem - To the executive director and chair - if the tasks could be separated out by committee, that would be helpful at the next committee meetings.

8. Adjourn

Edwin Shirley made a motion to adjourn.  Melissa McCaw seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting was adjourned at 11:54a.m.


Minutes are a draft until approved at a future meeting.

To view the full meeting video recording on CT-N, click here.



Meeting Minutes