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New Haven cannabis business sues Connecticut over social equity rejection

Jeff Chiu
/
AP

CannaHealth, a medical cannabis certification company in New Haven, filed a lawsuit last week against the state Department of Consumer Protection and its Social Equity Council that oversees the rollout of Connecticut's legalized adult-use recreational cannabis industry.

The company offers disadvantaged communities education about medical marijuana and legal access through program evaluations.

The lawsuit alleges the state misunderstood just how much legal control Kebra Smith-Bolden, a nurse who founded the company, has over the business. She partnered with a Canadian investorearlier this year to raise $3 million to cover the state’s cannabis cultivator license fee, according to The New Haven Independent.

State regulators turned down her application for the joint venture because the process was reserved for social equity applicants, who are disproportionately impacted by drug policing.

Smith-Bolden’s lawyers said they disagree with the findings. She also served on the governor's Social Equity Committee, which helps set up the state's cannabis regulatory process.

Regulators have not yet responded to the lawsuit.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.