Fine Fettle stripped of 5 equity licenses. It’s complicated.

Fine Fettle, which operates four stores in Connecticut and two in Massachusetts, was stripped of five previously approved equity joint venture licenses by state’s Social Equity Council at the group’s March 7 meeting. Equity joint ventures are cannabis businesses that are co-owned by established companies and individuals from areas disproportionately impacted by the criminalization of marijuana during the war on drugs.

The state’s equity programs are intended to benefit people who live in these communities, which are determined by unemployment and drug conviction rates, with half of all new licenses for new cannabis businesses reserved for them. Recipients pay reduced license fees for three cycles after being established.

State officials awarded Fine Fettle six of the 14-month provisional licenses last September. In February, the company opened the state’s first equity joint venture  — a recreational dispensary in Manchester. But it was the other five licenses, which were not yet in use, where officials said they found fault. While there were preliminary plans to space the five new dispensaries across their existing locations, specific sites had not yet been finalized. 

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