The state is looking for a cannabis accelerator program operator that will help new companies in the industry get their footing.

The state on Thursday issued a request for proposals for organizations and individuals interested in establishing a business accelerator program for companies entering Connecticut’s new adult-use market. The accelerator is for qualified social equity applicants that may not have other resources available to hire consultants and experts as they start their businesses.

According to Social Equity Council Executive Director Ginne-Rae Clay, the program’s goal is to “provide expert cannabis industry focused business development and training curriculum with the purpose of equipping social equity qualified individuals with knowledge, tools, and information necessary to successfully understand and operate cannabis regulated business ventures in the state of Connecticut.”

According to the RFP, the state is looking for an organization to host “workshops, seminars, events, and curriculum that provide the most updated information related to national trends, best practices, creating networks and finding suitable access to capital opportunities available to start up and sustain cannabis related business ventures.”

Further, the accelerator program must provide statewide access to those who have been awarded provisional licenses. The program should provide tools to entrepreneurs like manuals, documents, research and reference materials, and offer networking opportunities that provide insight as to how applicants can overcome challenges and obstacles as they build their business.

Per the RFP, the SEC anticipates the contract will be for one year with an option to renew for another year, and will not exceed $1 million.

The RFP can be found online at https://portal.ct.gov/DAS/CTSource/BidBoard after searching “cannabis.” Those bidding on the RFP must first be registered in CTSource.

Proposals are due by 4 pm May 26.