Safe Harbor lends $1.2M to Connecticut marijuana social equity retailer

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Cannabis industry financial services firm Safe Harbor Financial says it and its partners have provided a $1.17 million loan to a forthcoming Connecticut marijuana retailer operating under the Higher Collective brand.

The Higher Collective store planned for Bridgeport is a social equity joint venture, according to a news release.

Higher Collective CEO Patrik Jonsson identified the social equity partner as Keanaha in a statement.

The Higher Collective website identifies the Bridgeport store owner as Keanaha Abrams.

The $1.17 million loan to acquire and build the new store is secured by a first lien on the property.

Colorado-based Safe Harbor did not specify the loan’s term or its interest rate but described the debt as being issued “at market-competitive terms that include a flexible structure that allows interest-only payments during the construction period.”

Higher Collective currently has four other adult-use retail stores in Connecticut, according to the release.

“We are pleased to support this rapidly growing social equity joint venture, which aligns with Safe Harbor’s commitment to supporting social equity operators within the cannabis industry with the provision of normalized banking services,” Dan Roda, Safe Harbor’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The Connecticut state government also has launched a loan program for qualified cannabis social equity businesses.

The state began adult-use marijuana sales in January, but a shortage of licensed operators has stunted sales so far.

Connecticut’s legal cannabis market also has been hampered by a lack of product selection, among other challenges.