In a special session, the Connecticut legislature reached an agreement to legalize marijuana.
With Republican Gov. Ned Lamont'ss signature on June 22, Connecticut became the the 19th U.S. state to do so. The new law goes into effect July 1.
Lamont stated: "It's an important thing to do on a number of fronts - number one in terms of equity and social justice... focused on the communities hardest hit by the War on Drugs. Making up for some lost time here... Let's make sure we can do this in a safe and regulated way. I think it is a model for the rest of the nation. We had a chance to learn from others and I think we've got it right in the state of Connecticut. It's been a long time coming."
On June 16, the House voted in favor by 10 votes. The Senate is expected to follow suit.
A compromise bill between Lamont and the lawmakers was originally reached on June 4, but further debate forced the special session.
Following New York and New Jersey's leads, S.B. 888 ends cannabis prohibition in the Nutmeg State and creates a regulated market. It's known as An Act Responsibly and Equitably Regulating Adult-Use Cannabis.
• Legalizes possession of up to one and a half ounces and five ounces at home.
• Establishes a 3% municipal gross receipt tax to go along with the state's 6.35% sales tax, plus a tax on THC amounts.
• Creates an 11-member Equity Commission.
• Gives social equity applicants early access to obtain licenses
• Provides automatic expungement for previous possession convictions.
• Eliminates odor of burnt cannabis as a reason for a stop or search.
• Allows municipalities to opt out of adult-use sales.
• Allows home growing of a maximum of six plants for medical patients as of January 2022 and for adult use as of July 2023.
• Caps flower at 30% THC and vape oil cartridges at 60% THC.
• Allows current dispensaries to apply for conversion to hybrid retailers beginning September 2021.
• Starts adult-use sales in May 2022.
For the MPP's detailed breakdown of S.B. 888, go here.
The Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana applauded the vote.
On Facebook, advocate Jason Ortiz reported:
"Cannabis legalization passes the House! On to the Senate where it's highly likely to pass! CT is on it's way to a more sensible drug policy! We still have A LOT to work through [sic] to get to the promised land but we are getting closer!"
CannaHealth CEO Kebra LaShawn Smith posted the following message: