recreational marijuana

Special Session Will Address Recreational Marijuana Bill

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Lawmakers will return to the state Capitol for a special session where they will take up a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana.

House lawmakers will convene for the special session on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The Connecticut Senate narrowly approved the bill, but the session ended before House lawmakers could vote. Republicans in the House had threatened to filibuster if they could not come to an agreement on key points with Democrats

If the proposal is approved, Connecticut will join 18 other states that already allow recreational marijuana possession and use, which federal law continues to ban.

Under the bill, it would be legal for people 21 years and older to possess and use cannabis beginning July 1. A person would be allowed to have up to 1.5 ounces, with an additional five ounces secured in their home or vehicle. Homegrown cannabis, however, will not counted toward that allowed amount.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2022, the legislation makes it legal for medical marijuana patients in the state to have three mature and three immature plants, with a limit of 12 plants per household. By July 1, 2023, any adult in Connecticut will be allowed to have the same amount of plants.

Meanwhile, the retail sale of cannabis would begin in May 2022. Under the program, municipalities would receive new revenue generated by a 3% local sales tax on gross receipts based on retail cannabis sales within their borders. It would also be subject to the state’s 6.35% sales tax.

A provision included near the end of the bill specified that an unnamed “former backer of a (marijuana) producer may apply” to the Department of Consumer Protection for a “provisional cultivator license and subsequently a final cultivator license without being subject to a lottery.” That section was stripped Monday night.

The bill also would automatically erase certain drug possession convictions that occurred between Jan. 1, 2000, and Oct. 1, 2015. If someone’s conviction falls outside that time period, they could petition to have it erased.

Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has said he would sign the legislation.

Lamont has also said he will push for lawmakers to take a second look at the Transportation Climate Initiative during the special session.

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