The Connecticut State Senate has passed a bill that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for people 21 years old and up in the state. The next step is for the bill to head to the state House of Representatives.
Read the Bill the Senate Passed to Legalize Cannabis in Connecticut
What the Bill to Legalize Marijuana in CT Does:
- 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 will not be counted toward that allowed amount.
- May 2022: The retail sale of cannabis is expected to begin.
- Oct. 1, 2022: the legislation would make 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.
- July 1, 2023: Any adult in Connecticut would be allowed to have the same amount of plants.
- Municipalities would receive new revenue generated by a 3% local sales tax on gross receipts based on retail cannabis sales within their borders.
- Besides the 6.35% state sales tax, the state will generate new revenue based on the levels of THC, the marijuana plant’s main psychoactive component, in the different products.
- Lawmakers said Connecticut’s taxes would be lower than New York’s and around the same as Massachusetts’ rates.
- Senators voting yes: 19
- Senators voting no: 17
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Governor Lamont's Response to Cannabis Bill
Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement on Tuesday morning saying in part, "I applaud the Senate’s passage of the bill to legalize the adult use of cannabis. The war on cannabis, which was at its core a war on people in Black and Brown communities, not only caused injustices and increased disparities in our state, it did little to protect public health and safety. That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity."
"It will help eliminate the dangerous, unregulated market and support a new growing sector of our economy, which will lead to jobs and growth. This measure is comprehensive, protects our children and the most vulnerable in our communities, and will be viewed as a national model for regulating the adult-use cannabis marketplace. I look forward to the Connecticut House of Representatives securing passage of this measure and sending it my desk," Lamont added.
What Comes Next for CT Recreational Marijuana Bill
The House has a goal of voting on the legislation before Wednesday at midnight.
Should it become law, Connecticut would become the 18th state to legalize recreational marijuana.