Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation Tuesday legalizing cannabis for adult-use, in an effort to uplift those hardest hit by the failed “War on Drugs.”
Senate Bill 1201 aimed to promote “responsible and equitable” regulation of cannabis use by making Connecticut the eighteenth US state to legalize recreational adult use of marijuana. Connecticut’s Senate passed the bill in a 16-11 vote, and the House passed it in a 76-62 vote.
Under Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis law, adults age 21 and over may carry less than 1.5 ounces of cannabis beginning in July. The law also implements a strong criminal offense framework to deter sellers from providing marijuana to minors. Additionally, medical marijuana patients can grow a limited amount of cannabis plants at home beginning in October, but recreational users will need to wait until 2023 to grow at home. The law also erases certain cannabis-related convictions that occurred between 2000 and 2015.
Another key component of the new law is that it allows the sale, manufacture and cultivation of cannabis with a state license. The law creates the Social Equity Council, which will implement an equity fund that reserves at least half of all initial licenses for social equity applicants, “targeting those communities that have been most negatively impacted by the so-called war on drugs.”
Lamont believes this comprehensive cannabis law that protects children and vulnerable community members “will be viewed as a national model.” Still, marijuana remains a Schedule I substance under federal law.