The world of legal cannabis continues to move forward. Connecticut is the latest state to pass legislation that legalizes the adult recreational use of marijuana.
This past Thursday (June 17), Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont expressed his pride in the legislation. Lamont helped to craft the bill, entitled Senate Bill 1201.
“It’s fitting that the bill legalizing the adult use of cannabis and addressing the injustices caused by the war of drugs received final passage today, on the 50-year anniversary of President Nixon declaring the war,” Lamont said in a statement. “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.”
Senate Bill 1201 will come into effect on July 1. Adults that are 21 and over can purchase and possess marijuana. Each individual will be able to possess up to 1.5 ounces (42 grams) of marijuana or equivalent concentrate. However, an individual can also possess another 5 ounces (140 grams) if it is placed in a locked container.
Although cannabis will be legal in just a few weeks in Connecticut, recreational retail sales are not slated to start until May 2022. For those looking to start growing marijuana recreationally, the bill does not allow this until 2023. However, those will medical cannabis cards will be able to start growing at home by this Fall.
Connecticut’s marijuana legalization bill also states that a Social Equity Council and Social Equity Innovation Fund must be created to appropriate cannabis sales tax revenues and marijuana business licenses to lower-income applicants that come from areas that were disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs. Criminal cannabis possession convictions under four ounces that occurred between January 2000 and September 2015 will also be expunged under the new law. Employers also cannot punish employees for drug tests that are positive for only marijuana.