Connecticut has become the 19th US jurisdiction to legalise recreational cannabis after passing the “best bill in the country.”
Connecticut’s state’s General Assembly voted to approve the ‘Responsible & Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis’ bill on June 17th. Five days later, Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill into law.
According to House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, the bill is the “most comprehensive and best cannabis legalisation bill.”
This is the best bill in the country and it’s going to move us in a direction of ensuring that we provide a well-regulated marketplace for adult-use cannabis for adults who want to participate in that kind of activity.
The legalisation bill is pretty extensive and took several years to pass. Under the new law, the recreational use of cannabis is legal by anyone aged 21 and older. Each adult can possess up to one and a half ounces of cannabis (42.5 grams). This is worth about $375 in Australia.
Medical cannabis patients will also be allowed to grow their own cannabis after October 1st, 2021. This right will be extended to adult-use consumers on July 1st, 2023.
In the meantime, Connecticut will set up a comprehensive system for governing cannabis. The state is setting up a licensing system for both cannabis-adjacent businesses and individuals. The state will limit the number of licenses available, though the details of this are not yet confirmed.
Businesses that sell cannabis in Connecticut will also be required to pay two taxes. This includes a 3% sales tax on gross sales and a THC tax of 0.625% – 2.75% per milligram of THC.
Starting in 2023, 85 – 100% of the tax revenue from cannabis sales will go into the Social Equity Innovation Fund and the Prevention and Recovery Services Fund. Further cannabis tax will also go to local councils for street improvements, educational, health, youth and probation, and parole services. Money in the social equity fund to go towards righting the wrongs of cannabis prohibition through social equity loans, workforce training, and various other community initiatives.
Interestingly, Connecticut has also chosen to tackle anti-cannabis stigma in the legalisation act. The act will put money towards cannabis destigmatisation programs and educational programs for minors. It will also expunge certain cannabis convictions (like possession).
The recreational use of cannabis in Connecticut will become legal after the 1st of July, 2021. The US now has 19 cannabis legal jurisdictions to Australia’s one.