Officials in Connecticut launched a new website to provide updated information on current cannabis laws and policies in Connecticut—especially adult-use policies. On July 5, Governor Ned Lamont released a press release detailing the provisions that can be found on the website, and how it can help residents navigate the new cannabis industry legally.
The information spans basic information about the adult-use freedoms that took effect on July 1 to resources for businesses that are seeking licenses for operation.
“Passage of this new law was an important step forward in ending the failed War on Drugs as adults over the age of 21 can now legally possess and consume cannabis in Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “Now begins the important work of standing up a fair, well-regulated marketplace for businesses and consumers that prioritizes public health, safety and social equity. We know the public will have a lot of questions about this process in the coming months, and this website will be an important resource for people who have questions about the new law or who might be interested in starting a new business in this market.”
The top categories currently on the website are the following: Basic Information and the Law, Business Information, Public Health and Safety, Social Equity and Workplace.
“This new website will be an important resource for consumers and interested business owners,” said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, in a statement. “We will continue to provide information about the licensing and application process as it becomes available, and we are committed to a clear and transparent process.”
Basic information is included, such as the specific freedoms that take effect immediately, including possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and the restrictions on home cultivation. Medical marijuana patients will be able to grow up to three mature and three immature plants at home beginning on October 1, with a cap of 12 total plants per household. All adults will be able to grow under the same rules—but not until July 1, 2023.
It’s these basic facts and complexities that need to be cleared up for average citizens who don’t know much about the leafy green plant and the laws surrounding it.
New Freedoms in Connecticut
Governor Lamont signed legislation on June 22 that legalized recreational cannabis use for adults ages 21 and older. The new law officially took effect on July 1. However, retail sales aren’t expected to begin until 2022.
Governor Lamont has advocated legalization in Connecticut for several years. In 2019, he joined forces with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to discuss some type of cross-state legalization policy, but that effort never materialized. Instead, earlier this year, New York moved on its own to end prohibition in the state.
Tax revenue from cannabis sales will be allocated towards recovery and prevention services. According to the governor, the bill will ensure public safety, protect children and also protect those in the community who are most vulnerable.
Adults in Connecticut are encouraged to check the website regularly for updates on the Social Equity Council, the availability of license applications, information on public health and safety, and to get answers to frequently asked questions about the parameters of the current law in place.
Linke many other states that allow adult-use cannabis, finding a place to legally smoke is still a challenge in Connecticut. On the first day of legal protections for adult use of cannabis in the state, smoking zones mandates were immediately imposed by some larger towns and cities as a way to manage the new industry.
The website can be accessed by visiting ct.gov/cannabis.
Benjamin M. Adams is Staff Writer at High Times, and has written for Vice, Forbes, HuffPost, The Advocate, Culture, and many other publications.