Congratulations to the state of Connecticut for being the next “domino” in the effect of legalizing marijuana across the country. On June 17th the state signed a 300 page legalization bill, with its start date for legalization being July 1st.
This era of prohibition on cannabis seems to be coming to an end much faster than I believe anyone thought possible. This is huge for not only the cannabis industry, but big for modern, progressive American society.
Marijuana at the federal level, and federal legalization have been issues of many within the United States for quite some time. The federal government simply seems to ignore statistics about the tax revenue that federal marijuana laws could bring. Especially given the fact that the country just recently paid $1 Trillion in relief following the COVID-19 Pandemic, the country needs the money wherever it can get it.
CT Gov Ned Lamont has been pushing for full legalization in his state for years, and even threatened a veto earlier this week due to the fact that he felt the cannabis bill was not “wide reaching”.
Governor Ned Lamont(above)
This is good for the industry as if more legislators took this approach to the marijuana issue, it would more than likely be easier for sweeping bills such as Lamont’s to occur.
With new legislation such as this, especially when it comes to a product that has a murky legal history, there is bound to be a number of questions that need to be answered.
Luckily, the bill is outlined pretty simply, with clear and concise language throughout. I will attempt to explain all of the big points of a 300 page bill, simply.
Is this a bill of immediacy? Is cannabis legal in Connecticut?
No. This is a bill with a specified start date, that being July 1st. It is still a Schedule 1 substance as of today, so it would not be wise to celebrate this bill by smoking in the streets.
Okay, so what about July 1st?
On July 1st, adults 21 and older can legally possess up to 1.5 ounces on their person, physically. In a locked container however, an adult can possess up to 5 ounces, this includes glove compartments in cars as well.
This is great for the state law of Connecticut. Driving tickets will go down, and no one will be arrested for possession, so less tax dollars will be spent housing these “criminals”.
How much can I buy?
A medical patient can purchase up to 5 ounces per day, whereas recreational dispensaries are not going to be open until May of 2022. However, as stated earlier, on June 1st, anyone over the age of 21 can possess cannabis.
Is there a limit on Concentrates?
This is a great question, given the amount of people that do use these concentrates. A person aged 21 or older can carry up to 7.5 grams ounces of marijuana concentrates at a time.
What about home growth?
Starting July 1st, adults over the age of 21 can grow their own plants on their private property. It will be limited to 3 mature plants, as well as 3 immature plants.
This is really progressive for Connecticut as even states that have legalized recreationally still do not have home cultivation legislation in place.
Is there a THC limit?
30% THC is the limit on dry leaf. However, it is incredibly rare for flowers to be above 30% anyways. Across other products, there will be different variables for products over 750 mg of THC on marijuana in Connecticut.
What are penalties for underage possession?
Governor Ned Lamont also signed aspects of the bill to protect youth, including:
- No arrests for possession for anyone under 18 with marijuana in Connecticut
- No discrimination against students who use medical cannabis, with the qualifying medical marijuana program.
- Schools must re-write their policies by Jan. 2022 to equalize cannabis penalties with alcohol.
- Student athletes may not be penalized for failing a drug test for cannabis.
- No financial aid penalty for possession under 4 ounces; small amounts
Congratulations are again in order for the state of Connecticut to be able to see cannabis as a responsible adult issue, as opposed to a crime. Here’s hoping that states such as Pennsylvania will follow suit as soon as possible.