In 2021, Connecticut legalized the use of recreational cannabis for adults 21 years and older, making it the 19th state in the U.S. to do so. Here are some key points regarding the cannabis law in Connecticut:
- Legalization: Effective July 1, 2021, adults in Connecticut can legally possess and use cannabis for recreational purposes. Adults can possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis on their person, and up to 5 ounces in a locked container in their home or vehicle.
- Sales: Cannabis sales for adult-use are expected to begin in 2022. Initially, sales will be limited to existing medical marijuana dispensaries, and the state will issue licenses to additional retailers later on.
- Taxation: Cannabis products will be subject to a 6.35% sales tax, and an additional excise tax based on the THC content of the product. The excise tax rate will vary depending on the product, ranging from 0.5 cents per milligram for edibles to 3.75 cents per milligram for concentrated cannabis products.
- Home cultivation: Adults are allowed to grow their own cannabis at home for personal use, with a limit of up to six plants per person, or up to 12 plants for households with two or more adults. The plants must be kept in a secure location out of public view.
- Employment protections: The law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on their cannabis use, but it does not require employers to allow cannabis use or possession in the workplace.
- Social equity: The law includes provisions to promote social equity in the cannabis industry, such as a requirement that at least 50% of licenses for cannabis businesses be issued to social equity applicants. Social equity applicants include individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, as well as individuals with past cannabis convictions.
- Expungement: The law also includes provisions for the expungement of certain cannabis-related criminal records. Individuals convicted of possession or sale of less than four ounces of cannabis prior to October 1, 2015, can petition to have their records erased. Individuals with more serious cannabis-related convictions may also be eligible for expungement under certain circumstances.
Overall, the legalization of recreational cannabis in Connecticut represents a significant shift in the state’s approach to cannabis use and possession. While there are still some restrictions and regulations in place, the new law is expected to have a significant impact on the state’s economy and social justice efforts.