Legal marijuana sales in Connecticut are barely a week old, but lawmakers there are already mulling changes to the new law.
CTPost reports that the opening days of the state’s legislative session have proposed a slate of new regulations over the cannabis program, including “changes to how the state issues cannabis licenses to efforts to further decriminalize the drug and increase safety labeling requirements.”
The proposals, the outlet noted, “have varying chances of successfully becoming law.”
CTPost has more on the various proposals being floated by Connecticut lawmakers:
“House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford, is proposing changes to the application fees for various cannabis licenses. Instead of a flat rate, application fees would be on a graduated scale and an applicant would have to pay more to submit a higher number of applications. The proposal is aimed at addressing the number of applicants who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in application fees to improve their chances of winning a license through the lottery. Application fees vary depending on license type and whether the applicant qualifies for social equity status or not. Social equity applicants pay lower fees than non-equity applicants. Another bill introduced by Rojas would allow cannabis businesses to deduct certain expenses from their state tax returns. Several states in recent years have moved to allow cannabis companies to write off expenses on their state tax bills even though the drug is still federally prohibited. Supporters of the proposal said it would enable operators in the marijuana industry to be treated the same as most other businesses, which can write off expenses such as rent, salaries and wages, and advertising costs on their state tax returns.”
According to CTPost, a legislative committee “plans to look at further regulation of cannabis, whether to provide hemp farmers with an expedited pathway to grow recreational cannabis, and consider recommendations from the Social Equity Council, which is responsible for ensuring equity in Connecticut’s legal cannabis market.”
Legal recreational marijuana sales began last week in Connecticut, as seven established medical cannabis dispensaries in the state entered the adult-use cannabis market.
The state’s Democratic governor, Ned Lamont, signed a bill in 2021 that legalized recreational pot for adults in Connecticut.
“That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity. It will help eliminate the dangerous unregulated market and support a new, growing sector of our economy which will create jobs,” Lamont said after signing the bill into law. “By allowing adults to possess cannabis, regulating its sale and content, training police officers in the latest techniques of detecting and preventing impaired driving, and expunging the criminal records of people with certain cannabis crimes, we’re not only effectively modernizing our laws and addressing inequities, we’re keeping Connecticut economically competitive with our neighboring states.”
Last month, Lamont announced that approximately 44,000 individuals in Connecticut would have their low-level marijuana convictions expunged from their records at the start of the new year.
“On January 1, thousands of people in Connecticut will have low-level cannabis convictions automatically erased due to the cannabis legalization bill we enacted last year,” Lamont said in a statement at the time. “Especially as Connecticut employers seek to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings, an old conviction for low-level cannabis possession should not hold someone back from pursuing their career, housing, professional, and educational aspirations.”
Lamont was elected to a second term in November’s election.