Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, a Democrat, has signed a Cannabis legalization bill into law. That makes Connecticut the 19th state to legalize marijuana for adult use.
Starting July 1, residents 21 years old or older can legally possess 1.5 ounces of marijuana on their person. Five ounces locked in their home or locked in their vehicle’s glove box or trunk will also be legal.
It will be awhile before actual pot shops open. Commercial Cannabis sales won’t begin until May 2022, according to authorities.
‘Superior Public Policy’
“Regulating cannabis, rather than criminalizing it, has proven to be a superior public policy,” said Paul Armentano of NORML. “Which is why more and more states are rapidly moving in this direction.”
The new law lays the groundwork for a legal cannabis industry in the state, reports the Associated Press. The law also, at Governor Lamont’s insistence, attempts to address racial inequities stemming from the nation’s war on drugs.
Connecticut Governor: ‘I Think It Is A Model’
“I think it is a model for the rest of the nation,” Lamont said, reports WTNH. “We had a chance to learn from others.”
Social equity applicants will receive about half the licenses, according to Michelle Seagull, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection. This should help communities “disproportionately impacted” by drug-related crimes and high unemployment rates, Seagull said.
According to some industry observers, the level of social equity baked into the Connecticut law will influence other states for years to come. This could certainly help the grievous harms done by the Drug War in many communities. With momentum building (five states already having legalized this year alone), that could leave a big footprint on the future Cannabis industry.