CT: Legal Marijuana Will Receive Public Hearing

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A proposal to legalize recreational marijuana and reap the tax benefits will at least get a public hearing.

Whether the bill receives a vote in the House in Senate remains to be seen.

The general law committee last week voted to hold a public hearing on a weed bill and a date will be set shortly.

It’s imperative that we have robust conversations about cannabis, as more states around us consider legalization,” said State Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R-East Haddam. “Let’s examine all the potential regulatory models and get the feedback from our communities we represent.”

State Rep. Mike D’Agostino, D-Hamden and co-chairman of the general law committee, also said it’s time to have a debate over marijuana.

“As more neighboring states in New England move forward with legalizing cannabis use by adults, it is crucial that we have an open and transparent conversation regarding how we would do the same in Connecticut,” D’Agostino said.

“In many ways, answering the question of how we would oversee and permit adult use is a necessary precursor to deciding whether we will do so, as I think we should,” D’Agostino said.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington now all permit the sale of marijuana for adult use. In January, Vermont’s governor signed into law a bill that will allow the state to authorize the adult use of marijuana. The law is slated to take effect July 1.

A proposal to regulate the use of cannabis for adults in Connecticut comes nearly six years after the state permitted medical marijuana. Similar to medical marijuana, legal, adult use of marijuana would be regulated by the state Department of Consumer Protection.

Estimates of the tax revenue the state would receive from legal weed range up to $180 million a year.