A bill legalizing marijuana before the General Assembly’s judiciary committee would create a network of marijuana lounges in addition to regulating the sale of pot through a new state Liquor and Marijuana Control Commission.
The bill would also legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and as many as six marijuana plants. Marijuana could be purchased, by customers age 21 and over, through a state-regulated dispensary.
The sale of pot would be taxed by the state and child-resistant packaging would be mandated. The law would require retailers to pay a surcharge to the state Department of Revenue Services $50 for each ounce of “marijuana flowers” purchased from a marijuana cultivator.
Municipalities would be allowed to permit or exclude marijuana dispensaries and lounges.
The judiciary committee is holding a public hearing on S.B. 487, “an act concerning the legalization, taxation and regulation of the recreational use of marijuana.” Last Thursday, the general law committee held a public hearing on H.B. 5458, which focused on the regulation of recreational cannabis.
Monday’s hearing won’t be the last on the controversial topic — similar bills are up for public hearing in other committees within the coming weeks.
In past legislative sessions, despite the bills being raised, no committee has voted in favor of sending the bills to the House or the Senate.