In June, Governor Lamont signed into law An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis. This sweeping act drastically changes how the State of Connecticut deals with possession and cultivation of Marijuana and even provides for the erasure of prior act Marijuana related criminal records.
A few of the new provisions of the law are below:
Beginning July 1, 2021 for adults over 21:
*it is legal to possess up to 1.5 ounces of Marijuana (or its equivalent) on your person and to possess up to 5 ounces (or its equivalent) locked in a container in the home, vehicle glove box or vehicle trunk.
* it is legal to possess less than 5 ounces on one's person or less than 8 ounces in a locked glove box or vehicle truck is decriminalized.
* a first offense of possessing more than 5 ounces on one's person or more than 8 ounces in one's locked glove box or locked vehicle trunk is decriminalized but a second offense is a class D Misdemeanor.
*possession of cannabis paraphernalia is legalized.
* odor of cannabis or burnt cannabis cannot be used as a basis to stop or search.
*possession or suspected possession of up to 5 ounces of cannabis is no longer allowed as a basis to stop or search.
* it is prohibited for state-legal cannabis possession or use from being grounds to revoke parole, special parole or probation except in certain circumstances.
Sometime after July 1, 2021 the Department of Consumer Protection can authorize producers to also produce cannabis for adult use.
Beginning October 1, 2021 medical marijuana patients who are least 18 can grow up to 3 mature and 3 immature cannabis plants in their homes.
Beginning July 1, 2022 individuals can petition for erasure of prior convictions for possession, drug paraphernalia, and sale and manufacture of 4 or few ounces of cannabis.
Beginning January 1, 2023 the new law provides for automatic erasure of convictions from January 1, 2000 through Sept 12, 2015 for possession of fewer than 4 ounces.
The law provides for a number of protections to prevent underage use including making it an A Misdemeanor for a person who is 23 or older to give or sell cannabis to someone who is under 21 and makes it a class A Misdemeanor for a cannabis establishment to sell products to anyone under the age of 21.
Possession of cannabis by individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 is a fine except that a second or subsequent charge of possession of 5 ounces or more of cannabis (or its equivalent) is a D Misdemeanor.
Possession of cannabis by individuals under the age of 18 ranges from a written warning for a 1st offense; to a mandatory youth services referral for a 2nd offense and finally to an adjudication as a delinquent in juvenile court for a 3rd or subsequent offense.
There is a 60 day loss of driver’s license for anyone under 21 convicted of possessing any amount of cannabis.
Cannabis and hemp smoking is prohibited in any place that prohibits tobacco under the Clean Indoors Act. The law also bans smoking and e-cigarette use in the workplace regardless of the number of employees.
Individuals with certain prior convictions are disqualified from owning a cannabis establishment.
Most new licenses will be granted by lottery and at least 50% of the new license will be given to social equity applicants.
Beginning July 1, 2023 60%-75% of the cannabis excise tax revenue will be directed to the Social Equity and Innovation Fund and can be used to promote social equity in relation to access to capital for business, funding workforce education and funding for community investments.
To see a more full summary of the sweeping new law and its many provisions see the attached link: