Adult-use cannabis sales began Tuesday in Connecticut. Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who signed the legalization bill in 2021, said the launch of the market “marks a turning point in the injustices caused by the war on drugs, most notably now that there is a legal alternative to the dangerous, unregulated, underground market for cannabis sales.”
“Together with our partners in the legislature and our team of professionals at the Department of Consumer Protection, we’ve carefully crafted a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity. I look forward to continuing our efforts to ensure that this industry remains inclusive and safe as it develops.” — Lamont in a press release
The state’s legalization law includes expungement for low-level cannabis convictions and reserves half of all cannabis business licenses for people from neighborhoods most impacted by the War on Drugs. Additionally, more than half of the revenue from cannabis sales will be dedicated to a new fund that will invest in those neighborhoods.
In a statement, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D) said the expungement provisions will “help people regain their freedom and the opportunity to pursue the careers and jobs they rightfully deserve.”
“An old conviction for a low-level cannabis possession shouldn’t hold someone back from pursuing their career, housing, professional, and educational aspirations,” she said.
The Legislature-approved law also created a Social Equity Council that is tasked with ensuring the adult-use cannabis market is grown equitably.
Connecticut imposes the state’s 6.35% sales tax on adult-use cannabis purchases along with a 3% sales tax dedicated to the city or town where the sale occurs, and a tax based on THC content that will cost approximately 10% to 15% of the sale price.
Nine retail dispensaries opened on Tuesday in the towns of Branford, Danbury, Meriden, Montville, New Haven, Newington, Stamford, and Torrington.
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