The Connecticut House Majority Leader said he expects at least one legislative chamber to act next week on a bill to legalize cannabis in the state, WTNH reports. State Rep. Jason Rojas, a Democrat, said he expects the measure to be heard, first, by the Senate.
Rojas added that lawmakers plan on making social equity applicants a priority in the first round of licensing.
“The whole conversation around equity is about ensuring that entrance to the marketplace is able to be accessed by communities and or individuals who live in the communities that have been most impacted by the war on drugs.” – Rojas to WTNH
State Rep. Matthew Ritter, the Speaker of the Democratically-led House, indicated that he was “struck by the number” of lawmakers that “were ‘no’s’ previously, or ‘maybes’ who are kind of getting there.”
House Minority Leader, Republican state Rep. Vin Candelora, said conversations were still needed because of “health issues” associated with “people that are vaping 90% THC.”
A recent Sacred Heart University poll found nearly two-thirds (64%) of Connecticut residents support adult-use cannabis legalization in the state with about 29% opposed and 7% unsure. The survey also found that 61.6% of respondents supported legalization-related criminal reforms such as the expungement of low-level cannabis crimes, which is included in the bill making its way through the Legislature.
The reforms are supported by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who has indicated that if the Legislature fails to approve the reforms this session – which ends June 9 – the issue would “probably” end up being put to voters next year.
Connecticut is bordered by legal states Massachusetts and New York, the latter of which only approved the reforms in March and has not yet launched legal sales.
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