The Hartford, Connecticut City Council has unanimously backed a resolution in favor of a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis market in the state, specifically urging state lawmakers to support the passage of such legislation.
The resolution includes a directive for the city to conduct an economic impact study on legalization and language supporting racial equity provisions in the industry, which provides for priority licensing and employment opportunities for citizens most impacted by the War of Drugs.
“By passing this resolution, we put ourselves in a position to ensure the implementation of marijuana regulation is grounded in racial and economic justice.” – Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez, sponsor of the resolution, in a press release.
In October, a Sacred Heart University Institute for Public Policy poll found 71 percent of Connecticut residents supported legalizing and taxing cannabis for adult use, including 83.2 percent of residents under 35-years-old and 73.6 percent of residents with children.
During debates by the General Assembly Public Health Committee last Spring, Republican state Rep. Melissa Ziobron estimated that the state could see between $30 million and $100 million annually from taxes derived from the legal cannabis industry. Democratic lawmakers included funds from a theoretical recreational cannabis program in their budget recommendation, which the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated would contribute $64 million to state coffers in its first year.
Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy has called cannabis industry dollars “blood money” and would likely veto any legalization measure.
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