In a press release, Gov. Ned Lamont said the specifics of the law change, especially with regards to recreational use, are laid out on the website to help familiarize residents and entrepreneurs with what is and still isn’t permitted, as well as outline how to go about securing a cannabis business license.
“Passage of this new law was an important step forward in ending the failed War on Drugs as adults over the age of 21 can now legally possess and consume cannabis in Connecticut,” Lamont said. “Now begins the important work of standing up a fair, well-regulated marketplace for businesses and consumers that prioritizes public health, safety and social equity. We know the public will have a lot of questions about this process in the coming months, and this website will be an important resource for people who have questions about the new law or who might be interested in starting a new business in this market.”
The main headings on the site include Basic Information and the Law, Business Information, Social Equity, Workplace, and Public Health and Safety. Basic Information and the Law outlines the main points of the law change which take immediate effect. This includes permitting possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana in public, and up to 5 ounces at home. Registered medical cannabis patients can start growing up to three mature plants and three immature plants from October 1, while recreational users will have to wait until July 1, 2023 until they can legally grow their own.
With retail sales slated to launch next year, would-be marijuana business owners can avail themselves of information pertaining to the licensing application process, tax structures and advertising and labeling standards. The social equity section outlines how the state intends to encourage the participation of minority and low-income individuals in the cannabis industry, and what criteria it uses to determine if a person is eligible for support as a social equity applicant. The public health and safety heading includes information on how the state’s marijuana laws will continue to be enforced, as well as how Connecticut’s medical cannabis program will continue and what services are available for drug misuse prevention and treatment. The workplace section confirms that non-exempt employers cannot penalize employees or prospective employees for off-work marijuana use.
“This new website will be an important resource for consumers and interested business owners,” said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “We will continue to provide information about the licensing and application process as it becomes available, and we are committed to a clear and transparent process.”
The new website doesn’t, however, add a great deal of clarity to the confusion over where people in Connecticut can legally smoke cannabis. The legislation prohibits smoking in all kinds of public and private facilities, as well as within 25 feet of any doorway, window or air vent. To counter this, some of the larger towns and cities in Connecticut have already designated zones where smoking marijuana will be tolerated.