Connecticut Governor Includes Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis in Budget For 2022-2023 Fiscal Year

Governor Ned Lamont introduced his new proposal for legalization of adult-use cannabis with the unveiling of his 2022-2023 budget.  This coincided with the release of Gov. Lamont’s proposed bill, titled An Act Responsibly and Equitably Regulating Adult-Use Cannabis.  The proposal includes legalization of possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis effective January 1, 2022, and the legalization of sales of cannabis effective in May 2022.  Cannabis would be subject to a tax of $1.25 per gram of flower on a dry weight basis, $0.50 per gram of trim on a dry weight basis, and $0.28 per gram of unprocessed, or “wet” cannabis, in addition to the standard sales tax.  Additionally, there will be a 3% tax reserved for the benefit of municipalities.  The proposal also provides for automatic expungement of convictions for possession prior to October 1, 2015, with later convictions requiring a petition to the court for expungement.

While Democrats control both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, it is unclear if they have enough votes to pass this proposal.  House Speaker Matthew Ritter has previously pledged to introduce a ballot measure legalizing adult-use cannabis by constitutional amendment should the General Assembly fail to pass legislation.  We will continue to monitor Connecticut and provide updates as Gov. Lamont’s proposal moves through the legislative process.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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