The Connecticut Senate has voted (19-17) in favor of a bill that would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older. The bill heads to the House of Representatives.
S.B. 1118, which is sponsored by Senate President Martin Looney and Speaker Matt Ritter, would legalize possession up to one and a half ounces for persons over the age of 21. The bill would go into effect on July 1, 2021 with legal sales anticipated in May 2022. Under the bill, persons with convictions for cannabis possession convictions from January 1, 2000 through September 30, 2015 would have their records automatically expunged. Persons with convictions for possession and sales of less than four ounces before July 1, 2021 would be allowed to petition the court to have their record erased at no cost. A summary of the bill is here.
“We applaud Connecticut senators for voting in favor of S.B. 1118. This legislation is the result of negotiations between lawmakers, advocates, and the broader cannabis community to create an inclusive industry that provides equity to those most harmed by prohibition,” said MPP. “We urge the Connecticut House to swiftly pass this bill and mitigate decades of disproportionate impact, generate good-paying jobs, and power the state’s economic growth while allowing adults to make their own decisions about cannabis consumption.”
A 2021 Sacred Heart poll found that more than three-fifths of Connecticut residents support legalizing cannabis. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis reported that legalization will create strong growth in jobs, revenue, and economic growth in the state.
To date, 18 states have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over. Notably, more than 43% of Americans now live in a jurisdiction with legal cannabis.