State Senate Approves Legislation to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Around 2:00am Tuesday, a bill was approved that would legalize and tax the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21+, including its sale and safe regulation.

The vote was 19 to 17. Six Democrats, including Alex Kasser from Greenwich voted with almost all the Republicans against the bill. Republican Kevin Witkos, who is a retired Canton police officer, voted in favor of the bill.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1118, still has to be approved by the House of Representatives before it can be transferred to Governor Lamont’s desk and signed into law.

Republicans had filed numerous amendments to the bill, but none were approved. One would have banned edibles resembling candy, one would have limited advertising and require products to feature an warning that about potentially harmful health effects.

Governor Ned Lamont commended the the State Senate for voting to approve the legislation, noting it was drafted with the support and input of his administration.

“I applaud the Senate’s passage of the bill to legalize the adult use of cannabis,” Lamont said. “The war on cannabis, which was at its core a war on people in Black and Brown communities, not only caused injustices and increased disparities in our state, it did little to protect public health and safety. That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity.”

Lamont said the legislation will help eliminate the dangerous, unregulated market and support a new growing sector of Connecticut’s economy, leading to jobs and growth.

“This measure is comprehensive, protects our children and the most vulnerable in our communities, and will be viewed as a national model for regulating the adult-use cannabis marketplace,” he added. “I look forward to the Connecticut House of Representatives securing passage of this measure and sending it my desk.”