Great news! Earlier today, the Judiciary Committee advanced an amended version of Gov. Lamont’s proposal to legalize cannabis for adults over the age of 21 in a 22-16 vote.
Please email your state lawmakers and ask them to support legalization.
Here are some key features of the bill, as amended:
- Social equity applicant status is defined as an applicant with 51% ownership or control by one or more persons with an immediate family member with a cannabis-related conviction, a resident of a disproportionately impacted area for five of the last 10 years, or a resident of tribal land.
- Awards new licenses only to social equity applicants until January 1, 2024.
- Allows existing medical businesses to become licensed on September 1, 2021, after paying a hefty conversion fee.
- In addition to allowing adults to possess up to one and a half ounces on their person, it also allows up to five ounces in a locked location in one’s home.
- Decriminalizes possession up to four ounces.
- Creates a free erasure process for cannabis possession and sale convictions up to four ounces or six mature plants.
- Eliminates law enforcement’s ability to initiate a search on the basis of odor of cannabis or burnt cannabis.
- Establishes a Cannabis Control Commission to establish guidelines for the issuance of licenses.
- Establishes a 12-member Social Equity Council to further develop equity criteria, priority in licensing, and direct cannabis revenue.
- In first two years, all cannabis revenue would be directed to the general fund. In year three of legal sales and every year thereafter, 55 percent of the revenue would be directed to the Cannabis Equity and Innovation Fund, 15 percent to prevention and recovery services, and 30 percent to the general fund.
- Creates a cannabis business accelerator program.
It’s anticipated that the bill will now head to the Senate for a floor vote. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the bill makes its way through the legislative process. In the meantime, please spread the word by writing your legislators and urging them to support legislation to regulate and tax the sale of cannabis to adults in the 2021 session.