As the rest of the region moves forward, the Nutmeg State should not remain an island of prohibition — please contact your representatives and senators today!
Massachusetts recently concluded its first year of retail cannabis sales to adults, and the results are in: nearly $400 million in sales, an estimated $67 million in state tax revenue, and up to $11.8 million in tax revenue for municipalities. There are still only about 35 retail stores open in the state, up from the original two that opened last November, so it’s clear that this is only the beginning.
Connecticut urgently needs to follow the Bay State’s example. Gov. Lamont has said that he will ask the legislature to pass a bill legalizing and regulating cannabis when it convenes in February, but the governor won’t be able to make it happen by himself — his voice will need to be joined by a chorus of strong support from the public.
We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip away, so please also consider supporting the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana with a donation.
In a recent appearance on WPRI’s Newsmakers, Gov. Raimondo indicated that she will reintroduce a plan to legalize marijuana for adults in her budget proposal for the upcoming legislative session, which begins in early January.
Pointing to the General Assembly’s recent decision to add six new compassion centers, she said, “Last year we made a step forward with more medical [marijuana], and I think the next logical step is adult use.” She also referenced recent conversations with the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, indicating that pressure from neighboring states makes legalization more likely in Rhode Island.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts saw nearly half a billion dollars in retail sales at legal marijuana businesses over the past year, which equates to roughly $67 million in new tax revenue for the state. This figure exceeds previous projections from officials.
In other news, the Department of Business Regulation recently proposed new regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program, including a plan to implement a lottery system for awarding new compassion center licenses to qualified applicants. The public comment period for these rules will extend until December 21, and the department will hold a hearing on December 6. More details can be found here.
Though it is difficult to predict whether Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio will have the appetite for legalization in 2020, the pressure to act continues to mount.
Stay tuned for more updates and calls to action soon.
Expert panel will feature a retired police captain, a nurse, and a clergy member — please attend and show your support!
Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced he will ask the Connecticut Legislature to pass a cannabis legalization bill in 2020. This is very encouraging news, but we know that Gov. Lamont can't end prohibition alone — we will need to continue building support in the legislature in order to achieve this worthy goal!
Encouragingly, since the end of session many legislators have expressed interest in learning more about the issue and in hearing more from their constituents. We are pleased to announce that two of these legislators — state Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan and Sen. Julie Kushner — will be hosting a community conversation on cannabis legalization in Danbury on Wednesday, October 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event will feature a panel of experts who support legalization, followed by audience Q&A.
This will be a great opportunity to show support and participate in the discussion. Here are the details:
WHAT: Community conversation on cannabis legalization, regulation, and taxation
WHERE: Connecticut Institute for Communities, 120 Main Street, Danbury (in the Community Room)
WHEN: Wednesday, October 30, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
WHO: Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan and Sen. Julie Kushner; Capt. Lawrence Hunter (Retired, Waterbury Police Department); Rev. Tommie Jackson; Kebra Smith-Bolden, R.N., president, CURE-CT; Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project
Please attend if you are able, and share this information with your friends in the Danbury area!
The House and Senate will need to work together to get this done — please contact your representatives and senators today!
Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont held a press conference with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the two governors announced that they would work together with other governors in the region to end marijuana prohibition. Gov. Lamont said he would ask the Connecticut Legislature to pass a bill legalizing and regulating cannabis when it convenes in January.
This is a promising development, but we know that Gov. Lamont can't make it happen by himself — the House and Senate will have to cooperate to make legalization a reality. Please email your elected officials right now and urge them to support ending marijuana prohibition in 2020!
In other positive news, the Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians recommended that chronic pain and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome be added as qualifying conditions for patients 18 and older. Unfortunately, it could take up to a year before the additions are enacted, and the recommended requirements for a chronic pain diagnosis are far more restrictive than in most other states: doctors would have to document a chronic pain period of six months or more, an underlying condition causing the pain, and that other treatments have failed.
If the legislature does its job next year, adult-use legalization could be a reality by the time these conditions are added. After you write your legislators, please "like" our coalition on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and share this message with your family and friends!
Effective advocacy costs money, so please also consider supporting our efforts with a donation.
We must continue building support for legalization, but first, we need to make sure chronic pain is approved as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.
A new poll just came out, and it confirms (yet again) that Connecticut residents strongly support legalizing cannabis and expunging criminal records for low-level offenses. Sadly, the legislature ended its regular session yesterday without voting on any of the bills that would have ended cannabis prohibition.
It's disappointing that our opponents were able to create enough uncertainty and confusion to delay our progress. However, we've come a long way — three committees advanced bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis this year. If we can ramp up our efforts, we are optimistic we can get past the finish line in 2020. Please help us continue to build our coalition by making a contribution today. Please also "like" our coalition on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Unfortunately, your help appears to be needed on another issue. You might think it would be a no-brainer for Connecticut to approve chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the medical cannabis program, but the discussion about whether to do so has been "tabled for a future meeting" by the Board of Physicians.
Finally, please share this message with your family and friends!
The Illinois Senate just voted (38-17) to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use! Now the bill moves to the House, which could vote at any time. There's no time to waste: the legislature adjourns on Friday.
Make sure your state rep is on the right side of history. Send an email or make a phone call today!
State lawmakers really do listen to voters, and just a handful of calls and emails per district can make all the difference. The vote is expected to be close.
In New Jersey, hopes of legalizing marijuana in 2018 or 2019 were dashed when the vote count came up a few votes shy. Efforts also stalled in New York and Connecticut.
Don't let this chance to end prohibition in Illinois slip away: Write your state rep today. You could also look them up on social media and politely ask them to stand up for justice there. And don't forget to rally your friends to do the same: Share this on social media or by email.
It’s crunch time for the legalization bill — contact your representatives and senators today!
Our coalition has made great progress on cannabis policy in Connecticut this year, but now we are up against the clock. The legislative session is scheduled to end on June 5, and it remains unclear whether there will be enough support in the legislature to pass a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis before the session concludes.
Many representatives and senators are saying they are still undecided, so it is critically important that you contact them today. Please email your state representatives and senators right now and urge them to support ending marijuana prohibition!
Three companion bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis have already been approved by legislative committees, and legislators are in the process of combining those bills into one final package. The details remain a work in progress, but you can read summaries of the bills that are currently being considered.
We’re within a few votes of seeing Connecticut become the first state to legalize and regulate cannabis by legislation rather than by voter initiative, but we really need your help to get across the finish line. After you write your legislators, please “like” our coalition on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and share this message with your family and friends!
Join coalition leaders for a lobby day and press conference at the capitol on Wednesday, May 15.
We’ve made great progress with the state legislature this year, but victory remains far from certain. The 2019 session is scheduled to end on June 5, and many representatives and senators still haven’t taken a position on the bills to legalize and regulate marijuana. According to legislative leaders who have been counting the votes, we still need to earn support from several undecided legislators in order to be sure we have majorities in both chambers.
If you are available on Wednesday, May 15, we would love to have you add your voice to our chorus of support in Hartford. Beginning at 9 a.m., we will host a legislative breakfast in the cafeteria at the Legislative Office Building (300 Capitol Avenue). After that, we will seek out our state legislators and speak to them about our support for reform efforts. At noon, we will hold a press conference.
If you are able to join us, please RSVP on Facebook.
For more details on the companion bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis, you can read summaries here. Please note that although these bills have already passed committees, legislators are continuing to work on amendments, and at this point everything is subject to change.
If you haven’t already done so, please contact your state representatives and senators and urge your friends and family members to do so as well!
A committee has approved the third piece of the cannabis puzzle; please contact your legislators and help us cross the finish line this year.
Yesterday evening, the Finance Committee approved Senate Bill 1138, bringing Connecticut one step closer to legalizing cannabis! Now that all three of the companion bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis have passed their respective committees (you can read summaries here), it’s time for us to turn our attention to the full House and Senate.
There are only about 30 days left in this legislative session of the Connecticut General Assembly, and many key legislators have still not taken a position on legalization. Here are three things you can do today to help get this important initiative across the finish line:
1. Join us for the Regulate Connecticut "End Prohibition" Lobby Day on Wednesday, May 15 at the State Capitol. Breakfast will be served in the legislative cafeteria at the Legislative Office Building at 9 a.m., a press conference will follow at 10 a.m., and we'll have the rest of the day to lobby lawmakers directly at the Capitol! If you can join us, please RSVP to email@example.com.
2. Help us generate phone calls to legislators in key districts! We have a system that allows you to volunteer from home — please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how get started. We are also hosting a volunteer phone banking session next Wednesday, May 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. We’ll meet at 57 Pratt Street, Suite 405 in Hartford. Street parking is available, pizza will be served, and all are welcome!
3. Please contact your state representatives and senators and urge your friends and family members to do so as well!
Thank you again for your continued support. We need it now more than ever!
The Connecticut Legislature has taken important steps to advance marijuana legalization this session, but we know that victory remains far from certain. The bills are still works in progress, and many legislators remain undecided on the issue, so it’s clear that our coalition will need to ramp up efforts in the coming weeks.
Fortunately, legislative leaders have made it clear that the issue is a priority this session. They have also indicated that they will continue to consider policy details, including the equity provisions and whether or not to allow home cultivation, before the bills receive a final vote. It’s critically important that advocates work together to maximize our chances of success in the legislature.
Please consider joining us for our first coalition meeting of the year, which will take place in Hartford on Thursday, April 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening in the state house and also to begin phone banking undecided legislators.
Here are the details:
WHO: Members of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana and coalition co-directors Kebra Smith-Bolden and Adam Wood
WHAT: Coalition meeting to discuss legalization efforts and volunteer phone banking operations
WHERE: The Meeting Room at Hartford Public Safety Complex (253 High St.)
WHEN: Thursday, April 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If you haven’t already done so, please contact your legislators and urge them to support the legalization bills. Then, please share this message with your family and friends.
We hope you’ll be able to join us on Thursday!