Tax and Regulate

Next Wednesday: Attend a town hall on legalization in Danbury!

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!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Ct.: Gov. Lamont says he will ask legislature to legalize in 2020

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.

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Connecticut Legislature ends session without voting on cannabis

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.

Please email the Department of Consumer Protection to politely express your frustration with the delay and urge them to approve chronic pain as soon as possible!

Finally, please share this message with your family and friends!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Connecticut state legislators need to hear from you!

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!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Ct.: Help us end prohibition next Wednesday in Hartford!

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!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Connecticut: We received great news last night — but we really need your help!!

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 adam@regulatect.org.

2. Help us generate phone calls to legislators in key districts! We have a system that allows you to volunteer from home — please email adam@regulatect.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! 

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Ct.: Coalition will meet Thursday, April 18 in Hartford

Join us at 6 p.m. to learn more about what is happening in the legislature and how you can help!

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!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

New coalition co-directors announced!

Judiciary Committee votes to end marijuana prohibition — contact legislators today!

We’re excited to announce that two co-directors have joined our team to lead the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana: Kebra Smith-Bolden and Adam Wood. You can read more about them here. They have already begun working to expand and activate our coalition as we rally support for efforts to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis, with a focus on equity and social justice.

There is a very real opportunity for the legislature to pass a legalization bill during this year’s session, which is scheduled to end on June 6, but nothing is guaranteed. With Kebra and Adam at the helm, we can make sure the opportunity is not lost this year in Hartford!

Please stay tuned for ways to help. We’re going to need all hands on deck to pass this historic reform.

We’ve already made huge progress with the legislature in 2019. Today, the Joint Committee on Judiciary took an important step forward when it voted to pass SB 1085, a bill that would legalize possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older and expunge records for past marijuana possession convictions. A separate bill that would regulate the production and sale of cannabis for adult use, HB 7371, has already been approved by the General Law Committee. Links to summaries of these bills are available here.

Please email your elected officials and urge them to support the bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis!

Finally, we’d like to thank Sam Tracy for all his hard work building the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana and advocating for sensible marijuana policies in Connecticut. Thank you, Sam!

Please share this message with your family and friends and encourage them to join our coalition!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Connecticut General Law Committee votes in favor of regulating cannabis!

If you live in Connecticut, please contact your state legislators today and urge them to support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis.

After holding a public hearing on Friday, the General Law Committee voted today to pass HB 7371, the bill that would legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis in Connecticut. Although the bill still needs some work, this is an important step forward for our efforts.

Contact your state legislators today and urge them to support the bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis!

MPP testified in support of this bill at the public hearing on Friday and suggested several improvements, including adjustments to improve social equity provisions and the addition of home cultivation and micro-businesses. You can read a summary here. Although the bill has received approval from this committee, legislative leaders have made it clear that the legislature will continue to work on the policy details in the coming weeks and months.

Another bill to legalize possession of cannabis, which also received a public hearing on Friday in the Judiciary Committee, has not yet received a vote. You can read a summary of cannabis bills referred to the Judiciary Committee here. (The bill that would tax cannabis has not yet been introduced.)

After you email your state legislators in support of these bills, please share this message with your family and friends and encourage them to join the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Ct.: Legislative leaders unveil plans to end marijuana prohibition in 2019

If you live in Connecticut, please contact your state legislators today and urge them to support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis — public hearings will begin this Friday, March 22

Last week, after several weeks of working behind the scenes, legislative leaders announced their plan to pass bills that will legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis in Connecticut. They also announced that committee hearings are scheduled to begin this Friday, March 22.

Contact your state legislators today and urge them to support the legalization bills!

Rep. Michael D'Agostino, co-chair of the General Law Committee, stressed that the introduction of draft legislation is only a first step, and that policy details would continue to be discussed and debated as bills are considered by committees. "This is the start of the process," he said. For example, he noted that home cultivation is not currently included in the bill, but the legislature may decide to include it as the process moves forward. More details are explained in this article.

You can also check out our summaries of the bills referred to the Judiciary Committee, along with the General Law bill. (The taxation piece, which will be in Finance, has not been introduced yet.)

If you're interested in testifying at a public hearing in the legislature, please contact me at msimon@mpp.org, and I will share more details.

After you email your state legislators, please share this message with your family and friends and encourage them to join the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana!

Read more