Connecticut Governor Includes Marijuana Legalization Plan In Budget Proposal

MJ moment

The governor of Connecticut released a budget request on Wednesday that includes a plan to legalize marijuana. But while the proposal places an emphasis on social equity, advocates are expressing expressing concerns about the lack of specifics so far. Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who convened an informal work group in recent months to make recommendations on the policy change, said his budget plan will involve establishing a “comprehensive framework for the cultivation, manufacture, sale, possession, use, and taxation of cannabis that prioritizes public health, public safety, and social justice.” “The proposal builds on the significant work that the Legislature has done on adult-use cannabis in recent sessions and ensures alignment with the approaches pursued by regional states,” a summary of the plan states. The Lamont administration, which has recently been circulating a draft legalization bill for feedback, said it hopes Connecticut will become “the first state to create a truly equitable cannabis industry.” But the details of how communities most impacted by the war on drugs could gain from the legal industry would be mostly determined after officials receive a report from a new equity commission. “The commission will be given the important charge to develop guidelines and proposals regarding how individuals and neighborhoods that have been most affected by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition can benefit from the creation of a legal market,” the summary says. Jason Ortiz, the Connecticut-based president of the Minority Cannabis Business Association and a member of Lamont’s cannabis equity task force, told Marijuana Moment that the details of how the legal market is implemented will matter. “The recommendations from the task force were clear and I’m hopeful the governor heard us, but saying you support equity is not the same as backing it up with systemic change and robust investment,” he said. “I still…

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