Connecticut is moving closer to the reality of legalized recreational marijuana in the state after the House of Representatives passed a bill in a special session this week.

The House embraced a version supported by Gov. Ned Lamont, and ultimately rejected an amended Senate-passed bill that Lamont has said he would veto.
Senate Bill 1201, passed by a vote of 76 to 62, with 13 lawmakers absent.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for its concurrence with the House version.

If by chance the two chambers can’t agree, the bill would go to a joint conference committee to see if differences can be resolved.

According to Governor Lamont, an issue is how social-equity applicants would be defined. The Governor has targeted a launch date of May, 2022.

“Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming the latest state to legalize cannabis,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“This year has shown us that state legislatures are capable of rising to the challenge to end cannabis prohibition. A supermajority of Americans have made it clear that they favor a system of legalization and regulation rather than the status quo. This victory will add to the momentum towards cannabis policy reform in other states and at the federal level.”

According to MJBizDaily projections, an adult-use marijuana market in the state could generate $250 million in sales in its first full year and $725 million in the fourth year.

Connecticut currently has four MMJ producers and 18 dispensaries.

The new 2021 MJBizFactbook projects that MMJ sales in Connecticut will reach $165 million-$200 million in sales this year, up about 15% over last year.

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