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Connecticut’s recreational marijuana legalization efforts in limbo

his year’s canceled legislative session prevented the General Assembly from voting on many hot-button issues — including potentially making Connecticut the 12th state to legalize recreational marijuana sales.

In early March, Gov. Ned Lamont gave his full support for adult-use legalization, proposing a blueprint for establishing a regulated pot market by summer 2022.

Then the coronavirus hit Connecticut, and cut short the legislative session, which was supposed to end May 6.

Rep. Josh Elliott (D-Hamden), an ardent pro-pot supporter, says the disruption likely didn’t have a material impact because legalization efforts still needed more support from both sides of the aisle.

“COVID has not deterred or encouraged the passage of the bill,” Elliot said. “Either way, we were going to need to wait for the 2021 session.”

Elliott disputes an opposing argument that Connecticut needs to continue studying the economic, criminal or cultural implications of allowing adult marijuana sales.

On the fiscal front, estimates offered by state lawmakers and marijuana-legalization advocates project that recreational marijuana sales could generate between $40 million and $60 million in tax receipts in the first fiscal year of adoption. [Read more at Hartford Business Journal]

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