Last Update: January 6, 2014
Connecticut works toward implementation of medical marijuana law
The window to apply for business licenses in the state’s medical marijuana program closed on November 15. The state is now in the process of considering which applications it will approve for 5 dispensary licenses and 3 producer licenses. The high cost for the non-refundable applications likely kept qualified businesses from applying, but the state still received a total of twenty-seven dispensary applications and sixteen applications for producer licenses. The department indicated in November that it expected to announce license winners in early 2014.
As of November, Connecticut had 1,343 patients. That number will no doubt increase once regular and safe access is made available to residents in the Constitution State.
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Connecticut decriminalizes possession of marijuana
Possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana is a civil violation in Connecticut, punishable by a fine of up to $150. It is not a jailable offense. Subsequent offenses are subject to increased fines of $200-$500, and upon a third violation, offenders are referred to a drug awareness program. Most importantly, though, those accused of being in possession are not arrested or saddled with a criminal record. In addition to the fine, anyone under 21 who is found in possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana faces a 60-day suspension of his or her driver's license.
Although Connecticut has improved its marijuana laws in recent years, penalties still exist for adults in possession of a substance that is less harmful than alcohol. Data reported to the FBI by state law enforcement shows that in 2011, 88% of all marijuana-related arrests were for possession. Please ask your legislators to take marijuana off the criminal market, to legalize it for adults, and to tax and regulate it similarly to alcohol.
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