Cannabis is now legal in Connecticut and the official state website has an entire section devoted to cannabis.
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Below, Cramer & Anderson Associate Graham Moller answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the state’s legalization of cannabis.
Is possession and storage of cannabis legal in the state of Connecticut?
Yes. Under the laws of the State of Connecticut possession and use of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis became fully legal as of July 1, 2021. Connecticut residents may now also store up to 5 ounces of cannabis in a locked container at home, or transport it in a locked glovebox or trunk. Although cannabis use and storage is now legal, there are currently no retail stores that sell recreational cannabis.
Can cannabis be given as a gift to other individuals?
Yes, but it must be a bona fide gift. To be bona fide, a gift must be made without a promise of payment or exchange of other goods or services, and furthermore this gift must not be associated with a commercial transaction. Individuals are prohibited from gifting, selling, or transferring cannabis to another person to induce a donation, charitable or otherwise, and are also not allowed to gift, sell or transfer cannabis as part of a giveaway at any event, including door prizes, goodie bags, or swag bags. Importantly, medical cannabis products may not be gifted under any circumstances.
Am I able to grow cannabis at home?
As of October 1, 2021, medical cannabis patients 18 years and older are allowed to grow up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants at home, with a cap of 12 total plants per household. Others currently may not grow cannabis. However, starting July 1, 2023, all adults over the age of 21 will be permitted to grow cannabis under the same rule as described for medical cannabis patients. Importantly, plants must be grown indoors and must not be visible from the street. Individuals who choose to grow their own cannabis plants must do so in their primary residence and in locations where individuals under the age of 21 cannot access the plants.
Where can cannabis products be used?
It is always important to contact your municipality for information regarding where cannabis products may be used. Individual cities and towns may have local regulations that prohibit the use of cannabis products in certain areas or in public areas altogether. In general, without accounting for specific local regulations, individuals may not smoke or vape cannabis products in any location where the smoking and vaping of tobacco products are prohibited. The use of cannabis is prohibited in state parks and on state beaches and waters. For at home use, landlords may prohibit smoking and vaping of cannabis, but generally may not prohibit possession or consumption of other forms of cannabis.
When can commercial recreational cannabis stores be expected to open in Connecticut?
While medical cannabis dispensaries have been present in Connecticut since 2014, there are currently no commercial recreational cannabis dispensaries located in the state. There is currently no firm date for when retail cannabis sales will begin in Connecticut, but the Department of Consumer Protection has indicated that retail sales are currently anticipated to start by the end of 2022.
Are Connecticut Municipalities able to ban cannabis stores?
Yes. Towns and cities may prohibit specific or all types of cannabis establishments, according to the law. To allow cannabis stores, a municipality must approve zoning to allow for cannabis establishments to operate in the community, including retailers and micro-cultivators. In doing so, municipalities may restrict the proximity of cannabis establishments to churches, public or parochial schools, convents, charitable institutions supported by private or public funds, hospitals or veterans’ homes, and Armed Forces barracks or airfields.
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Individuals and municipal officials with questions or concerns about the implications and impacts of Connecticut’s new cannabis laws may contact Attorney Graham Moller by email or by phone at (860) 355-2631.
About Cramer & Anderson
Cramer & Anderson provides sophisticated legal services, close to home, with regional offices in New Milford, Washington Depot, Kent, Litchfield, Danbury, and Ridgefield. For more information, see the firm’s website or call the flagship office in New Milford at (860) 355-2631.