Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced in his recent State of the State address said that he wants to legalize recreational cannabis during the 2021 legislative session.
“I am working with our neighboring states and look forward to working with our tribal partners on a path forward to modernize gaming in our state, as well as the legislature on legalization of marijuana. Sports betting, internet gaming and legalized marijuana are happening all around us. Let’s not surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets or, even worse, underground markets,” Lamont said during his speech.
A measure to legalize recreational cannabis has failed in the state for the past five years. Gov. Lamont also pushed for cannabis legalization in his State of the State address last year, and in a budget address the year before that. Incoming House Speaker Matt Ritter said he believes the state has a 50-50 chance to legalize recreational cannabis this year. He also said if the effort to pass cannabis legalization fails through the state legislature in 2021, he will attempt to put a constitutional question on the state’s 2022 ballot that would leave it up to voters.
Supportive lawmakers in the state have pointed to surrounding states that have legalized cannabis as another reason for legalizing cannabis, as residents of Connecticut just drive to other states to purchase cannabis. Lamont also mentioned legalizing cannabis in the state could help slow the spread of COVID-19 as residents wouldn’t have to drive to neighboring states for cannabis.
A recent study from the University of Connecticut also revealed legalized cannabis would be good for the state, with the potential to bring in up to $100 million in just four years.