On June 22, 2021, Gov. Lamont signed cannabis legalization (S.B. 1201) into law. Possession becomes legal on July 1, 2021, and several other key provisions take effect then as well.
S.B. 1201 — An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis — legalizes cannabis for adults 21 and older and expunge thousands of past records. It replaces the unregulated illicit market with a taxed and regulated system of licensed cultivators, retailers, manufacturers, and delivery services and invests the bulk of tax revenues into disproportionately impacted communities. Half of new cannabis business licenses will be issued to social equity applicants, who can receive technical assistance, start-up funding, assistance from an accelerator program, and workforce training. S.B. 1201 also includes strong protections for public safety and deterrents for underage use.
The new law was sponsored by Sen. President Martin Looney and Speaker of the House Matt Ritter. The Senate approved the bill on June 15, 2021 in a 19-12 vote, with five absent/ not voting. The House followed suit on June 16 — after rejecting two Senate amendments — in a 76-62 vote (with 13 absent/ not voting). The Senate signed off on the House-passed version on June 17.