State Senate passes marijuana legalization bill with last-minute changes after Lamont veto threat
Despite an earlier veto threat from Gov. Ned Lamont, the state Senate passed the marijuana legalization bill by 19-12 margin with some last-minute changes.
Tuesday afternoon featured hours of furious behind-the scenes negotiations over last-minute changes to the bill. Gov. Lamont threatened a veto after lawmakers expanded who qualifies for a priority “social equity” license to include anyone with a marijuana conviction – or their immediate family. The governor said the new definition would have let wealthy people whose kids have a marijuana conviction cut the line for a license.
“This proposal opens the floodgates for tens of thousands of previously ineligible applicants to enter the adult-use cannabis industry,” said Paul Mounds, Lamont’s chief-of-staff.
Following the governor’s veto threat, lawmakers changed the bill again to include income and residency requirements. It’s unclear if the changes will now bring Gov. Lamont on board.
The plan legalizes possession on July 1, but sales wouldn't begin until May 2022.