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Cheeseman Looks to Protect CT Youth from Cannabis Products

Posted on February 27, 2024


HARTFORD- State Rep. Holly Cheeseman (R-37) testified in the General Law committee on February 22nd (VIDEO) in support of a proposed bill that would limit the sale of cannabis or high-THC hemp to licensed cannabis dispensaries and ban the use of promotional discounts.

The proposed bill 5150, An Act Concerning Cannabis and Hemp Regulation would make it illegal to sell cannabis, or high-THC hemp, products from businesses not licensed as a cannabis retailer in this state a violation under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).

Currently, the owners of these shops can continue to operate and sell these products since currently the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has no enforcement authority over nonregulated retailers. Businesses that are not licensed cannabis facilities do not follow the same age verification process and requirements as those legally operating under a license. This is concerning because it allows children to come into contact and be influenced by cannabis at a young age.

According to Cheeseman, these high-THC drinks are “not age-restricted due to a loophole in the language because of the way the packaging is done.”

Additionally, cannabis retailers in Connecticut would no longer be allowed to offer promotions and discounts.

“Redefining the definition of high THC products in state law, and the prohibition of such sale anywhere apart from licensed dispensaries is a welcome step, as is the move to end the sale of THC infused products in outlets like liquor stores,” said Rep. Cheeseman. “Equally important is the bill’s move to ban the use of prohibitional coupons or discounts.”

Rep. Cheeseman also asked the committee to consider strengthening the warnings on packaging of cannabis products for pregnant women, the childproof packaging and putting the poison control number on packaging.

“…The gestational cannabis use has risen in the last decade,” said lead author Kyle Walsh, Ph.D., associate professor in the departments of Neurosurgery, Pathology, Pediatrics and Population Health Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. “The psychoactive compounds of cannabis are capable of crossing the placental barrier and may interfere with normal neuronal development in the fetal brain,” Walsh said.

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and it is the active ingredient in cannabis products, essentially being responsible for getting high and the altered mental state of users.