Posted on June 17, 2021
HARTFORD – During Wednesday’s Special Session of the House of Representatives, State Representative Carol Hall (R-59) voted against a proposal to legalize marijuana for purchase and personal use due to various concerns she had with the bill as written.
“I would have liked to debate a clean marijuana bill that didn’t include the carveouts, special interests, and other last-minute additions this bill included,” Rep. Hall said. “Between those and my overall concerns with how it impacts kids under the age of 21, the hurried way this bill was pushed forward, and bureaucracy it creates, I couldn’t support it.”
The bill, SB-1201, An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis, beyond attempting to try and regulate the sale of marijuana would also create a Social Equity Council to govern who can apply for licenses. This board would provide expedited or priority license processing for those who qualify as social equity applicants while also establishing a minimum criterion for establishments who are not owned by a social equity applicant to comply with an approved workforce development plan.
Republicans offered five amendments to improve the bill, unfortunately all failed to garner enough bipartisan support.
The marijuana bill was expected to be debated during the final night of the 2021 legislative session but was ultimately scrapped when Republicans uncovered a provision in the bill to provide preferential treatment for Theraplant, an LLC with ties to various Democrat lawmakers to obtain a cultivation license bypassing the lottery process entirely. Ultimately the bill never made the House floor due to Democrats believing Republicans would ultimately filibuster any subsequent debate until the House convened at midnight on June 9.
Late Wednesday night, the House voted in favor of the bill by a 76-62 margin. Due to the House amending the bill, the change will now force the Senate to vote on the bill again.