Posted on January 25, 2023
HARTFORD— State Rep. Ben McGorty (R-122) joined his House Republican colleagues on Tuesday to unveil caucus proposals aimed at creating a safer environment surrounding the recreational use and retail sale of cannabis.
“When it comes to our state’s fledgling cannabis marketplace, the umbrella message emanating from the Governor’s office is, unfortunately, one of shining positivity that in our opinion is at odds with the concerns of not just many residents, but also state mental health and addiction professionals who spend a lot of energy warning us all—and children in particular—about the drug’s dangers,” said Rep. Vincent Candelora (R-86), House Republican Leader. “I urge my colleagues who have been so enthusiastic about retail cannabis to refocus their energy and prioritize an effort to make changes to our regulatory landscape for the benefit of our state.”
The proposals from House Republicans cover a wide-ranging set of issues, from student driving education and labeling to sales of cannabis products at gas stations and safer packaging.
“Now that cannabis is here and commercialized in Connecticut, we have a duty to make certain the retail market is safe and employees have the necessary training of the products they sell,” said Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123), Ranking Member of the General Law Committee. “Priority number one is to protect children from predatory marketing. The best retail market system is one that works jointly with law enforcement to identify the good actors from the bad.”
The bill from House Republicans, H.B. 5434, will be subject of a General Law Committee public hearing.
“We are seeing an unfortunate and serious increase of imminent health risks to children and families as we begin to commercialize cannabis in Connecticut. Emergency workers, first responders, and many of our neighbors are expressing growing concern about normalizing recreational marijuana use and the terrifying effects it may have on children and families,” Rep. Ben McGorty (R-122) said. “This half-baked market rollout has revealed an immediate need for reevaluation on how retailers operate, how law enforcement is equipped to respond, and how patrons and their families can safely navigate what is a dangerous substance for unsuspecting consumers.”
The bill from House Republicans proposes the following:
Continued, House Republican proposals on cannabis safety:
Requires the Department of Consumer Protection to:
House Republicans urge members of the public to share their thoughts about H.B. 5434 when it is scheduled by the General Law Committee. For more information on how to testify, visit the committee’s web site at cga.ct.gov/gl