Pizzuto, House Republicans Unveil Session Priorities for Cannabis Safety

Posted on January 25, 2023

HARTFORD – State Representative Bill Pizzuto (R-Middlebury) stood with House Republicans on Tuesday and unveiled caucus proposals aimed at creating a safer environment surrounding the recreational use and retail sale of cannabis.

“We’re not trying to legislate morality; we’re trying to address public health and safety issues.  We shouldn’t be enticing people to use cannabis products even though it’s legal, which is why I support proposals such as childproof packaging and warning labels like those on tobacco products.,” said Pizzuto.

“There’s an idea out there that these products are safe because it’s a natural product, but the higher the THC, the lower the CBD level. Having children and grandchildren, I’m concerned about the serious harm that could come to them because of the serving sizes and high dosage levels available in the market. I believe driver’s education classes should include information concerning the effects to cannabis and its impact on an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle,” added Pizzuto.

The bill, H.B. 5434, will be subject of a General Law Committee public hearing.

The bill proposes the following:

  • Establishes a cap on the amount of THC present in a single serving and requires the disclosure of the concentration of THC present in each serving and a description of its potency
  • Requires a label to be placed on the package of each consumer product stating cannabis use may be addictive, lead to birth defects, or cause psychosis
  • Restricts licensed gasoline dealers from selling any product containing any form of THC
  • Requires each cannabis retailer employ a certified budtender and that such budtender be present at such retailer during operating hours
  • Prohibits cannabis consumption in locations where alcohol consumption is prohibited
  • Repeals certain restrictions on cannabis-related stops and searches on persons and motor vehicles
  • Specifies that “imminent risk of serious harm” includes a situation where a parent or guardian is visibly under the influence of cannabis and attempting to pick up and leave with their child from a school or day care
  • Prohibits the sale of edible cannabis products
  • Requires that cannabis products be sold in child-proof containers
  • Requires the Department of Consumer Protection to:
    • Review and approve each cannabis product type and its dosage
    • Review cannabis tracking procedures in retail establishments and pharmacies
    • Designate retail cannabis as a schedule II-controlled substance
    • Specify that secondhand cannabis smoke is toxic to human health

Pizzuto urges members of the public to share their thoughts about H.B. 5434. For more information on how to testify, visit the committee’s web site at cga.ct.gov/gl