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Legislature Debates Legalizing Pot; Advocates See $100M/Year in Tax Revenue

March 22, 2017 By Staff
Legislature Debates Legalizing Pot; Advocates See $100M/Year in Tax Revenue

The hearing of the day in Hartford on Wednesday is at the Judiciary Committee, which will debate a bill that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana.

On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee will debate a bill spearheaded by the Democratic leader of the State Senate that would legalize and tax the recreational use of marijuana in Connecticut.

The bill, introduced in part by Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven), would legalize the purchase of marijuana for people 21 and older, up to one ounce, at approved retailers, and marijuana would be taxed.

In February, Connecticut’s Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA), said the state could raise between $20 million and $35 million a year – if it taxed marijuana at 10.1 percent like Massachusetts – or between $60 million and $100 million – if it taxed marijuana at 27.9 percent like Colorado – in the early years of implementaiton.

According to the Hartford Courant, “supporters of the legislation” want to tax marijuana at 30 percent, which they say would raise $64 million in its first full year and “$100 million a year after that.” Connecticut faces a $1.7 billion budget deficit in fiscal year 2018.

Despite the budget crisis, Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) “remains opposed to legalization,” according to recent reports.

Connecticut would be the ninth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, according to Governing, and the third on the east coast (after Maine and Massachusetts).

Connecticut is already one of 28 states that has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.