During the annual State of the State speech held on Wednesday, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont reaffirmed his support for cannabis legalization and vowed to work with legislators to advance the issue this year. He stated that he looked forward to collaborating with the state’s tribal partners and was working with neighboring states on the way forward to update gaming in Connecticut and get the legislators on board to attain cannabis legalization.
In addition, Lamont noted that legalized cannabis, internet gaming and sports betting were already happening all around, adding that it would be a shame to let these opportunities go to underground and out-of-state markets.
However, legislators may not be totally on board with the idea, having repeatedly rejecting to advance marijuana legalization measures. This includes a bill that Democrats had proposed on behalf of the governor last year. This is not the first time Lamont has called for marijuana legalization, having pushed for its legalization in a 2019 budget address, then again in his 2020 State of the State speech.
Despite these setbacks though, Matt Ritter, the new House Speaker, stated in November 2020 that cannabis legalization in the state of Connecticut was inevitable. The following month, he added that legalization had a 50-50 chance of being approved this year. Ritter also declared that if efforts to approve legalization did not garner as much interest, then he would attempt to place a constitutional question on the state’s ballot come 2022, thereby allowing the voters to decide on the matter.
A poll that was reported in March of last year found that roughly 63.4% of Connecticut voters either somewhat or strongly supported the legalization of cannabis for adult-use. Legislators supporting the measure have emphasized the need for the state to reform its policy on marijuana, considering its legalization in the neighboring states. For instance, it is legal in both Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Lamont also explained that legalizing marijuana in Connecticut could possibly decrease the spread of the coronavirus by limiting trips to other states to purchase marijuana.
Democrats will be the majority this term in the state’s legislature. Despite this, Ritter predicts that the House vote regarding the issue will be very close.
Some legislators who support the change in policy include Chairman of the House General Law Committee Rep. Michael D’Agostino and Jason Rojas, the incoming House Majority Leader. Rojas stated during a press event last year that while the issue wasn’t the most pressing in the state, it was the most nagging one.
In the areas of recreational cannabis, many companies are hitting gold in other industry segments. For instance, The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) makes alkaline drinking water, which contains pink Himalayan salt. The company also has a line of CBD-infused edible and topical products.
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