Connecticut officials are encouraging adults to use “safe and healthy gardening practices” if they choose to grow their own marijuana plants when that activity officially becomes legal on Saturday.
The state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) published a notice on Tuesday that reminds people about the upcoming policy change, the delayed rollout of which was part of a broader cannabis legalization bill that Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed into law in 2021.
Separately, the governor also signed new marijuana omnibus legislation on Monday that seeks to build upon the state’s legal cannabis program.
With respect to home grow, as of July 1, adults 21 and older will be able to cultivate up to six cannabis plants (only three of which can be mature) for personal use—with the total number of plants capped at 12 per household.
The law allowed medical cannabis patients to begin growing their own plants in October 2021, and now that right is being extended to all adult consumers over the age of 21.
“Adults who choose to grow their own cannabis should use safe and healthy gardening practices for growing any products they intend to consume,” DCP Commissioner Bryan Cafferelli said in a press release. “Plants should also be kept indoors, out of reach and out of sight from children and pets.”
The notice adds that adults who use marijuana “are reminded to do so responsibly, including storing cannabis products in their original child-proof packaging, locked up and out of reach of children and pets.”
This home grow option is being legalized about six months after Connecticut’s first adult-use retailers opened shop. And the market has quickly expanded, with recreational sales reaching a record high and eclipsing medical cannabis purchases for the first time in May.
Lamont separately signed a marijuana omnibus bill this week that contains a number of reforms, including the establishment of off-site event permits for marijuana retailers, restricting intoxicating hemp-derived products and creating a new Office of the Cannabis Ombudsman.
It will additionally establish a definition for edible cannabis products and revise the rules for the state’s lottery system for marijuana business licensing.
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Meanwhile, the governor signed budget legislation this month that includes provisions to provide state-level tax relief to licensed marijuana businesses that are currently prohibited for making federal deductions under an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E.
Connecticut’s House of Representatives approved a bill last month to build on the state’s marijuana legalization and expungements law by requiring courts to reduce sentences or dismiss charges for a wider range of cannabis-related convictions and, accordingly, to release people who are currently incarcerated on those charges.
The House also passed a measure last month to bill to decriminalize possession of psilocybin mushrooms.
Neither of those bills were taken up by the Senate prior to the end of the legislative session, however.
Separately, Lamont announced in January that the state had cleared nearly 43,000 records for marijuana-related convictions. The legalization legislation that he signed into law in 2021 empowered the state government to facilitate mass cannabis conviction relief.
Connecticut prosecutors announced in April that they have dismissed more than 1,500 pending marijuana cases, while modifying about 600 others, following a review as part of the state’s post-legalization criminal erasure program.
The state also launched a web portal in January that provides residents with information about the status of their cannabis records and also guides those with older eligible convictions that weren’t automatically erased through the process of petitioning the courts for relief.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.