Connecticut seeks to ban out-of-state marijuana advertising | Daily news alerts
HARTFORD — The state of Connecticut moved closer on Tuesday to imposing tougher restrictions on marijuana advertising, including banning ads from cross-border cannabis retail establishments, such as the billboards that have popped up along the state border with Massachusetts.
A bill has been approved by the House of Representatives, by a vote of 98 to 48, that prevents anyone without a cannabis-related license in Connecticut from advertising cannabis product and services in the state. The same bill also prohibits Connecticut licensees from using images of the cannabis plant as well as advertising on a lighted billboard between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and advertising at less than 1,500 meters from a school or a church.
These new restrictions would be in addition to the state’s original cannabis advertising rules that were in the legalization law passed last year. While residents over the age of 21 can legally possess up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of marijuana in Connecticut, recreational cannabis retail establishments are not expected to begin operating in the state. before the end of 2022 at the earliest.
Rep. Mike D’Agostino, D-Hamden, said Democratic and Republican lawmakers, especially those representing border towns, approached the General Assembly’s General Laws Committee this year and said, “Listen, I’m sick of seeing these billboards with cannabis leaves spread everywhere within 1500 yards of a school or church or whatever can’t we do something more to this subject ? “
Rather than an outright ban on advertising, which would raise constitutional issues, D’Agostino said the legislation provides for “very reasonable time, place and manner restrictions” while also requiring those who advertising to hold Connecticut licenses.
The bill, which now awaits Senate action, marks the first of what lawmakers have predicted as regular updates to Connecticut law.
“We haven’t even begun to see the impact of this,” said House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, who opposed the marijuana legalization bill. of last year, predicting that it will have a negative impact on children.
The same bill also tightens the rules around the “gift” of marijuana. Some lawmakers have raised concerns about cannabis bazaars, where people “barter” for marijuana, essentially bypassing the state’s regulated market, D’Agostino said. Attendees can pay an entry fee to enter one of these events or purchase an item, such as a t-shirt, to obtain marijuana.
D’Agostino pointed out that lawmakers are not prohibiting people from gifting someone marijuana, but rather trying to reign in that trade.
“You can give gifts to your friends and family. You can have a brownie party at your house,” D’Agostino said.
The issue has been controversial among marijuana advocates, some of whom recently staged a protest on the grounds of the state Capitol where they handed out marijuana cigarettes. Some said the donation events had personal benefits, especially for people with anxiety issues who might not be able to buy marijuana otherwise.
The bill also allows medical assistants to prescribe medical marijuana in Connecticut. Additionally, beginning in fiscal year 2024, the bill eliminates registration and renewal fees for medical marijuana patients. They usually total around $200.
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