Connecticut Adult-Use Cannabis: Here’s What You Need To Know
Connecticut said yes to recreational cannabis.
In 2021, the state officially passed a bill allowing adults over the age of 21 to possess, purchase and consume marijuana. The new legislation has created exciting opportunities for economic growth for the state, and taxpayers have much to gain from this update, as a portion of tax revenue generated by recreational cannabis sales will go towards funding education programs and improvements in local infrastructure initiatives.
Currently, nine medical marijuana dispensaries have been granted a hybrid license to operate as recreational facilities in addition to servicing medical patients. Zen Leaf Meriden is one of those, but more on that later. For now, let's dive into the details you most want to know about adult-use cannabis in Connecticut, available statewide in January 2023.
Connecticut Recreational Cannabis in January 2023
On January 10, 2023, at 10:00 AM, recreational cannabis will officially be available for purchase in Connecticut for those over the age of 21 with a valid, government-issued ID.
Recreational cannabis was not a casual addition to the state's cannabis program - like medical, the sale of recreational cannabis is highly regulated. Only approved vendors are legally allowed to sell cannabis, and each product goes through rigorous testing for quality assurance before being released into the market. There are some key details about recreational cannabis in Connecticut you should know:
- Each recreational customer is allowed to purchase 7 g or a quarter ounce (maximum) of cannabis flower or its equivalent per transaction. The purchase can be made in all flower, or mixed and matched between categories including vape cartridges, topicals, and edibles.
- Edibles are available for adult-use, but are capped at 5 mg THC per serving.
- Potency for cannabis flower is capped at 30% THC, all other cannabis products are capped at 60% THC.
Keep in mind that purchasing and possession are two different things. Adults over the age of 21 are allowed to possess (have on their person) up to 1.5 oz of flower, or just over two visits to the dispensary. In addition, recreational cannabis users are allowed to grow up to 6 cannabis plants total (3 mature, 3 immature) in their home starting July 1, 2023.
Zen Leaf Meriden: Your Home for Med and Rec Cannabis
No matter your cannabis needs, recreational or medical, Zen Leaf Meriden has your back. Recreational cannabis sales will begin January 10, 2023, at 10 AM at 1371 E Main Street in Meriden. Some of the items adult-use customers can expect include:
- Cannabis flower, in an array of strains
- Pre-rolls, in single and 5-pack options
- Vapes, in strain-specific and flavor-forward options
While we are excited and eager to offer recreational cannabis, we have not forgotten our medical cannabis patients! Zen Leaf Meriden will provide designated parking for medical patients, ensuring a priority experience. But what else does recreational mean for medical cannabis patients?
Medical vs. Recreational Cannabis in Connecticut: What's the Difference?
There are some key differences to consider when discussing medical marijuana patients versus adult-use customers. Medical patients will still get priority treatment not only when shopping at the local dispensary, but with products, too. It's a top goal of both the state and Zen Leaf to have cannabis available to medical patients, always.
Here are some more details to consider:
- Medical cannabis patients aren’t taxed on their cannabis purchases; recreational consumers will be taxed with the usual state sales tax, a 3% tax to the city/town where the sale was made, and a tax based on the THC level of the product(s) purchased
- Medical cannabis patients are allowed to purchase 5 ounces a month; recreational users, however, are capped at 7 g per purchase, with possession not to exceed 1.5 oz
- Medical patients can purchase cannabis over 30% THC in potency; recreational users cannot
- Medical cannabis edibles are not capped per piece; recreational edibles are a maximum of 5 mg THC per piece
Frequently Asked Questions About CT Recreational Cannabis
That was a lot of information to go through all at once, nonetheless, there are still more questions to be answered about cannabis use in Connecticut. Let's dive into a few:
Where Can I Buy Adult-Use Cannabis in Connecticut?
There are nine hybrid-licensed dispensaries in the state:
- Zen Leaf Meriden
- The Botanist – Danbury, Montville
- Fine Fettle Dispensary – Newington, Stamford, and Willimantic
- Still River Wellness – Torrington
- Blue Point Wellness of Connecticut – Branford
- Affinity – New Haven
Will Caring Nature Waterbury Sell Recreational Cannabis?
For the time being, Caring Nature, a member of the Zen Leaf family, will focus solely on medical cannabis patients.
How Much Recreational Cannabis Can I Possess?
Adults over the age of 21 may possess up to 1.5 oz of cannabis.
Is Home Grow for Recreational Cannabis Legal in Connecticut?
Yes! As of July 1, 2023, adults over the age of 21 are allowed to cultivate up to six plants in their home, three of which must be immature plants. Make sure to follow rules regarding cultivation in a home you don’t own, as property owners can designate no cannabis use of any kind on their properties, including cultivation.
Is Marijuana Decriminalized in Connecticut?
Yes! As of 2011, cannabis is decriminalized in Connecticut.
Will There Be Expungements For Past Cannabis Crimes In Connecticut?
As part of recreational cannabis, the Clean Slate program was defined, whose goal is to help ensure expungements are implemented for those that qualify.
How Does Adult-Use Cannabis Affect Medical Marijuana Patients?
The most noticeable effect will likely be the uptick in visitors hybrid dispensaries will likely see with the addition of adult-use customers. Thankfully, it is a priority of the state and dispensaries to service medical patients. With this in mind, some dispensaries like Zen Leaf Meriden will provide designated parking for medical patients.
How Do I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut?
To attain a medical marijuana card in Connecticut, patients must be Connecticut residents, under the care of a physician, and be diagnosed with one of the state’s qualifying conditions. After that, each patient needs to register with the state, log in and fill out the needed information, upload necessary documents (identification and proof of residence), and pay the state fee of $100. The state made an easy-to-read card to help you get started with cannabis in Connecticut.
Know Your Rights!
While this is an incredibly exciting time, don't forget the rules and regulations! It’s always best to stay informed on all laws and regulations regarding cannabis possession, transportation, and home cultivation. Knowing your rights as a cannabis patient or adult-use cannabis user is best for your safety and the safety of those around you.
- 1. Office of Governor Ned Lamont, (2022, December 6). Governor Lamont Announces Thousands of Low-Level Cannabis Possession Convictions To Be Cleared for Connecticut Residents. Portal. https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2022/12-2022/Governor-Lamont-Announces-Thousands-of-Low-Level-Cannabis-Possession-Convictions-To-Be-Cleared
*This post was originally published on December 29, 2022, and updated on February 8, 2023, to reflect the availability of online ordering for recreational purchasers.
*This post was reviewed by Verano Marketing Compliance on January 31, 2023.
Content Writer for MÜV and Zen Leaf. Britt began exploring cannabis as a recreational user attempting to treat her migraines and depression. Finding success, she began to realize the many benefits of cannabis for a multitude of ailments. Her new-found knowledge prompted a move to Colorado, where she was able to medically treat her son with ADHD and aid her family in becoming healthier and happier. Realizing her passion for cannabis, she turned it into a career. Joining the industry as Medtender and moving into management gave Britt the knowledge needed to become a writer for a local cannabis culture magazine in Oklahoma and a leading voice in cannabis compliance.
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