HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding will hold a hearing today on a proposal to tax adult cannabis sales and distribute the revenue to underserved communities. It is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building.
SB 1138 would establish a state gross receipts tax of 6.35% on retail cannabis sales for adult use; a state tax on transfers from growers of ($35 per ounce for cannabis flower and $13.50 per ounce for trim); and a 3% local option tax on retail sales. All of the state tax revenue would be distributed to the Community Development Corporation Trust Fund, which funds early literacy education and community development corporations that focus on improving the lives of people living in economically distressed and underserved communities. Local tax funds would go to the localities where the retail sales occurred. A detailed summary of SB 1138 is available at http://bit.ly/CT-SB1138.
A separate bill to legalize possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older and expunge records for past marijuana possession convictions, SB 1085, was approved by the Judiciary Committee on April 8. A third bill, HB 7371, which would regulate the production and sale of cannabis for adult use, was approved by the General Law Committee on March 25. Links to summaries of the bills are available at https://www.regulatect.org/
“Regulating and taxing cannabis sales will generate significant new revenue for our state and local governments,” said Kebra Smith-Bolden, co-director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, who will be testifying in favor of the bill Monday. “Under the proposed plan, virtually all of the funds will be directed to the communities that have been most devastated by cannabis prohibition. For decades, minority and low-income individuals have been disproportionately affected by marijuana enforcement and the war on drugs. It is fitting that they be the ones who benefit from cannabis tax revenue following legalization.
“We would like to thank the co-chairs of the finance committee for taking the most impacted communities into consideration with respect to revenue distribution,” Smith-Bolden said. “Equity is an important goal in the process of ending the prohibition of marijuana in Connecticut and across the country.”