A bill legalizing marijuana before the General Assembly’s judiciary committee would create a network of marijuana lounges, encourage small business development and regulate the sale of pot through a new state Liquor and Marijuana Control Commission.
The bill would also legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and allow cultivation of as many as six marijuana plants per adult. Marijuana could be purchased by customers age 21 and over through a state-regulated dispensary.
Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney supports the legislation and said Monday it is designed to encourage small business development and promote diversity.
In testimony, Looney said the Department of Consumer Protection would be required to adopt policies that would encourage business applications from communities that “have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition.”
The application fee for marijuana cultivation, for example, would not be excessive and would vary based on the size of a facility or the number of plants. Those who have drug-related infractions or misdemeanors would be able to obtain business licenses.
“It is time we take the rational, commonsense approach