New laws in CT 2023: Recreational marijuana, Mileage tax
HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - As of the new year, several new laws will take effect in Connecticut.
They will impact things like recreational marijuana sales and truck drivers passing through the state.
One of the big ones is that you will be able to legally buy weed in the state.
Starting January 10th, recreational marijuana will be sold at nine different dispensaries in Connecticut.
As long as you are 21 and show a government ID, you will be able to purchase recreational marijuana.
Preparations are underway at dispensaries as they gear up to expand access to include medical marijuana and recreational cannabis.
“It’s obviously a huge benefit. As I noted, there’s 50,000 [medical marijuana] patients currently in the state, and there’s roughly 2.5 million over 21, and we generally see that 8-10% of a population will be a cannabis consumer,” said Benjamin Zachs, Chief Operating Officer, Fine Fettle.
9 dispensaries will roll out the program but as many as 100 businesses are looking to get up and running soon.
Fine Fettle currently has three locations where people can get medical marijuana. You can find them in Newington, Willimantic, and Stamford.
Come January 10th, they’ll be among the dispensaries selling recreational marijuana. They’re hiring new workers and getting ready for more demand.
“We think this is more than just opening up a store and selling to more people. This is a larger societal change,” said Benjamin.
Benjamin, the Chief Operating Officer for Fine Fettle, says they’ve been preparing for the last 18 months.
“We worked on all our paperwork, we had to do some construction to expand our vault and increase register space in two of our facilities,” Benjamin explained.
He says in the last two weeks they have onboarded about 100 new workers across 3 stores.
“It’s also an economic driver for CT. We think this industry will create thousands of jobs out of thin air in CT and a ton of tax dollars and so we think that is good everywhere,” said Ben.
“I think 100% it’s great for the state, great for the people, and I agree it cuts down crime,” said Rick Zimmerman, Newington.
You will only be able to buy ¼ ounce but as suppliers and dispensaries grow, the amount will be up to an ounce.
Unlike medical weed, adult use will be taxed 20%.
Part of the revenue will go to the state’s general fund and to help communities hardest hit by crime and drugs.
Tractor trailer drivers will also see some changes come 2023.
As of January first, tractor trailers traveling on Connecticut’s highways will be required to start paying a new mileage tax.
“Any tax obviously is difficult for any industry to have to comply with,” said John Blair, President, Motor Transport Association of Connecticut.
Back in June of 2021 the legislation was passed in the general assembly.
The new provision impacts truck drivers by requiring them to be registered.
The highway use fee is calculated based on a truck’s weight and number of miles driven in the state.
“It goes from a 26,000 pound truck, it would pay 2.5 cents, to an 80,000 pound truck which would pay up to 17.5 cents per mile,” said John. “For us, we see the tax as unnecessary because we think that the state is flushed with cash.”
He fears the tax is ultimately going to get passed down to consumers.
“When we’re speaking of an actual carrier, 25 trucks that can add up to about 150,000 dollars per company, for anybody who has 25 trucks who would have to comply,” John said.
Supporters of the tax say it’s going to help pay for roads and bridges that get damaged by tractor-trailers.
The Motor Transport Association is concerned about out of state truckers not complying.
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