HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A recreational marijuana bill took a major step toward becoming law, but the governor threatened to veto it over an eleventh-hour amendment.

On Wednesday morning, things didn't look good, and some were saying the marijuana bill was dead.

Gov. Ned Lamont even threatened to veto the bill if it landed on his desk in that form.

A recreational marijuana bill took a major step toward becoming law, but the governor threatened to veto it over an eleventh-hour amendment.

However, the House of Representatives took that controversial amendment out.

On Wednesday night, The House passed the bill 76 to 62 with 13 not voting. 

"This has been attempted for years. It's a long time coming. We got a lot of good people around the table. We had leadership from Governor Lamont on this and we were able to work out the details, which were difficult," said Rep. Jason Rojas. 

A recreational marijuana bill took a major step toward becoming law, but the governor threatened to veto it over an eleventh-hour amendment.

“When the governor says he’s going to veto it, that was the end of the conversation for a lot of our folks," said House Speaker Matt Ritter.

Lamont remained optimistic earlier in the day that lawmakers would get a version of the bill passed. 

Gov. Ned Lamont answered questions about the recreational marijuana bill on June 16.

"The Senate passed a really good marijuana bill a week ago. The bill had been carefully negotiated over a period of time. We were going to have a very safe product for cannabis use for adults only," Lamont said. "There were a couple of curveballs that came in late last night. And I think you're going to see the House go back and pass what was originally the agreed upon bill, and I think we're going to get something passed within a week."

The bill passed through the state Senate on Tuesday and shifted to the state House of Representatives on Wednesday.

That was expected. The surprise was the last second amendment.

The House majority leader and speak discussed the recreational marijuana bill on June 16.

Lamont threatened a veto, and his chief of staff said it didn’t meet the goals of what was laid out in negotiations for equity. Equity would give people in distressed communities, communities hard hit by crime and drugs, opportunities to get licenses to grow and sell.

"What happened late [Tuesday] night, an amendment came in that changed the terms of equity that I think a lot of people find uncomfortable," Lamont said.

Chief of Staff Paul Mounds said the new amendment opened the “floodgates for tens of thousands of previously ineligible applicants to enter the adult-use cannabis industry.”

The amendment, which was proposed by Sen. Gary Winfield, allowed an individual, their parents or a child with a prior conviction for marijuana to get an equity license to grow and sell legal weed.

Lamont felt that would give wealthy people the same opportunities as people from distressed communities. He said that's not what was intended.

Support for the amendment came from State Rep. Robyn Porter, a strong supporter of equity. When the governor promised a veto, she posted “I wish he would I dare him.”

However, the amendment is now out, and Lamont plans to sign the bill.

“We reached an agreement on how we can have legally regulated cannabis for adult use,” he said.

Since the bill passed the House, it will have to go back to the Senate for a third time for approval.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

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(4) comments

Hobo

We are trying to get people to be healthier. We want kids off e cigs. What do the doctors in the assembly think of this? To me it is just stupid. Sort of like the parents who allow drinking parties in their house as long as they collect the car keys. Why start this now? If people can get it elsewhere, let them. My parents never fell for the excuse of everyone else is doing something. That is what we are doing. Condoning something we know has ill effects. I remember when people thought smoking was good for you. This is nothing more than a money grab, another thing to impose a sin tax. Why don't we legalize prostitution? There has to be a good bit of money involved in that, too. I know I will not vote for anyone who votes for this. Don't come crying later that we have too many drivers under the influence. This has got to be one of the stupidest things going. Why open this can of worms? I know, it really is all about the money, isn't it.

gothelittle

"Lamont felt that would give wealthy people the same opportunities as people from distressed communities. He said that's not what was intended."

So... equity basically does not mean that your race, gender, and economic status will not decide how you are treated in this country. So nice of Lamont to make sure that street drugs are more available to distressed neighborhoods than to wealthy people. I'm sure it'll help them out so much.

Brian C. Duffy

Littleone with littlebrain and littlelogic,

Lamont is not making "street" drugs available; he is making quality cannabis legal for production and sale in distressed communities. I make my current purchases in Holyoke, and will make them in Hartford next year. Economic opportunity for the little guy, absolutely. Cut out your hysterical libertarian spew. If the licenses went to the highest bidder, you would crying, "See, it's about revenue, not equity." Go away, little girl.

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville, 15 minutes to Mass State line.

Brian C. Duffy

Lamont will sign it. It will be legal two weeks from midnight tonight.

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