The whole lot you have to learn about hashish in CT: A brief sequence

Hello all, and welcome to the online version of Cannabis CT, a seven-day newsletter course Hearst Connecticut debuted earlier in 2022. Last year, Connecticut legalized cannabis for residents who are 21 and up. But 2022 is the year some key milestones arrive, including the debut of recreational stores in towns that will allow them (more on that to come).

In this seven-part series, we’ll break down key elements of the legislation, which is a whopping 295 pages long. (The Office for Legislative Research’s more readable bill analysis still clocks in at 183 pages.)

We’ll also discuss some of the many forms and strains of cannabis available to consume, along with some info on the state’s medical program and tips for medical patients who want to grow their own cannabis.

This isn’t a seven-day love letter to cannabis. Consider it more of a curriculum intended to help you make informed decisions or satisfy your curiosity.

For the unfamiliar, Hearst Connecticut owns eight daily and 13 weekly newspapers across the state. Its latest publication, ctinsider.com, covers everything from state politics to food and business to high school sports.

Some quick notes on terminology: We’re using “cannabis” because, as the Associated Press Stylebook outlines, there are “arguments the term marijuana was popularized in the United States in the early 20th century to stoke anti-Mexican sentiment.”

The terms “adult-use” and “recreational” cannabis describe the same thing: the sale of non-medicinal cannabis. Some in the industry prefer “adult-use” because they believe “recreational” can give children and young adults the wrong idea.

You’ll see “medical marijuana” in some instances because that’s the term the state uses for the program. Cannabis also has several slang names, including pot, reefer, grass, ganja and weed, although some see the latter as disrespectful to the plant.

Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about cannabis in Connecticut. Think of it like dipping your toe into the water before diving into a sea of ​​genetics, horticulture, criminal justice and more.

Where can I smoke?

This is a surprisingly complicated question. The new law expanded existing bans on tobacco smoking and vaping, and it treats cannabis the same. It’s illegal to smoke or vape within 25 feet of any doorway, window that can open or air intake vent of any building.

The law also almost completely bans smoking indoors.

Some towns have banned the use of cannabis in certain places or in public spaces, period. In some cases, larger cities (population 50,000 or more) are required to set a location for public consumption. Milford, for example, picked a spot next to a parking lot near the Connecticut Post mall. To see whether your town has weighed in on the subject, check out our map.

How much pot can I have on me?

You can transport 6.5 ounces of flower, which is the raw form of cannabis that needs to be ground up before it’s consumed. You can carry 1.5 ounces on you personally, with 5 more ounces in a locked container like a trunk or a glove box. Many people, however, buy cannabis in different forms (more on that in Day 3), so a ratio accounts for that: One ounce is equivalent to 5 grams of concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC.

A few real-world examples based on that ratio:

  • If you purchase six vape cartridges with 500 mg of THC each, you can keep one on your person with five locked up.
  • If you’re eyeballing an edible with 5 mg servings of THC, you can keep 150 servings with you and another 500 servings stashed away.
  • If you have standard, pre-rolled joints with 1 gram of flower, you can keep about 40 on your person — if you can find a place to put them.
  • Raw flower is typically sold in eighths of an ounce. The total legal limit, 6.5 ounces, is 52 eights! At $60 retail per eighth, that’s more than $3,000 of pot.

In short, if you lock your excess purchases in the trunk, you’ll likely be under the limit. As a medical patient, you’re allowed to buy 3.5 ounces per monthfor comparison’s sake.

Can I grow cannabis plants at home?

Not yet, unless you have a medical card. Medical patients are allowed to grow six plants — three mature and three immature — with no more than 12 plants per household. The plants must be locked up and grown indoors. Starting July 1, 2023, any adult can grow cannabis for personal use, with the same restrictions. You are also allowed to give cannabis as a gift.

Also starting July 1, 2023, the possession limits described above won’t apply to “any live plants or cannabis plant material derived from live plants that the person cultivated in accordance with the bill’s home-grow provisions,” according to the law.

The law doesn’t outline how law enforcement officers are expected to determine whether cannabis in a person’s possession was legally grown at home, and neither does an enforcement memo provided to agencies by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

(On Day 7 of this series, we’ll cover how to grow your own cannabis if you’re eligible.)

So… where do I buy pot?

This is the big question, right? It used to be a dealer or a “plug,” to use the stoner slang. Now, with legal recreational dispensaries open in Massachusetts and Maine, that’s where many people from Connecticut go to buy cannabis products. A word of caution, though: Transporting cannabis products — even medicinal ones — across state lines was still federally illegal as of February.

Connecticut will likely see its first recreational dispensaries open sometime in 2022.

More from this series

day 2 – How Might I Feel?
day 3 – A Trip to the Dispensary
day 4 – Inside the Law
day 5 – Inside the Law, Pt. 2
day 6 – Medicinal Marijuana
day 7 – Growing at Home