Marijuana

Lawmakers in Connecticut unveil proposals for legal marijuana system

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 17, 2018, a marijuana plant is pictured in Vancouver, Canada. - Canadian cannabis grower Tilray announced Tuesday, December 18, 2018 it has entered a global framework agreement with Sandoz, a generic drug arm of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis. Investors welcomed the news, with Tilray shares leaping nearly 10 percent on New York's Nasdaq index as of 1530 GMT. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)DON MACKINNON/AFP/Getty Images
DON MACKINNON/AFP/Getty Images

HARTFORD, Conn. — Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana have unveiled a package of legislation, including proposals to tax the drug and clear criminal records of low-level drug offenders.

The group of House Democrats laid out the plan Thursday to allow marijuana to be cultivated, manufactured, and sold to consumers in Connecticut. The bills will originate in several committees, but the lawmakers stressed the legislation is not finalized.

Hamden Representative Michael D’Agostino says one bill creates a pilot program for marijuana sales to adults over 21, beginning the end of 2019. The drafts don’t allow people to grow their own marijuana. Rather, lawmakers say it would be modeled after Connecticut’s existing, tightly regulated medical marijuana program.

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Potential tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales has been estimated to be $30 million to $180 million annually.