First public hearing on proposal to legalize recreational marijuana to be held Friday


The debate over legalizing recreational marijuana will be the center of attention in Hartford on Friday.  The General Law and Judiciary Committees will hold public hearings on the controversial topic. 

Ricky Evans, the Owner of Ricky D’s Rib Shack in New Haven, has testified in the past, but will be running his restaurant Friday.  He is for the legalization of recreational marijuana.  He also hopes to become a licensed manufacturer, so he can bottle CBD and THC-infused barbeque sauces and sell to dispensaries. 

If I can jump into the cannabis industry and incorporate that into a sauce, it would be no different than a brownie or a cookie or a gummy bear, Ricky Evans told News 8. Opening up opportunities for small businesses such as mine and others like mine. 

Related: Lawmakers pushing proposal to legalize recreational marijuana use in Connecticut

The current proposal at the Capitol is complex and still evolving.  Three different committees are involved, which would handle the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of recreational marijuana.  The Department of Consumer Protection would regulate the program and only adults 21-years or older could buy. Taxes would be somewhere around 20-percent. 

There is also a Judiciary bill that would allow people with criminal convictions for the possession of marijuana to have their records wiped clean.  

Opponents, including Republican House Minority Leader, Themis Klarides say the long-term health effects are still largely unknown.  Some also saying there is a public safety concern with people driving while high.  

The public hearing will be at the Law Office Building in Hartford on Friday.  

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