Jan 24, 2023, 10:30pmUpdated 8h ago
By: John Craven
Connecticut would stop issuing retail marijuana dispensary licenses – at least for now – under a “cannabis safety” plan floated by Republican leaders Tuesday.
“People are now realizing that it’s no joking matter,” said state Rep. Vin Candelora (R-North Branford), the House GOP leader.
In their first week, dispensaries sold more than $2 million in cannabis, according to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.But now, Republicans want to put the brakes on the industry. Their bill would suspend new retail licenses until the state has more drug recognition experts. As News 12 reported in June 2021, DREs are police officers who are specially trained to run cognitive tests on drivers.
“Certain drugs will affect a person’s pupil size, so we’ll use this card to indicate that,” Norwalk Police DRE Ty Boyd told News 12 then.
Right now, there are only 62 drug recognition experts spread across 38 agencies, according to the Connecticut Department of Transportation. DOT provides training, but officers must be tested out of state, making the process time-consuming.
GOP lawmakers also want to give police more authority to pull drivers over. Current law prohibits officers from pulling a driver over just because they see marijuana smoke.