Connecticut to fine illegal marijuana ‘gifting’ practice

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The practice of “gifting,” where marijuana products or plants are exchanged for donations or other purchases, could now result in a hefty $1,000 fine in Connecticut.

According to the Associated Press, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation not only intended to crack down on “gifting” but also to allow cities to impose a $1,000 fine for failing to pay sales taxes on such transactions.

The action was taken to combat illicit-market cannabis bazaars that have popped up since Connecticut legalized adult-use marijuana sales in 2021.

The events, which have seen attendance in the thousands, often charge a fee to attend. Attendees then buy a piece of merchandise such as a T-shirt and receive free cannabis as well.

Other states such as New York have cracked down on similar practices in their markets.

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The “gifting” legislation came a little more than a month after the cutoff for Connecticut marijuana companies to apply for adult-use business licenses.

Connecticut regulators announced in January that the first recreational marijuana businesses in the state could open as soon as the end of 2022.