By Jelena Martinovic

Connecticut just became the 18th state in the union to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes and the 4th just this year, as Gov. Ned Lamont signed the bill into law on Tuesday.

The bill, which allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, goes into effect on July 1 and the sale of recreational marijuana is planned to kick off in May 2022.

Connecticut Marijuana Legalization Bill Sent To Governor's Desk After Days Of Fierce Debate
Photo by FotografiaBasica/Getty Images

Finally Signed

The long process was not without conflict and many held their breath in the hope the legalization bill would make it to the governor’s desk unscathed.

“People have been working on this for 10 years,” Lamont said. “It’s been a long time coming. I think we have a good bill that puts public health first.”

Lamont said more work needs to be done to achieve social equity, but that he’s satisfied with the bill he just signed.

RELATED: Connecticut Marijuana Legalization Bill Sent To Governor’s Desk After Days Of Fierce Debate

“History will tell us if that’s true or not, but I feel confident in saying this is the best bill in the country and it’s going to move us in the direction of ensuring that we provide a well-regulated marketplace for adult-use cannabis for adults who want to participate in that kind of activity,” Lamont said.

Have You Seen The New Ad Linking Marijuana And Satanic Cults?
Photo by Javi Julio Photography/Getty Images

“It’s an important thing to do on a number of fronts. Number one, in terms of equity and social justice. I think it is a model for the rest of the nation. We had a chance to learn from others,” the governor added.

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The bill was originally introduced by House Speaker Matt Ritter (D) and Senate President Martin Looney (D).“I think it’ll be the most comprehensive and best cannabis legalization bill in the country,” House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (D) said at the small signing ceremony, reported Marijuana Moment.

Speaking Of Social Equity – Another Bill Signed

Connecticut made news last week when it became the first state to make all prison phone calls free after Gov. Lamont signed the bill into law, thus helping incarcerated men and women and their families to stay in touch.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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