New Britain Common Council updates smoking policy to include restrictions on cannabis use

Published on Friday, 14 January 2022 13:16
Written by Jeniece Roman


NEW BRITAIN – The city’s Common Council voted to update the smoking policy to include restrictions on cannabis products on city property.

The city’s Common Council met Wednesday to discuss an amendment to Section 2-8 of the Code of Ordinances in order to provide the city’s policy on the use of cannabis. The council unanimously voted to comply with Public Act 21-1 and prohibit the use of cannabis on city property. The ordinance prohibits smoking of any kind and/or use or consumption of tobacco or cannabis products in all city-owned or leased buildings, properties or vehicles.

Alderman Robert Smedley, who introduced the resolution to the council, said the proposal to update the smoking policy was introduced in order to include cannabis use of all kinds.

In July 2021, Connecticut became the 18th state to legalize the use of marijuana for adults 21 years and older.

At a Jan. 8 meeting of the Committee on Administration, Finance and Law, Smedley said the ordinance will be continually developed as the use of cannabis products becomes recreational within the state.

“I don't want anybody to be scared and say, ‘oh my gosh, we’re prohibiting everything right away,’” Smedley said. “We have to be able to create a shell and a framework for other ordinances to fall into place and that’s what we’re doing here.”

The ordinance also outlines what constitutes “smoking,” which includes lighted cigarettes, cigars, pipes or similar devices such as electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, vape pens, electronic nicotine delivery systems, as well as chewing tobacco and snus (a tobacco product).

The ordinance also prohibits the use of tobacco or cannabis products in or within 25 feet of any doorway, window or air intake vent of City Hall or any other city owned or leased building. Employees that violate the provisions will be subject to disciplinary action. Anyone that is not an employee of the city and violates the provision will be subject to a $50 fine.

“This is a language change to the city’s smoking policy. It included some wording changes and distancing from city buildings,” Smedley said. “It’s pretty much a general strike-all of what the existing policy was.”

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Friday, 14 January 2022 13:16. Updated: Friday, 14 January 2022 13:18.