Cannabis Awareness and Education Program

For more information, contact:
Sarju Shah, Director of Prevention and Health Promotion 

In June of 2021, through the state legislature, Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over through Public Act 21-1: Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis (RERACA). This law sets out a framework that will
comprehensively regulate cannabis in Connecticut in a manner that protects public health and safety while promoting social equity and economic development. The Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research has also created a summary of the bill.

DMHAS was charged to launch a series of integrated media campaigns and outreach efforts to disseminate information on the new law and deliver prevention messages for various populations. Additionally, section 65 of the legislation states:

Not later than January 1, 2023, the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council, jointly with the Departments of Public Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services and Children and Families, shall make recommendations to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, the judiciary and finance, revenue and bonding regarding (1) efforts to promote public health, science-based harm reduction, mitigate misuse and the risk of addiction to cannabis and the effective treatment of addiction to cannabis with a particular focus on individuals under twenty-one years of age; (2) the collection and reporting of data to allow for epidemiological surveillance and review of cannabis consumption and the impacts thereof in the state; (3) impacts of cannabis legalization on the education, mental health and social and emotional health of individuals under twenty-one years of age; and (4) any further measures the state should take to prevent usage of cannabis by individuals under twenty-one years of age, including, but not limited to, product restrictions and prevention campaigns.


Pursuant to these funding and legislative requirements, the Prevention Subcommittee of the Alcohol & Drug Policy Council has created the Cannabis Workgroup to help inform these public education and outreach measures, and youth prevention recommendations. The workgroup will allow for shared decision-making and represent a broad range of stakeholders. The charter can be referred to here: Cannabis Workgroup Charter.

Meeting Materials

Meeting Date

Meeting Materials

December 02, 2021


December 30, 2021


February 24, 2022


March 31, 2022


April 28, 2022


June 02, 2022


June 30, 2022


July 28, 2022


August 25, 2022



For More Information

Adult Use Cannabis in Connecticut – Provides news and updates on Adult-Use Cannabis in Connecticut.

Connecticut Clearinghouse – Provides information and materials is a statewide library and resource center for information on substance use and mental health disorders, prevention and health promotion, treatment and recovery, wellness and other related topics.

CT SEOW DashboardThe State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) dashboard outlines current data and trends in substance use in Connecticut.

DrugFreeCT – Connecticut’s resource on substance misuse and addiction, including the full continuum of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery.

Recommendations for the Prevention of Cannabis Use in Youth (January 2023)