Medical Marijuana in Connecticut – What’s Legal

Patients and caregivers may purchase and possess medical cannabis from state licensed dispensaries; however, neither patients nor caregivers are allowed to grow their own medicine. The possession amounts are not set by HB 5389, rather, the DCP will determine through regulations the possession amount based on ensuring an “uninterrupted availability for a period of one month.” The possession amounts set by the DCP may vary by qualifying condition. While rules and regulations are put in place, the Department of Consumer Protection is issuing temporary registrations. During the temporary registration period, the maximum allowable monthly amount of medicine patients may possess is 2.5 ounces.

MARIJUANA PATIENTS OR CAREGIVER

Marijuana patients and caregivers that are registered under Connecticut law are shielded from arrest and prosecution so long as they conform to the rules of the state’s medical marijuana program. If a patient or caregiver is prosecuted on state charges, the patient or caregiver is entitled to present an affirmative defense that the cannabis was for medical purpose.

CT Eligible Conditions

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Cachexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Any medical condition medical treatment or disease approved by the Department of Consumer Protection

Marijuana (MMJ) Doctor

Regarding Marijuana (MMJ) doctors, Connecticut marijuana law specifies that your certifying physicians must be licensed to practice medicine in Connecticut and have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship with you that includes a full assessment of your medical history and current condition. A federal court has ruled that, under the First Amendment, doctors may not be punished by the DEA for recommending medical cannabis.

To obtain a medical cannabis recommendation ask your doctor. If you are already medicating with cannabis, tell your doctor specifically what on the Connecticut list of qualifying conditions you treat with cannabis and how it helps you. If you have a qualifying condition and your doctor does not issue medical cannabis recommendations, you may need to find a medical cannabis specialist. Other licensed health professionals such as chiropractors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners cannot sign the documentation for recommendations to the state.

Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Specialists & Clinics

Medical cannabis specialists and clinics can be found on the New England Dispensaries Connecticut doctors and care clinics web page. These are available for medical cannabis consultations. Before consulting a medical cannabis specialist, patients should already have medical records of diagnosis and treatment of a qualifying condition under Connecticut law. Be aware that:

Not all doctors are qualified to make recommendations.

The doctor will want to see your medical records.

It can cost more than $100 to see a medical cannabis specialist.

Paying the money does not guarantee that you will get a recommendation.

CT Marijuana Identification Card

Connecticut MMJ Card – Once your doctor or medical cannabis specialist has provided certification to the Department of Consumer Protection that you have a qualifying medical condition that may benefit from medical marijuana (MMJ), the DCP will contact you to complete your registration.

You will be asked to submit to the department:

  1. Proof of Identity
  2. Proof of Connecticut residency
  3. Current passport size photograph
  4. $25 registration fee (checks/money orders should be made payable to “Treasurer, State of CT”)

Legal Caregivers in Connecticut

Legal caregivers in Connecticut are protected under Connecticut law. The medical cannabis laws protect patients and their designated caregivers. Designated caregivers are allowed to possess and obtain cannabis for the patient in their care. The caregiver may not use cannabis without being a registered patient nor provide it to anyone but their patient.

To become a registered caregiver, the qualifying patient’s physician must indicate that the patient requires the assistance of a caregiver and the qualifying patient must designate you as that caregiver on the patient registration application. To do so, the patient must provide your name, email address and phone number. The DCP will contact you and ask you to provide:

  1. Proof of Identity
  2. Current passport size photograph
  3. $25 registration fee

Registered caregivers must be at least 18 years of age, cannot have been convicted of crimes related to controlled substances, and may serve as caregiver for only one qualifying patient. Caregivers may care for more than one qualifying patient if the caregiver and each qualifying patient have a parental, guardianship, conservatorship or sibling relationship.

Obtaining Medical Marijuana for Qualified Patients

Medical cannabis patients in Connecticut are to obtain their cannabis from registered dispensaries, which are to have medicine provided by licensed producers. Connecticut’s medical cannabis act establishes basic guidelines for the licensing and operation of dispensaries and producers, but the final regulations and application process is the responsibility of the Department of Consumer Protection. Until those are established, registered patients and caregivers may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis but have no authorized way to obtain it.