Connecticut

Legislation History

Connecticut has a lengthy relationship with cannabis, dating back to the production of industrial hemp. Following World War II, hemp production in Connecticut fell drastically. Anti-drug campaigns and the eventual passage of Republican President Richard Nixon’s Controlled Substances Act made cannabis illegal in Connecticut. Decades later, public and legislative opinions on cannabis had shifted.

 

Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a General Assembly-drafted measure in June 2011 to decriminalize the possession of up to one-half ounce (0.5 oz.), or 14.2 grams, of cannabis. Offenders would pay increasing fines for subsequent offenses.

 

In May 2012, the Connecticut General Assembly of Representatives passed HB 5389, which legalized the medical use of cannabis. This bill added Chapter 420f to the Connecticut General Statutes, called “An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana.”

 

HB 5389 revised the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies to appoint the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) responsible for the regulation and governance of medical cannabis use.

 

Where is it safe to purchase & consume?

Registered patients and primary caregivers may purchase medical cannabis from licensed pharmacists employed by licensed dispensary facilities. Individuals may not purchase an amount of cannabis that would cause them to exceed possession limits of 2.5 ounces, or 56.7 grams, per month. Patients designate a licensed dispensary at the time of their application.

 

Licensed dispensary facilities are located throughout Connecticut. Registered patients may purchase flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, and tinctures, as well as consumption accessories from dispensary facilities. Patients are responsible for state and local sales taxes at the time of purchase.

 

At this time, medical marijuana delivery services are unavailable in Connecticut.

 

Connecticut registered patients may ingest their cannabis medicine only in private spaces.

 

Registered patients may consume flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, and tinctures, as well as possess and use consumption accessories. State law prohibits the manufacturing of edibles.

 

Connecticut law prohibits medical cannabis use on public transportation, in the workplace, on school or university campuses, public places, or in the presence of anyone younger than 18. The law also prohibits the use of medical marijuana that would endanger the health or well-being of another person.

How Old Do I Need
to Be to Consume?
N/A
Recreational
18+
Medical
Possession Limit
for Flower
N/A
Recreational
2.5 ounces
Medical
Possession Limit
for Concentrates
N/A
Recreational
2.5 ounces
Medical

Possessing Cannabis

Patients may possess up to two-and-a-half ounces (2.5 oz.), or 56.7 grams, per month unless their physician indicates a lesser amount is appropriate. State law prohibits the gifting or exchange of medical cannabis between any entities excepting within a patient-and-primary caregiver relationship.

 

Landlords cannot refuse to rent to or take action against an individual based solely on his or her status as a registered patient. Schools, likewise, cannot refuse enrollment based solely on a person’s status as a registered patient. Employers cannot refuse to hire or choose to fire registered patients, though they may prohibit the use of cannabis during work hours.

 

Home Cultivation

Home cultivation is prohibited in Connecticut. Registered patients and primary caregivers may obtain medical cannabis only from licensed dispensaries.

 

Medical Marijuana Registry

Connecticut’s medical marijuana program is regulated by the DCP. Patients seeking to become registered to use medical marijuana can apply through the DCP’s Medical Marijuana Program website.

 

Qualifying Conditions

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Cachexia, or wasting disease
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia, including associated neuropathic pain or spasticity
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hydrocephalus, or cranial fluid buildup, with an intractable headache
  • Intractable headache syndromes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Nervous tissue or spinal cord damage or injuries, including irreversible spinal cord injury with intractable spasticity
  • Neuropathic facial pain
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Postherpetic neuralgia, or shingles
  • Post-laminectomy syndrome with chronic radiculopathy, or failed back syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psoriatic arthritis and severe psoriasis
  • Severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Terminal illness requiring end-of-life care
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder

For patients younger than 18, individuals must be diagnosed with one of the following conditions:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Irreversible spinal cord Injury with intractable spasticity
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Terminal illness requiring end-of-life care
  • Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease

The public can petition the DCP to recommend additions to the list of medical conditions that would qualify for medical cannabis.

Patient Qualifications

A patient may only register for medical marijuana if he or she is a Connecticut resident, being treated by a licensed physician for a qualifying medical condition.

 

Minor patients must meet with two (2) physicians: one, the patient’s primary doctor and the other, a board-certified specialist in the field of treatment for the patient’s qualifying condition. One of these physicians will submit a certification to the DCP, while the other must provide the parent or guardian caregiver with a letter confirming medical cannabis use being in the patient’s best interest.

 

State law does not require government or private insurance companies to cover medical marijuana use.

Medical Marijuana Registry Process

  1. Receive a written certification from a licensed physician that states the patient suffers from a qualifying debilitating condition. This certification is submitted to the Department of Consumer Protection by the patient’s physician.
  2. Create an account with the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Business Network to access the online certification system and follow all prompts.
  3. Select the “I am a Patient” option, fill in all identification information, and upload proof of identity, proof of residency, and a color photograph.
  4. Pay a $100 application fee. The registration expires one (1) year after the physician’s certification date.

Caregiver qualifications

If a patient’s doctor indicates on his or her written certification the need for a primary caregiver, the patient may appoint and register one person to assist in accessing and administering medical cannabis.

 

The caregiver must be at least 18 years old and cannot be the patient’s physician, or be convicted of a controlled substance violation. Caregivers can only be responsible for one (1) patient at a time unless there is a parent or guardian or sibling relationship with each patient.

 

Parents or legal guardians are required to serve as the primary caregivers for patients younger than 18.

Caregiver Registration Process

Patients must include their caregiver’s information when applying for Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program.

  1. A patient must receive a written certification from his or her physician that indicates the need for a primary caregiver.
  2. Receive an email sign-up link from the registered patient’s application process to complete the caregiver portion of the application.
  3. Create an account with the DAS Business Network to access the online certification system and follow all prompts.
  4. Select the “I am a Caregiver” option, fill in identification information, and upload proof of identity, proof of residency, and a color photo.
  5. Pay a $25 application fee. The registration expires one (1) year after the physician’s certification date.

Information for Providers

Physicians and nurse practitioners licensed to practice medicine in Connecticut may provide qualifying individuals with a written certification to use medical cannabis. Physicians must register with the Connecticut Prescription Monitoring and Reporting System (CPMRS) to gain a complete overview of a patient’s controlled substance use.

 

To certify patients for medical cannabis use, physicians must state on the DCP’s online form that a patient has been diagnosed with a disease that qualifies them for medical marijuana and that based on reasonable medical assessment, the potential benefits of cannabis use outweigh the risks.

 

Physicians must create an account with the DAS Business Network to access the DCP’s online certification process.

Reciprocity

Connecticut state law only allows qualified patients who are residents of Connecticut to possess and purchase cannabis at licensed dispensaries. No reciprocity is offered to out-of-state residents.

 

Lab Testing

Licensed producers must have laboratory employees on staff to randomly test cannabis product batches for quality assurance. Laboratories must test samples for:

  • Heavy metals
  • Microbiological contaminants
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides

Producers must provide lab results for each medical marijuana batch purchased by a dispensary facility available upon request to qualified patients, caregivers, and physicians with certified patients.

 

Licensing for Growers, Manufacturers, Processors, and Retailers

Only licensed pharmacists may apply for and obtain a cannabis dispensary license from the DCP and may provide patients cannabis within licensed dispensary facilities. Entities seeking to become a licensed marijuana dispensary facility must prepare all necessary documents, responses, and appendices as required by the DCP. This application package is due no later than the date referenced in each application period, along with a nonrefundable application fee of $1,000.

 

Following the application submittal, the DCP will evaluate and rank all applications,  then award licenses to those with the highest scores. If selected, licensed dispensaries must pay a $5,000 registration fee. Licenses expire annually and require a renewal application and $5,000 fee.

 

Each application period, called Request for Application (RFA), the DCP reserves the right to approve a limited number of licenses within Connecticut. For example, the DCP anticipated awarding between three (3) and 10 licenses for dispensaries in 2018.

 

Connecticut law allows for only three (3) to 10 licensed producers at a time. Only producers licensed by the DCP are authorized to cultivate marijuana for medical use. Entities seeking to apply as a licensed producer must provide evidence of their financial capacity to build and operate a secure indoor growing facility. The application fee for medical cannabis producers is $25,000. If approved, the licensed producer must pay a $75,000 registration fee. Licenses expire annually and require a renewal application and a $75,000 fee.

 

This page was last updated on November 8, 2018.