Connecticut became the fifth state to enter into statehood in 1788, and more than 200 years later, in 2012, it became the 17th state to pass a law legalizing medical marijuana under the Connecticut Palliative Use of Marijuana Act.
The Constitution State’s medical marijuana apparatus operates under the Department of Consumer Protection’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). The MMP registers patients who are residents of Connecticut to use medical marijuana.
Connecticut has 34,053 registered patients, 1,090 registered physicians, nine dispensaries, and four producers as of March 24, 2019. The largest numbers of reported patients reside in Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield. Patients who are being treated for a debilitating medical condition by a Connecticut-licensed physician must register for a medical marijuana certificate.
Connecticut has a comprehensive list of qualifying conditions for both adults and patients younger than 18.
Connecticut’s Qualifying Conditions
For adults (qualifying conditions for minors are noted in parentheses):
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Cerebral palsy (also for children younger than 18)
- Complex regional pain syndrome, types I and II
- Crohn’s disease
- Cystic fibrosis (also for children younger than 18)
- Epilepsy (severe epilepsy for children younger than 18)
- Fibromyalgia, along with spasticity or neurological pain
- Hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain, with intractable headache
- Intractable headache
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy (also for children younger than 18)
- Neuropathic facial pain
- Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease (also for children younger than 18)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-herpetic neuralgia, or pain following shingles
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
- Severe rheumatoid arthritis
- Sickle cell disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Spinal cord nervous tissue damage with a diagnosis of intractable spasticity (also for children younger than 18)
- Spinal degenerative disorders with chronic neuropathic pain
- Terminal Illness (also for children younger than 18)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder (also for children younger than 18)
Applying for Medical Marijuana in Connecticut
To receive treatment for one of the medical conditions listed above, patients have to be certified by a physician licensed in the state. After receiving certification, patients must create an account with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Business Network to access the online certification system.
The patient must submit proof of identity, proof of Connecticut residency, a current passport-sized photograph, and a $100 registration fee along with the online registration application.
Patient applications can take 30 business days to process. After an application is approved, a temporary certificate that is valid for 60 days from the application approval date will be e-mailed to the newly registered patient.
Once registered, patients are allowed to possess a maximum allowable monthly amount of 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana.
Patient registrations are valid up to one year from the date of the written certification from the physician. The registration system will allow patients and their doctors to begin the renewal process 30 days before their card expires.
The Patient Quick Reference Card is an official resource that helps patients navigate through the registration process.
Appointing a Caregiver
If applicable, patients must also provide a caregiver’s information when registering on the DAS Business Network, including a valid email address. This will allow the caregiver to complete their portion of the application. Caregivers are required to manage the well-being of a registered patient with their palliative use of marijuana. The patient must be at least 18 years old or be a parent, guardian, or legal custodian if the adult patient lacks legal capacity. Proof of identity and a passport-sized photo are required for caregivers as well.
A patient’s physician cannot be a caregiver, and caregivers can only be responsible for one patient unless there is a parental, guardianship, conservatorship, or sibling relationship with the patient.
The caregiver must also create an account with the DAS Business Network to access the online certification system. The caregiver application fee is $25.
The Primary Caregiver Quick Reference Card is an official resource to guide caregivers through the process.
Reciprocity for Patients Visiting from Other States
Connecticut has no allowances for reciprocity. Patients must be a resident of Connecticut.The state law defines a “qualifying patient” as someone who is a resident of Connecticut.