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Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in Connecticut

A beautiful mix of rural regions and Atlantic coast, Connecticut is home to more than 3.5 million people. From the quaint and cloudy town of New Haven to the shores of the Thames River, Connecticut has a rich relationship with the United States.
Is marijuana legal in Connecticut?
Public Act 12-55 legalized the medical use of marijuana in Connecticut.
When did marijuana become legal in Connecticut?
The Connecticut Palliative Use of Marijuana Act became law in May 2012.
Where are the dispensaries?
Dispensaries are licensed based on patient need. As of March 2017, Connecticut has licensed nine dispensaries across the state. They are distributed as follows:
  • One in Bristol
  • Two in Milford
  • One in South Windsor
  • One in Uncasville
  • One in Bethel
  • One in Waterbury
  • One in Branford
  • One in Hartford
Are they MED or REC dispensaries?
Connecticut only permits the sale of medical marijuana legally.
Who can be a medical patient in Connecticut?
To become a medical patient in Connecticut, you must be a Connecticut resident, above the age of 18, and have been diagnosed with a serious or debilitating disease, condition, or ailment currently approved by the state. This may include:
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Post laminectomy syndrome with chronic radiculopathy
  • Severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Terminal illness requiring end-of-life care
  • Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
Patients under the age of 18 may be accepted into the program as well, provided the parent or legal guardian of the minor agrees to be the primary caregiver and the child is certified by two physicians as having a debilitating illness. Additionally, the parent or guardian must consent to the treatment after a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits with a qualifying medical professional. Minor patients may be recommended marijuana for any of the following diagnoses:
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Terminal illness requiring end-of-life care
  • Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
  • Irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
How do I become a medical patient in Connecticut?
First a qualified health professional such as a physician or nurse practitioner must assess your case. In order for the state to recognize a physician-patient relationship, all of the following must be true:
  • The medical professional has completed a medically sound assessment of the medical history and current condition of each patient.
  • They have diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition from the approved list.
  • The medical professional has either prescribed a medication or determined to not prescribe a medication based on possible outcomes not within the best interest of the patient.
  • Based on this, the physician or nurse practitioner has concluded the palliative benefits of marijuana outweigh any potential health risks.
Connecticut requires the physician to begin the patient application process, filling in everything from your personal details, including if you require a caregiver, to the volume of marijuana you can purchase in a month. Once the physician has communicated to the state that you are qualified for palliative use of marijuana, you will receive an email requiring you to submit the following:
  • A passport-style photo of yourself.
  • Proof of ID, such as a birth certificate.
  • Proof of residency, such as a utility bill or state ID.
  • $100 application fee.
You should be issued a card within 30 days of submitting your application.
Where can I smoke?
The Connecticut medical marijuana program prohibits the consumption of marijuana in smoked, vaporized, edible, and topical forms in a bus - school or transit - or any moving vehicle. Prohibited areas include the grounds of any private or public school, college, university, or dormitory. Marijuana use must not be done in a way that is public, in view of anyone under the age of 18, or in any way that could be seen as neglectful to the point it endangers others.
How much does marijuana cost in Connecticut?
The state of Connecticut prohibits any dispensary location from actively promoting their prices anywhere except in the actual store. This includes online, print, radio, or news sources. Word on the street, however, suggests that the cost of an ounce of marijuana is around $350 on average.
How much marijuana can I buy and possess in Connecticut?
The recommending health professional recommends a default of 2.5 ounces in any 30 day period, though this amount may be lowered as necessary.
Can I grow marijuana? How many plants?
Connecticut does not allow a patient or caregiver to grow their own marijuana. Marijuana may currently only be grown by licensed producers.
How do I get a job in the marijuana industry of Connecticut?
In order to work within a Connecticut dispensary location, you must be at least 18 years of age and live in Connecticut. Additionally, you will have to submit to your social security number, date of birth, the name and location of the dispensary or production facility you wish to work at, your employment history, your criminal history, and a valid pharmacy technician or pharmacist registration number. Connecticut, per the finalized program regulations, will only allow a person who is currently licensed as a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician within the state to receive a dispensary or dispensary technician license.

Dispensary technicians are required to submit an initial and renewal application every year at the cost of $50.
Is Drug testing for marijuana legal in this state?
Connecticut protects its patients from discrimination from employers, schools, and landlords. That being said, the state offers no protection to patients who are intoxicated while at work, allowing employers to use drug testing as a way of verifying intoxication.
Is Delivery legal?
As of March 2017, delivery is acceptable from the primary caregiver to the patient only, not from the dispensary to the patient directly.
How to pay for marijuana in Connecticut dispensaries?
Connecticut dispensaries do most sales in cash. While the federal prohibition of marijuana remains in effect, the banking and card services companies are unwilling to conduct business with legal cannabis companies.

Featured Cannabis Business of the Month
- LivWell Dispensary -

Connecticut Marijuana Laws

Connecticut passed the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act in 2012. The incredibly-thorough established the framework for the growing, manufacturing, and sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused products. Taking over two years for the first dispensary to open, the state has been adjusting their tactic ever since.
Purchase and Possession Limits
According to the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act, a patient or their caregiver may purchase as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana in any 30-day period.

For any person not registered in the palliative use of marijuana program, Connecticut has limited decriminalization laws, allowing for criminal charges for possession or use to be replaced by a fine, similar to a traffic violation. Any person caught in possession of 1/2 oz or less is subject to a fine of $150, with each violation thereafter raising the fine to a maximum of $500. If a person is caught with over 1/2 an oz, misdemeanor criminal charges, fines up to $1,000, and up to one year in jail are possible.
Driving while Intoxicated
The Palliative Use of Marijuana Act specifies that marijuana may not be consumed in any moving vehicle. Though the law allows patients to use marijuana, the penalties for driving while intoxicated remain the same.

For first offenders, the penalties for drugged driving may include one-year suspension of your driving license, up to $1,000 fines, as much as six months in jail, and 100 hours community service or 48-hours of mandatory incarceration.
Driving while in possession of marijuana
Under no circumstance is a registered patient to transport marijuana from a Connecticut dispensary to another state, even if marijuana is legal there (e.g. Massachusetts). The state does not want any patient to use marijuana products within their vehicle. Being caught using marijuana while in your vehicle, even if it is not moving, puts you at risk of a $300 infraction.

Patients may transport marijuana products with them in their car, as long as they do not use them.
Marijuana Use by Minors
A minor may be enrolled in the Palliative Use of Marijuana program, but only when specific conditions are met. First, the minor patient has to be assessed by two medical professionals with valid licenses to practice in Connecticut. One of these professionals must be a specialist in a field which the patient has been diagnosed. After receiving two recommendations, there must be a thorough explanation of the risks and benefits involved in the treatment between the parent or legal guardian and the recommending health professional.
Growing Marijuana at Home
As of March 2017, Connecticut does not allow patients or caregiver grow their own marijuana. Instead, all marijuana is cultivated by licensed producers, who then sell the product to the dispensary.
Places to Consume Legally
Connecticut currently prohibits the consumption of marijuana or marijuana-infused products in any dispensary location. Additionally, medical patients cannot consume marijuana in any of the following places or ways:
  • In a school bus or other type of public bus
  • In any motor vehicle
  • On the grounds of any school, from preschool to university
  • At work
  • In any place you can reasonably determine is public
  • In the immediate proximity to a non-patient minor under 18
  • In any way that can negatively impact the health or well-being of others
It is important to note schools, landlords, and employers are forbidden from discriminating against an individual for being an active patient within the Palliative Use program.
Legalization Efforts
2017 started with the introduction of three bills that would legalize, regulate, and tax the sale and production of adult-use marijuana and marijuana-infused products. Only time will tell if these measure become law.

SB 11 -The proposed measure suggests, simply, that Connecticut regulate marijuana similar to Colorado. HB 5314 - Would allow adults age 21 and older to possess, use, and grow marijuana for personal use. They could be able to grow up to six plants each and possess and with no more than twelve plants per residence. HB 5539 - Would legalize marijuana possession, use, and cultivation for adults age 21 and older. The products would be taxed at an undecided amount, and the current medical system would remain separate, and medical patients would not be subject to additional taxes. Additionally, the act would define a limit of five nanograms per milliliter of THC in a person's blood to be intoxicated while driving.

Connecticut Marijuana Prices and Economic Data

Connecticut is home to over 3.5 million residents, yet the five-year-old program allowing residents to use medical marijuana for limited medical purposes has only 17,157 patients currently active.

While Connecticut does not allow dispensaries to advertise product prices anywhere but the dispensary, the word on the street is an ounce costs, on average, $350. In comparison, a 10 mg edible is reported to cost near $10 and 100 mg of cannabis oil for vaping for $20.
Estimated Sales & Tax Revenues
Under the current marijuana laws in Connecticut, a patient may purchase as much as 2.5 ounces of marijuana per month. Since the sales data has not been made available to the public, we will assume a patient, on average, consumes 1.5 ounces of marijuana per month or $525. Connecticut does not exempt medical sales of marijuana from sales taxes, so all products are taxed at the state sales tax rate of 6.35%.

With 17,157 active patients as of March 2017, this would generate an estimated $9 million in sales every month. If patient registration stayed constant, the sales would generate, conservatively, $108 million per year. By this estimate, tax revenues could be greater than $6.85 million in 2017.

Patients are also required to submit annual renewal fees of $100 dollars for themselves. Registered caregivers must also apply annually, though the fee is only $25. Since the data regarding caregiver volume is not available, we can use the current patient volume to show how much in registration fees are being collected. Based on the current patient volume of 17,157, nearly $1.72 million will be collected.

It is unclear how this revenue is collected or distributed.

Marijuana Activities: Things to do in Connecticut

With Maine and Massachusetts as recreational neighbors, Connecticut is expected to push for new rules to governing marijuana use in the state. Until then, the state is home to lush forests and wilderness, beaches, art museums, and an exceptional history which, in its own way, is still shaping the political environment of America today.
Learn about the great compromise
The Connecticut Compromise, also know as the Great Compromise, was a suggestion from a pair of Connecticut politicians in the midst of the US declaring independence from Britain. The compromise transformed how states were granted representation in the federal government: equal representation in the Senate but representation in the House based on state population. This historic agreement is just one of the many ways Connecticut has affected national politics.
Mystic Seaport
For hundreds of years, Connecticut has had an industrious sea trade, with several large rivers, sounds, or bays to haul barges, build military ships, and even host battles during the Revolutionary War. Now, you can take a step into some of these historic vessels. The Mystic Seaport not only provides a look inside the sea vessels from the past, both large and small; it also hosts art exhibits, stores, and a tavern. Purchase a ticket to go out on one of the vessels and experience the historic Mystic River for yourself.
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
What better way view Connecticut than by boat AND train? With the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, you can explore the green forests and rolling hills around Connecticut and experience the Connecticut River. The train follows a track older than the state of Colorado, dropping you off at a port along the Connecticut River where you will begin your riverboat tour. The company offers exclusive dining experiences, including a three-course meal, for the lunch and dinner crowds.

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