Updated on November 19, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
As of November 2021, Connecticut had 54,000 patients registered in the statewide medical cannabis program. The communities with the highest number of registered patients are New Haven (13,116), Fairfield (12,171), and Hartford (11,923).
Patients with a medical card do not pay a special cannabis excise tax. Each purchase of medical cannabis is subject to a 6.35% retail tax. However, residents purchasing for adult use can expect to pay about 20% taxes on all cannabis products if they don’t have a medical card.
The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced that the monthly amount of cannabis a patient can purchase in CT had been increased. A move to both help patients and cultivators in Connecticut.
Effective October 15, 2021, the Drug Control Division’s Medical Marijuana Program in Connecticut allows the use of up to 3 ounces. Previously patients were limited to purchasing 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana per month. Patients who have been approved for less cannabis per month by their physician will still be limited to the prescribed amount.
The DCP Commission Michelle H. Seagull indicated that the adoption of adult-use legalization may pose some challenges for cultivators. The first priority is to provide cannabis and products for patients in Connecticut.
By increasing the purchase amount, it may reduce the frequency that patients visit a dispensary. This can help cultivators get used to the increased demand in Connecticut, now that recreational (adult-use) cannabis sales are increasing.
A patient with a qualifying health condition aged eighteen (18) years or older may apply. The patient cannot be an inmate of a Connecticut corrections facility.
Patients over the age of eighteen years may apply if they have been diagnosed with:
Some states have a separate and smaller list of qualifying health conditions for minors. That is because new clinical studies suggest there may be a cognitive development risk for children under twenty-one.
In Connecticut, a minor may apply for access to medical cannabis if they have one of the following health conditions:
Both minors and adults applying to the medical cannabis program must formally diagnose the qualifying health condition. Minors are also required to have a designated caregiver registered with the CT medical marijuana program.
If the diagnosis of a health condition changes or symptoms subsides, a patient may not be approved for medical card renewal. A practitioner or physician health evaluation is required annually to review symptom management needs.
Like other states that have legalized adult-use, there is a wide variety of cannabis products available for patients as well. If you have a medical card, you can visit a medical or recreational dispensary.
No matter where you buy your cannabis, if you have government-issued photo identification and your medical card, you will not pay the excise tax on your purchase.
Dispensaries have the following products available:
When you visit a medical cannabis dispensary for the first time, make sure to schedule an appointment. Many medical dispensaries in Connecticut have an online form and appointment booking on their website.
Dispensaries will consult with you, create a patient profile, and suggest strains and cannabis products that may help. Assistants at the dispensary can also discuss different intake options for you.
Patients must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to get a Connecticut medical card. Minors under the age of eighteen require the consent of a parent or legal guardian. And caregivers must be designated for minors to access medical marijuana in Connecticut.
Before applying for your medical cannabis card in Connecticut, make sure you have a primary care provider. If you do not have a family doctor, you will be required to register one. And that can slow down the application process.
After you have received your physician certification letter, you must complete the application process online. The Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program provides a chart that lists the steps to complete the patient application. The cost of registration and annual renewal is $100 for patients. Proof of identity is required, but as of 2019, patients do not need to provide a passport-quality picture.
Yes, you can if you are a parent or legal guardian of a child with chronic health conditions. Minors have a limited list of qualifying health conditions compared to adults.
Before a minor may be issued a Connecticut medical card, the caregiver must be designated. The Registration Certificate for cannabis use is provided only after the caregiver has been registered for the patient. Adults may also require a caregiver. If a patient applying is not a minor but still requires a caregiver, the physician will indicate that on the letter of referral.
Patients in the Connecticut Medical Cannabis Program will receive an email about 30-45 days prior to the expiration of the medical card. That is to remind patients to schedule their health evaluation and renew their cards.
If a medical card expires in Connecticut, the patient must apply again. The option to renew is not available. The cost of an annual CT medical card renewal is $100.
If you have lost or damaged your Connecticut medical card, you can request a replacement if there has been no change to your legal name or address.
Patients must complete a form and then send it to the DCP Medical Marijuana Program within five (5) business days of misplacing the card. There is a $10 fee for replacement.
Delay in reporting the loss of a medical card can result in suspending the patient’s registration certificate. Or in some cases, the certificate can be revoked by the CT MMJ authorities.
Medical cardholders can purchase cannabis from any dispensary in Connecticut. Patients must provide a valid CT medical card and government-issued photo identification.
Minors who are registered to the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program may not enter a dispensary. However, caregivers can seek consultation, purchase and administer cannabis products to the minor.
There are five licensed cannabis delivery service providers in Connecticut. Since July 2021, patients have ordered online for home delivery of medical marijuana products and supplies.
On June 1, 2012, then-Governor Dannel Malloy signed HB 5389. The new laws made Connecticut the 17th state in America to provide a medical cannabis program for patients.
Connecticut has been progressive about cannabis decriminalization. But it took some time to legalize medical and then adult-use cannabis in the state.
June, 2011—Then-Governor Dannel Malloy signed the first decriminalization legislation for Connecticut. Lower penalties were provided for marijuana possession of smaller amounts. And for possession charges that did not involve distribution or a violent crime.
Source Web 2021: portal.ct.gov
April 2018—A narrow vote by the General Assembly of 27-24 in favor propelled legislation to legalize adult-use (recreational) cannabis in Connecticut. At that time, three separate cannabis legalization bills were drafted and prepared to be sent to the General Assembly for review in October 2018. The bills did not progress.
Source Web 2021: natlawreview.com
August, 2018—Eight new conditions were approved by the Connecticut Legislature Regulations Review Committee. It brought the number of chronic symptoms and qualifying health conditions to thirty (30). And it helped expand patient access to CT medical marijuana.
The new conditions included spasticity, post-herpetic neuralgia, severe rheumatoid arthritis, hydrocephalus, neuropathic facial pain, and intractable headaches.
Patients under eighteen (18) years were provided two new qualifying health conditions; muscular dystrophy and osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). Today, Connecticut has more qualifying health conditions than other states permit.
Source Web 2021: portal.ct.gov
July, 2021—Senate Bill No. 1118 is called “An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis,” becomes law. Nine years after medical cannabis legislation was first adopted in CT.
Source Web 2021: cga.ct.gov
Department of Consumer Protection (DCP)
Medical Marijuana Program
165 Capitol Ave
Hartford CT 06106-1630
Phone: (860) 713-6066
Toll-Free: (800) 842-2649
Website: Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program
In the state of Connecticut, the maximum monthly amount allowable, is 2.5 ounces, unless indicated otherwise by the patient’s physician. Under Connecticut law, cultivation is NOT permitted.