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CT Marijuana Laws

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Laws

Governor Dannel P. Malloy, signed House Bill 5389 on May 31, 2012, legally requiring a qualified patient to register with the Department of Consumer Protection, thereby protecting the patient from arrest or prosecution, or being penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, should they engage in the palliative use of medical cannabis.

On September 23, 2012, instructions on how to register for the program, were posted on the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program website. The Draft Regulations on Medical Marijuana were posted on the state’s site, on January 16, 2013.

The names and locations of the first six dispensary facilities in the state, were released on April 03, 2014. Unless otherwise indicated by the evaluating physician, the maximum amount a patient is allowed per month, is 2.5 ounces. And on, August 20, 2014, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, opened.

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Law

House Bill No. 5389 Public Act No. 12-55 — AN ACT CONCERNING THE PALLIATIVE USE OF MARIJUANA

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) As used in sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Cultivation” includes planting, propagating, cultivating, growing and harvesting;

(2) “Debilitating medical condition” means (A) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, posttraumatic stress disorder, or (B) any medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved by the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to regulations adopted under section 14 of this act;

(3) “Licensed dispensary” or “dispensary” means a person licensed as a dispensary pursuant to section 9 of this act;

(4) “Licensed producer” or “producer” means a person licensed as a producer pursuant to section 10 of this act;

(5) “Marijuana” means marijuana, as defined in section 21a-240 of the general statutes;

(6) “Palliative use” means the acquisition, distribution, transfer, possession, use or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to marijuana, including the transfer of marijuana and paraphernalia relating to marijuana from the patient’s primary caregiver to the qualifying patient, to alleviate a qualifying patient’s symptoms of a debilitating medical condition or the effects of such symptoms, but does not include any such use of marijuana by any person other than the qualifying patient;

(7) “Paraphernalia” means drug paraphernalia, as defined in section 21a-240 of the general statutes;

(8) “Physician” means a person who is licensed under chapter 370 of the general statutes, but does not include a physician assistant, as defined in section 20-12a of the general statutes;

(9) “Primary caregiver” means a person, other than the qualifying patient and the qualifying patient’s physician, who is eighteen years of age or older and has agreed to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of the qualifying patient with respect to the palliative use of marijuana, provided (A) in the case of a qualifying patient lacking legal capacity, such person shall be a parent, guardian or person having legal custody of such qualifying patient, and (B) the need for such person shall be evaluated by the qualifying patient’s physician and such need shall be documented in the written certification;

(10) “Qualifying patient” means a person who is eighteen years of age or older, is a resident of Connecticut and has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition. “Qualifying patient” does not include an inmate confined in a correctional

institution or facility under the supervision of the Department of Correction;

(11) “Usable marijuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixtures or preparations of such leaves and flowers, that are appropriate for the palliative use of marijuana, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the marijuana plant; and

(12) “Written certification” means a written certification issued by a physician pursuant to section 4 of this act.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) (a) A qualifying patient shall register with the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to section 5 of this act prior to engaging in the palliative use of marijuana. A qualifying patient who has a valid registration certificate from the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to subsection (a) of section 5 of this act and complies with the requirements of sections 1 to 15, inclusive, of this act shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, penalized in any manner, including, but not limited to, being subject to any civil penalty, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, being subject to any disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, for the palliative use of marijuana if:

(1) The qualifying patient’s physician has issued a written certification to the qualifying patient for the palliative use of marijuana after the physician has prescribed, or determined it is not in the best interest of the patient to prescribe, prescription drugs to address the symptoms or effects for which the certification is being issued;

(2) The combined amount of marijuana possessed by the qualifying patient and the primary caregiver for palliative use does not exceed an amount of usable marijuana reasonably necessary to ensure uninterrupted availability for a period of one month, as determined by the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to regulations

adopted under section 14 of this act; and

(3) The qualifying patient has not more than one primary caregiver at any time.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to:

(1) Any palliative use of marijuana that endangers the health or well-being of a person other than the qualifying patient or the primary caregiver; or

(2) The ingestion of marijuana (A) in a motor bus or a school bus or in any other moving vehicle, (B) in the workplace, (C) on any school grounds or any public or private school, dormitory, college or university property, (D) in any public place, or (E) in the presence of a person under the age of eighteen. For the purposes of this subdivision, (i) “presence” means within the direct line of sight of the palliative use of marijuana or exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke, or both; (ii) “public place” means any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests; (iii) “vehicle” means a vehicle, as defined in section 14-1 of the general statutes; (iv) “motor bus” means a motor bus, as defined in section 14-1 of the general statutes; and (v) “school bus” means a school bus, as defined in section 14-1 of the general statutes.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) (a) No person may serve as a primary caregiver for a qualifying patient (1) unless such qualifying patient has a valid registration certificate from the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to subsection (a) of section 5 of this act, and (2) if such person has been convicted of a violation of any law pertaining to the illegal manufacture, sale or distribution of a controlled substance. A primary caregiver may not be responsible for the care of more than one qualifying patient at any time, except that a primary caregiver may be responsible for the care of more than one.
READ MORE — House Bill No. 5389 Public Act No. 12-55 [FULL TEXT]

Title 21a-408: Department of Consumer Protection’s Guidelines for Palliative Use of Marijuana

The Department of Consumer Protection put together Guidelines for the Palliative Use of Marijuana that outlines information about registering for medical marijuana for patients. The law also outlines regulations for dispensaries, caregivers, license renewal and non=-transferability, and more.

Title 21a-408-6 outlines specific guidelines for individuals who are submitting medical marijuana registration forms. Registration requires that patients submit proof of residency, identity, qualifying age, and proof of caregiver’s identity and age. This regulation also sets forth guidelines for submitting a current photograph as part of the regulation. The photograph must:

Be current
Be digital
Be passport-sized and at least 2″x2″ in size
Have a white or off-white background
Be in natural color
Provide an unobstructed view of the full face
Has between 1″-1 3/8″ inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
Be in JPG format

If the caregiver is registering, they have to follow the same guidelines for images when submitting their registration.

If a patient or caregiver is registering, it is also important to note that the patient must include information about the dispensary through which they plan on getting their medical marijuana. The law states that the name, address, and telephone number of the dispensary has to be included with the registration.

READ MORE – Title21a-408

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Cultivation & Distribution Laws in Connecticut

Distribution or cultivation includes possession with intent to distribute or cultivate marijuana in the state of Connecticut. Those who are arrested in result of distribution or cultivation will be punished to the fullest extent of the law based on the marijuana penalties and guidelines in Connecticut outlined below.

For first offenders distribution or cultivation of under 1 kilogram of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to 7 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to 15 years of imprisonment.

The court may prescribe an alternative sentence of up to 3 years imprisonment. The offender may then be released at any time during those 3 years and placed on probation for the remainder of their term.

First Time Offenders in Connecticut

For first offenders, distribution or cultivation of greater than 1 kilogram of marijuana is punishable by 5-20 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up 10-20 years of imprisonment. The court cannot reduce a sentence below the minimum years of prison time required by the statute, this means that first offenders face a minimum of 5 years imprisonment and subsequent offenders a minimum of 10 years imprisonment. The court may make exceptions to these mandatory minimum sentences, if the defendant is under 18 or is/was mentally impaired.
For non-violent first offenders, the court may depart from the mandatory minimum sentence if a particular reason is stated.

Connecticut Marijuana Cultivation and Distribution: Information

Distribution or cultivation of marijuana within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school, public housing project, or daycare center is punishable by an additional 3 years imprisonment on top of any other sentence imposed.

Distribution of marijuana by a person 18 years or older to a person under 18 is punishable by an additional 2 years imprisonment, on top of any other sentence imposed. There is an exception to this rule if the distributor is less than 2 years older than the minor.

Using a person under 18 years of age to assist in the sale of marijuana is punishable by 3 years imprisonment, on top of any other sentence already imposed.

* Please note: Any item used for the cultivation or distribution of marijuana is subject to forfeiture. This includes vehicles or aircraft that are used to transport marijuana for the purpose of distributing it.

Connecticut Marijuana Possession Penalties

1. Possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana by a first time offender carries a civil penalty of $150.
2. Possession of less than one-half ounce for subsequent offenses carries a penalty of a civil fine between $200 and $500.
3. Possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana but less than four ounces of marijuana by a first time offender can be punished with a prison term not to exceed one year and a $1,000 fine.
4. Possession of more than one-half ounce of marijuana but less than four ounces of marijuana after a first offense carries a penalty of imprisonment for a term not to exceed five years and a fine not to exceed $3,000.
5. For first offenders, possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 5 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 10 years of imprisonment.

Connecticut Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties

1. Possession of paraphernalia with the intent to use it to cultivate, distribute or inhale/ingest more than one-half ounce of marijuana is a class C misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 3 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.
2. Distributing paraphernalia or possessing it with the intent to distribute it is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a $2,000 civil fine. In order to be guilty of this crime the defendant must know or should have known that the item would be used to cultivate, distribute, or inhale/ingest more than one-half ounce of marijuana.
3. Paraphernalia possession or distribution intended to manufacture or ingest less than one-half ounce of marijuana is a civil infraction, which will result in a fine of between $100-$300 (including administrative costs).
4. Distributing or possessing paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school is punishable by an additional 1 year of imprisonment.

Offense

Penalty

Incarceration

  Max. Fine  

Possession

Personal Use:
Less than 1/2 oz (first offense) civil penalty N/A

$150

Less than 1/2 oz (subsequent offense) civil penalty N/A

$500

1/2 – 4 oz (first offense) civil penalty 1 year

$1,000

1/2 – 4 oz (subsequent offense) civil penalty 5 years

$3,000

More than 4 oz (first offense) civil penalty 5 years

$2,000

More than 4 oz (subsequent offense) civil penalty 10 years

$5,000

Distribution or Cultivation

Less than 1 kilogram (first offense) felony 7 years

$25,000

Less than 1 kilogram (subsequent offense) felony 15 years

$100,000

More than 1 kilogram (first offense) felony 5* – 20 years

$25,000

More than 1 kilogram (subsequent offense) felony 10* – 20 years

$100,000

Within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school, public housing project, or daycare center is punishable by an additional 3 years imprisonment.
By a person 18 years or older to a person under 18 is punishable by an additional 2 years imprisonment.
Distribution or cultivation includes possession with intent to distribute or cultivate marijuana.
*Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

With the intent to use it to cultivate, distribute or inhale/ingest less than 1/2 oz civil infraction N/A

$300

With the intent to use it to cultivate, distribute or inhale/ingest more than 1/2 oz misdemeanor 3 mos

$500

Distributing paraphernalia or possessing with the intent to distribute misdemeanor 1 year

$2,000

Distributing or possessing paraphernalia within 1500 feet of an elementary/middle school is punishable by an additional 1 year of imprisonment.

Forfeiture

Any item used for the cultivation or distribution of marijuana is subject to forfeiture.

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