Updated on May 4, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
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.
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 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.
Distribution or cultivation includes possession with intent to distribute or cultivate marijuana in the state of Connecticut. Those who are arrested as a 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.