Attitudes toward the role of medical marijuana have evolved greatly over the past decade. As states embrace cannabis as an alternative treatment option for many chronic and terminal conditions, the knowledge about medical marijuana’s value has continued to expand.
Connecticut, which legalized medical marijuana in 2012, helped fuel marijuana’s public facelift in the US. Better yet, the Connecticut medical marijuana program provides patients safe access to this potentially life-changing medication.
Medical marijuana is well-known as a treatment for terminal conditions such as cancer. However, it can also enhance the quality of life for countless individuals experiencing functional limitations due to neurological conditions.
The best way to assess marijuana’s treatment value for your specific condition(s) is by speaking with your doctor. Together, you can determine if cannabis can help alleviate your condition(s).
Anyone with at least one qualifying condition and a recommendation from a medical marijuana doctor can apply for a medical marijuana card. The process requires medical records and identity verification, but it can be completed through an easy-to-navigate online portal.
Once approved, patients can purchase medical marijuana from any of the state’s dispensaries. The medical marijuana industry is overseen and regulated by the state, which maintains the high quality of the medical marijuana patients obtain.
The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) issues and manages medical marijuana cards.
First, the patient seeking medical marijuana needs to be evaluated by their physician. Once they determine the patient has a debilitating condition that is best managed with medical marijuana, they will submit a certification to the state.
The patient can’t begin the application process until the state receives this certification from their doctor. Next, the DCP will confirm your identity, residency, and your qualifying condition. Once they determine you are eligible for medical marijuana, you will receive an email notification.
Once the patient has been certified by a doctor, they can create an account with the DCP to complete the online application. The site will take them through a step-by-step application. They’ll also need to upload proof of identity or proof of residency, such as with a driver’s license.
Residents of Connecticut can also designate a primary caregiver during the application process. A caregiver is an individual designated to obtain and possess medical marijuana on the patient’s behalf if their debilitating condition prevents them from doing so.
Once you complete the online registration process, patients have to make an online payment or mail a check. The DCP does not accept cash payments.
Also, Connecticut does not print or issue cards. Patients just use their government photo ID and an electronic certification provided by the DCP, when purchasing marijuana at dispensaries.
Connecticut routinely reviews and updates its list of qualifying conditions. The most common conditions are:
Medical marijuana cards cost $100 for patients and $25 for caregivers. Payment is due during the final step of the application process. The state accepts credit cards, checks, and money orders. Payment cannot be made in cash.
Applications can take up to 30 business days to process. Patients should contact the DCP if they do not receive their certification via email within 30 days of applying.
Connecticut does not issue printed cards. The certification patients receive via serves as their marijuana card. They must print out a copy or display an electronic copy on their mobile device when shopping at a dispensary.
Copies of patients’ cards are always available in their accounts on the DCP website.
Patients card are valid for one year from the date of the physician’s initial certification (not their application date). Patients should apply for the card as soon as possible once they receive their physician certification.
Patients and their physicians can start the renewal process 30 days before patients’ active certifications expire. The expiration date always appears on the front of the card.
The physician needs to certify that the patient is under their care, confirm that they examined the patient for recertification, confirm they have an ongoing clinical relationship with the patient, and complete the three certifications at the end of the renewal form.
Patients must provide a photo ID, proof that they’re still a Connecticut resident, and complete the six certifications at the end of the form. Renewal also requires a $100 registration fee.
Patients should also update any demographic information with their physician before submitting their certification. Otherwise, the patient will have to submit such changes to the DCP during the renewal application.
As of October 2021, patients with medical marijuana cards can grow three mature and three immature plants in their homes. The plants can only be grown indoors and cannot be visible from the street. The plants must be grown in the medical marijuana patient’s primary residence.
There is no age restriction for obtaining medical marijuana in CT. However, patients under 18 years of age must undergo a medical marijuana evaluation conducted by both their primary physician and a specialist who would typically treat their debilitating condition(s).
One of those physicians must submit a certification to the DCP and the other must submit a letter endorsing the palliative use of marijuana for that patient.
The minor must then register as a patient and their guardian must register as their caregiver in order to obtain and possess medical marijuana.
Not yet. The state of Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis in 2021, but sales from dispensaries in Hartford, New Haven, and elsewhere are not scheduled to begin until late 2022. Once it is available, anyone over 21 years old will be able to use a dispensary in Connecticut.
And when you arrive, you must present your certification in order to buy product.
Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington D.C. will accept a Connecticut medical marijuana certification. Rules and policies vary by state, though, so be sure to do your research before you travel with your registration certificate.
Yes. Connecticut expanded its medical marijuana legislation to allow home cultivation beginning in October of 2021. Patients are limited to three mature and three immature plants at one time.
Connecticut passed its first medical marijuana legislation about a decade ago. Their application and approval process is well-established, easy to navigate, and efficient. There are many medical conditions that qualify patients for use of medical marijuana.
If you believe you, your child, or an adult under your care could benefit from the palliative effects of cannabis, discuss those benefits with a certifying physician.
Medical marijuana can be transformative for qualifying patients living with chronic and life-altering conditions.