Our readers in Connecticut may be wondering about how the medical marijuana process works, and what they should expect from the state’s medical marijuana program. We’ll try to run down a few salient points in the paragraphs that follow; keep following our site for further updates as Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program starts to grow.
Who Qualifies for Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program?
As with most states, Connecticut has a list of approved medical conditions that could potentially get you into the MMJ program. The list is pretty much in line with most other state MMJ programs, and includes HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, wasting syndrome, cancer, glaucoma, and a few other conditions. Of course the easiest way to determine whether you qualify is probably to discuss it with your physician.
What’s the Application Process Like?
Again, Connecticut is in line with most other MMJ-friendly states in this regard. The application process must be initiated by your physician, so step #1 is simply to make an appointment with your doctor. The physician will need to certify that you meet the qualifying conditions and that MMJ would potentially help you—that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. From there, the physician will register you through the online portal.
There are a few important notes to make here:
- Only licensed doctors, practicing in Connecticut, can register you, so there’s no sense in seeing out-of-state doctors for this.
- You must be at least 18 years old to register for the program.
- Currently, the registration fee is set at $100.
Living with an MMJ ID Card
Once you obtain your medical marijuana ID card, and start visiting the state’s six (so far!) dispensaries, you’ll want to keep a few further pointers and stipulations in mind.
- As in other MMJ-friendly states, there is a general possession limit, in this case 2.5 ounces per month, though some physicians may specify a smaller amount.
- Connecticut does not honor registration in other Medical Marijuana-friendly states.
- You will need to designate a single dispensary to meet your MMJ needs; sadly, Connecticut is not a state that gives patients the freedom to go to different dispensaries, and because these dispensaries are not yet open we can’t really advise on their specifics yet.
- Some good news: There is no expiration within Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program process, and thus no need to worry about renewing your card.
- A word of warning: Even with these changes to Connecticut’s laws, possessing and using medical marijuana remains a federal offense! Be careful.
Connecticut Dispensary Experience
The dispensary and purchase experience once a patient has designated a dispensary is interesting to say the least. Like most medical marijuana dispensaries in other State's, there's a patient check-in procedure and then a patient consultation procedure in which they can discuss their needs and select their strain to purchase. CT dispensaries have to have a pharmacist on site as well and that isn't the only atypical standard. In fact, many Connecticut patients are dissatisfied with some of these other Connecticut program rules which include:
- Medical Marijuana cannot be opened at the dispensary. No smelling, limited visual, etc.
- The marijuana is ground by the cultivator which is required for cannabinoid testing purposes.
- Street names are not allowed for the cannabis and instead are named by number and cultivator.
Currently, there is only one cultivator, Theraplant, providing product to the dispensaries. We have seen reviews and complaints regarding stems being found in the ground up product, however, we anticipate that the quality will improve as more cultivators open up and there are more options for supply. The AllBud team will continue to round up information about the six Connecticut dispensaries