Though there’s still a long way to go, it certainly feels like the tide is turning—squarely in favor of medicinal marijuana use, and acceptance of marijuana use in general. A case in point: The State of Connecticut is slowly but surely emerging as one of the key states in the MMJ battle. Some six MMJ dispensaries have been approved to open in Connecticut, some of them as soon as September—and while six may not sound like a lot, it’s certainly a big step forward for a state in which MMJ access has previously been more-or-less non-existent. Our readers in Connecticut may be wondering about how this process will work, 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 MMJ 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.
Cultivating in Connecticut As for the cultivation process, Connecticut’s MMJ program allows for anywhere between three and 10 producer licenses to be granted. Only those who are licensed to cultivate are legally allowed to do so; in other words, growing your own marijuana in your backyard remains illegal, unless you happen to be a regulated and licensed cultivator. The AllBud team will continue to round up information about the six Connecticut dispensaries as they open. The first opening is scheduled for August 15th, 2014. Stay tuned for more updates as the Connecticut Medical Marijuana program unfolds!