The lawmakers of the state have approved the medical use of marijuana thus making Connecticut the 17th medical marijuana state! The bill was signed and made official on May 31, 2012. The new law includes strict rules and regulations for the cultivation and distribution of the marijuana plant in order to avoid some problems that other countries had when they legalized it. These rules allow qualifying, state-registered patients or their caregivers to obtain and consume medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Any marijuana use by someone other than a qualifying patient is not allowed.
Firstly, patients must be of legal age, which is at least 18 years old, and secondly, they must be residents of Connecticut. A written certification issued from a physician is required, which means that the patient has been examined and diagnosed with following medical conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries causing spasticity, epilepsy, wasting, Crohn’s disease, and PTSD. Physician’s assistants are not allowed to issue certifications for medical marijuana use.
A one month supply will be able to obtain from the licensed dispenser, while the amount of marijuana will be determined by the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) who can also add additional medical conditions to the list above. A board of physicians will recommend on what conditions to add.
Patient’s access to medical marijuana
Licensing requirements for pharmacist to supply and for producers to grow marijuana are created within the bill. This means that only pharmacists are allowed to apply for and be issued licenses as dispensaries. DCP will set the maximum number of licensed dispensaries as well as licensed producers. The number of producers must be no more than 10 and at least 3. Standards and locations for them will also be set by the DCP. Each licensed producer will have to include a non-refundable fee of at least $25,000 with their application.
Qualifying patients and their caregivers will have to register with DCP who will issue them a registration certificate. The certificate will be valid for the same period as the certification from the physician – up to one year. A fee of up to $25 per registration will be required and both patient and caregiver will be provided with a temporary ID card. Caregivers must be of legal age and without any convictions for drug abuse. Also, it is important to emphasize that home cultivation of medical marijuana is strictly forbidden.
Limitations of medical marijuana use
A patient may become a subject to penalties if he or she does not follow the rules written in this law. In other words, patients will be punished if they consume marijuana in any moving vehicle, at work, on school or university grounds, dorms, within the line of sight of a person under age 18 or in any public place. Licensed dispensaries and their employees are allowed to acquire medical marijuana strictly from the licensed producers and are not allowed to distribute marijuana to someone who is not a qualifying patient or a caregiver – both registered with DCP.
Click here for more information on medical marijuana laws in the USA.