Growing Marijuana in Connecticut – CT State Laws (2021)

Are You Ready to Start Growing Yourself?

If you're ready to start growing and want to find out the best seedbanks that ship to the U.S. click here.

In July 2021, Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize adult-use marijuana after Gov. Ned Lamont signed SB 1201. The bill, which passed the House and Senate in the previous month, allows adults aged 21 and older to legally possess, purchase and even cultivate cannabis in their homes.

The governor had been pushing for marijuana legalization years before in his term and called on lawmakers to act on the issue, saying “Like it or not, legalized marijuana is a short drive away in Massachusetts and New York is soon to follow.”

Sponsored by Senate President Martin Looney and House Speaker Matt Ritter, SB 1201 incorporates ideas from a legalization bill Gov. Lamont introduced last year but got derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Lamont and his staff then pointed out that the prohibition of weed sale and possession under current Connecticut marijuana laws resulted in a significant illicit market and staggering racial disparities in the enforcement of the law. The governor added that legalization efforts in neighboring states such as New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey are already underway and that marijuana is just bound to make it to Connecticut residents through the black market which is why the state needs to develop its own well-regulated market with trusted providers.

This article was reviewed and updated for 2021.

Overview of Connecticut Marijuana Laws

After July 1, 2021, adults aged 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of “cannabis plant material” on one’s person and up to 5 ounces in a locked container at home or in a locked compartment of one’s vehicle.

Home cultivation is now also allowed and the limit for both medical and recreational users is the same: 6 plants, only 3 of which can be mature at a given time. Medical growers can start growing by October 2021 and recreational by July 2023.

  • Possession Possession for personal use in excess or 1.5 ounces in public is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2000 and up to a year in prison.
  • Sale – Distribution and cultivation that doesn’t qualify as simple possession are treated as possession with intent to distribute, which is a felony. If caught within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school, public housing project, or daycare center, an additional 3 years imprisonment gets added to the sentence.
  • Cultivation – Prior to July 1, 2023, those who grow up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants for recreational purposes will receive a written warning. A second offense is considered a civil offense that gets a fine of $500. Subsequent offenses are considered a misdemeanor that get a $500 fine. Growing less than 1 kilogram is considered a felony that is punishable by up to 7 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $25,000. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $100,000. One kilogram or more on the first offense gets 5 to 20 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $25,000. Subsequent offenses get 10 to 25 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $100,000.

History of Marijuana in Connecticut

formulanone from Huntsville, United States / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Like most other states, marijuana was made illegal in Connecticut in the 1930s. Unfortunately, marijuana reform came somewhat late to the Constitution State. Not surprising for a northeastern state, Connecticut only decriminalized marijuana in 2011 under then-governor Dannel Malloy. The governor agreed to legalize weed so that the state’s criminal justice resources could be better spent on more serious offenses. Under Senate Bill 1014, possession penalties were reduced. From a misdemeanor punishable by a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine, it is now only an infraction which carries no jail time, no criminal record, and a $150 fine.

Medical marijuana

Marijuana reform in Connecticut took a significant step forward under Malloy who in the following year signed into law a medical marijuana program. Under Public Act 12-55 which took effect in October 2012, patients with a qualifying “debilitating medical condition” were allowed a one-month supply of medical marijuana. The specific amount is determined by a board of eight certified physicians. Furthermore, patients or their caregivers may only obtain marijuana from licensed dispensaries. The law did not include a provision for home cultivation.

Recreational use

In 2018, Connecticut legislators were prompted to revisit the legalization of recreational marijuana. This was due to pressure from marijuana reform in neighboring states, Massachusetts in particular since its adult-use cannabis market was scheduled to open that year. Lawmakers had to mull over four separate bills, each focusing on a different aspect of legalization. However, only one got through a committee vote but was not voted on in either the House or the Senate. 

Another proposal was unveiled in 2019 which sought not only to legalize cannabis but also expunge the records of those who have been charged with low-level drug offenses. This bill now has the support of Gov. Ned Lamont who is also working with New York governor Andrew Cuomo on marijuana policies for the northeast. 

Find the best cannabis seed banks online that ship to the US here.

Marijuana home cultivation laws outside of Connecticut

How do Connecticut marijuana laws compare with those in other US states? Check out our post on Marijuana Growing Laws in the United States.

FAQs about marijuana legalization in Connecticut

Is recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut?

Yes. Recreational cannabis is now legal in Connecticut. Adults aged 21 and older may now possess, purchase and cultivate marijuana for personal use.

How much marijuana can I grow in Connecticut for recreational purposes?

After July 1, 2023, adults aged 21 and older will be permitted to grow a total of 6 cannabis plants for personal recreational use. However, only 3 may be mature at a given time.

Is medical marijuana legal in Connecticut?

Yes, medical marijuana is already legal in Connecticut.

How much marijuana can I grow in Connecticut for medical purposes?

After October 1, 2021, adults aged 21 and older will be permitted to grow a total of 6 cannabis plants for medical use. However, only 3 may be mature at a given time.

What efforts are being made to legalize marijuana in Connecticut?

In July 2021, Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize adult-use marijuana after Gov. Ned Lamont signed SB 1201. The bill, which passed the House and Senate in the previous month, allows adults aged 21 and older to legally possess, purchase and even cultivate cannabis in their homes.

Where can I grow marijuana in Connecticut?

Medical and recreational growers for personal purposes may only cultivate marijuana in a locked space away from public view in their homes.

How old do I need to be to grow marijuana in Connecticut?

Adults should be at least 21 years old to grow marijuana in Connecticut.

Conclusion 

Even though recreational marijuana is now legal in Connecticut, prospective recreational users and home growers need to take note when sale and cultivation will be allowed. Retail sales are expected to start in 2022 while cultivation in October 2023 for adult-use marijuana. Until then, only medical marijuana growers are allowed to grow legally at home.

Thinking About Growing Your Own?

Check out this post where I go into the details about equipment, seeds and the reasons why I got started in this journey.

Leave a Comment