How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut 2021

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In Growing Marijuana in Connecticut – CT Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how Connecticut residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana was recently legalized in the Centennial State but there are certain cases where patients may still want to register for a medical marijuana card.

Overview of Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

In June 2012, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law HB 5389 which legalized the use of medical marijuana in the state. In May 2016, the governor signed HB 5450 which allowed minors into the state’s medical marijuana program. You can read up on the rules here: Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection – Medical Marijuana

Connecticut’s medical marijuana law allows registered patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces and purchase the same amount per month unless the patient’s certifying practitioner recommends a greater amount. Patients and their caregivers may also cultivate up to six plants but only three should be mature at a given time. A household may grow only up to 12 plants regardless of the number of adults living there. However, patients may only legally grow at home starting October 1, 2021. To qualify, a patient must have at least one of the following conditions below:

For Adults:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Positive Status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Cachexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy
  • Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 1 and Type II
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
  • Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
  • Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder
  • Spasticity or Neuropathic Pain Associated with Fibromyalgia
  • Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Post Herpetic Neuralgia
  • Hydrocephalus with Intractable Headache
  • Intractable Headache Syndromes
  • Neuropathic Facial Pain
  • Muscular Dystrophy 
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
  • Chronic Neuropathic Pain Associated with Degenerative Spinal Disorders 
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • MALS Syndrome (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome)
  • Vulvodynia and Vulvar Burning
  • Intractable Neuropathic Pain that Is Unresponsive to Standard Medical Treatments
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Chronic Pain of at least 6 months duration associated with a specified underlying chronic condition refractory to other treatment intervention
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Associated with Chronic Pain
  • Chronic Pancreatitis

For Patients Under 18:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
  • Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Intractable Neuropathic Pain that Is Unresponsive to Standard Medical Treatments
  • Tourette Syndrome for patients who have failed standard medical treatment 
  • Chronic Pancreatitis for patients whose pain is recalcitrant to standard medical management 

If your condition is not listed above, you may file a petition with the DCP’s Board of Physicians so they can recommend it to be added to the list of medical conditions that qualify for the palliative use of marijuana. To submit a petition, use the form on the DCP’s website and send it via email or US mail to this address:

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
Medical Marijuana Program
450 Columbus Blvd, Suite 901
Hartford, CT 06103-1840

Even minors afflicted with a condition that need medical marijuana can register for the program, as long as they do so with the help of their parents or legal guardians. However, the requirements are stricter:

  • At least two physicians need to confirm the minor’s debilitating medical condition. One of the physicians must be the minor patient’s primary care provider and the other must be a physician who is board certified in an area of medicine of the patient’s debilitating condition.
  • One of the physicians must certify the minor patient’s debilitating condition in the medical marijuana registration system while the second physician must provide a letter confirming that the palliative use of marijuana is in the patient’s best interest. 

Caregivers

Patients under 18, or those who are too handicapped to provide care for themselves can have a designated caregiver. However, before anyone can apply to be a caregiver, the patient’s physician should first recommend if a caregiver is needed, then only can the patient designate the applying caregiver.

A caregiver should be at least 18 years old, must not be the patient’s qualifying physician and does not have a conviction for a violation of any law pertaining to the illegal manufacture, sale or distribution of a controlled substance. Patients may only have one caregiver at a time and vice versa.

Why should you get a medical marijuana card in Connecticut?

Even though recreational marijuana was recently legalized in Connecticut, sales won’t begin until May 2022 and cultivation won’t be allowed until July 1, 2023. Getting into the state’s medical marijuana program also has its advantages: 

  • Higher possession and purchase limits. Patients can have on their person up to 2.5 ounces or an adequate monthly supply as recommended by the physician.
  • It is the only way patients below 18 with debilitating conditions can use medical marijuana.   
  • Additional legal protection in case you exceed possession limits.

How to get a medical marijuana card in Connecticut

Applying to the Connecticut medical marijuana program is fairly simple and there aren’t a lot of requirements. Everything can also be done online. However, it’s a bit on the expensive side at $100 for patients and $25 for caregivers.  

For patients

  1. Secure the following requirements and submit to the DCP online:
  • Proof of identity (ex. Connecticut or Out-of-State Issued Driver’s License, State ID, Connecticut pistol or firearm permit, US Passport or Passport Card Permanent Resident Card, Certificate of Naturalization Certificate of Citizenship.) 
  • Proof of Connecticut residency (ex. Statement from bank or utility company)
  • A $100 check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of CT”

As mentioned earlier, applicants under 18 will need two physicians that will confirm that their condition requires the palliative use of marijuana.

  1. Set up a free account in the State’s Business Network system and fill out the required information and submit the necessary documents.

For caregivers

  1. The patient is responsible for registering their designated caregiver into the online system. Provide the proof of identity, proof of residency and a photograph of the designated caregiver.

Patient and caregiver registration are valid for 1 year. The DCP did not indicate on their website how long the approval process takes but most patients say it is around 30 days. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Connecticut Medical Marijuana Card

Why do I need to medical marijuana card?

Connecticut recently legalized recreational marijuana but sales have yet to begin in 2022 and home cultivation in 2023. Getting a medical marijuana card is the only way a patient in Connecticut can legally possess, purchase, and grow cannabis. It is also the only way a minor can legally medicate with cannabis.

Who is eligible for medical marijuana card?

Patients in Connecticut with at least one of the qualifying conditions below are eligible for a medical marijuana card. However, the qualifying conditions for patients below 18 are different:

For Adults:
Cancer
Glaucoma
Positive Status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Parkinson’s Disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
Epilepsy
Cachexia
Wasting Syndrome
Crohn’s Disease
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Sickle Cell Disease
Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy
Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Ulcerative Colitis
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 1 and Type II
Cerebral Palsy
Cystic Fibrosis
Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder
Spasticity or Neuropathic Pain Associated with Fibromyalgia
Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
Post Herpetic Neuralgia
Hydrocephalus with Intractable Headache
Intractable Headache Syndromes
Neuropathic Facial Pain
Muscular Dystrophy 
Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
Chronic Neuropathic Pain Associated with Degenerative Spinal Disorders 
Interstitial Cystitis
MALS Syndrome (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome)
Vulvodynia and Vulvar Burning
Intractable Neuropathic Pain that Is Unresponsive to Standard Medical Treatments
Tourette Syndrome
Chronic Pain of at least 6 months duration associated with a specified underlying chronic condition refractory to other treatment intervention
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Associated with Chronic Pain
Chronic Pancreatitis

For Patients Under 18:
Cerebral Palsy
Cystic Fibrosis
Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity
Severe Epilepsy
Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder
Muscular Dystrophy
Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Intractable Neuropathic Pain that Is Unresponsive to Standard Medical Treatments
Tourette Syndrome for patients who have failed standard medical treatment 
Chronic Pancreatitis for patients whose pain is recalcitrant to standard medical management 

Why would I want a medical marijuana card?

Patients of any age may need to apply for a medical marijuana card in Connecticut if they want to legally use marijuana for a debilitating condition. A medical marijuana card also serves as additional legal protection for patients caught in possession of an amount exceeding the legal limit.

How long does the process take?

It’s easy to submit the Connecticut medical marijuana Patient and caregiver application online. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection does not indicate on their website how long the approval process takes but most patients say it is around 30 days to get an MMJ card.

How much does it cost to obtain a medical marijuana card?

The cost of a medical marijuana card in Connecticut is $100 while for caregivers it is $25.

How many plants can I grow with medical marijuana card?

Patients registered in Connecticut medical marijuana may grow up to six plants, only three of which should be mature at a given time.

How much marijuana can I keep with medical marijuana card?

Patients registered in Connecticut’s medical marijuana program may possess up to 2.5 ounces or an adequate monthly supply of cannabis.

Conclusion

If you’re a patient with a qualifying condition in Connecticut, it might be worth getting a medical marijuana card since the online application process is fairly convenient. It also gives medical marijuana users a significantly higher possession limit – 2.5 ounces or more depending on how much your condition requires. A medical marijuana card is the only way a minor with a debilitating condition can use medical cannabis and it also provides additional legal protection for patients and caregivers who may need to possess more than the legal limit. 

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