Connecticut is one of 31 U.S. states (plus Washington D.C.) that allows marijuana for medicinal use. The state made the landmark decision to legalize weed for medicinal purposes back in June 2012, when Governor Dannel Molloy signed Senate Bill 1014 into law.
Of course, the Connecticut MMJ program was established after the state had taken steps towards the decriminalization of marijuana; in June 2011, in fact, a new law stated that being caught in possession of less than ½ ounce of weed was only punishable by a $150 fine, rather than a misdemeanor charge.
Nevertheless, those interested in using marijuana in Connecticut still have to tread carefully, as there are still severe punishments for the illegal possession, cultivation, and/or distribution of cannabis, as you can see in this table below:
As such, it is still required to get approved by a doctor and receive a valid MMJ card for those wishing to use cannabis for medicinal purposes in The Constitution State. In this article, we explain everything you need to know if you’re wondering how to get a medical marijuana card in Connecticut.
First, though, let’s take a look at the state’s updated list of qualifying conditions, as you must suffer from a diagnosable form of one of the below conditions in order for your application to be considered.
Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut
Even with the medical marijuana bill in Connecticut seeing thousands of new patients and nearly two dozen dispensaries approved, it is still generally regarded that the state’s MMJ program is relatively strict as compared to other states (some of which have an “approval” system that is more or less a joke).
As such, for anyone wishing to apply for medical marijuana in Connecticut, you must be aware that you first have to receive certification from a licensed CT doctor (who must be an active practicing physician in the state), in addition to registering with the Department of Consumer Protection (more on that down below in the “How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut” section).
As of the time of writing, there are currently 31 qualifying conditions that you must be diagnosed with in order to receive a physician recommendation for the use of medical marijuana. These conditions include:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nervous Tissue Damage
- Cachexia / Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Post Laminectomy Syndrome
- Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS / Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury
- Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
- Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder
- Spasticity (or Neuropathic Pain Associated with Fibromyalgia)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Post Herpetic Neuralgia
- Hydrocephalus (w/ Intractable Headache)
- Neuropathic Facial Pain
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta
- Chronic Neuropathic Pain (associated with Degenerative Spinal Disorders)
*Also, be advised that you are only eligible to apply for medical marijuana in Connecticut if you are a resident of the state, and are not an “inmate confined in a correctional institution, or a facility under the supervision of the Connecticut Department of Corrections.”
For more information about qualifying conditions, or to learn about the differences in qualifying conditions between adults and minors (qualifying patients under the age of 18), please visit the state’s Medical Marijuana Program Portal through the Department of Consumer Protection.
Or, if you want to begin the process of connecting to a physician to talk about the possibility of qualifying for a Medical Marijuana Card in CT, let us help by Starting Here.
How Do I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut?
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Connecticut, the first thing you’ll need to do is make an appointment with a physician to talk about your potential qualifying condition. If you are not diagnosed with one of the conditions listed above, you will NOT be eligible for an MMJ card in the state.
You can either make an appointment with an in-office physician (or simply speak with your PCP), or you can try and get in touch with a Connecticut-based doctor through our online MMJ platform, though last we checked Connecticut did not have a specific state referral system. (Feel free to get in touch with us for a list of marijuana doctors operating in the state).
Once you have spoken with your physician and he/she has deemed you eligible for a qualifying condition, they will register you (and your e-mail) with the state’s Medical Marijuana Program Department of Consumer Protection (DOCP).
Once you are in the system, you can then log on yourself and complete the MMJ application online. (If you try to apply before you are approved by a physician, you will get the following message: “You have not been identified as a patient. Please see your physician and verify your email address.”
Without further ado, here are the 3 basic steps for how to get a medical marijuana card in Connecticut:
Step 1 – Make an Appointment with Your Doctor
As mentioned above, the first step is to discuss the issue with your physician, because he/she is the only individual that can initiate your application.
If approved with a legitimate medical condition, your doctor will then certify you and register you in the state’s online application system. In order for the physician recommendation/certification, you must provide the following information:
- A valid email address: This will be the main form of communication between you and the Connecticut DOCP, so make sure it is a private address that no one else can access. For example, it is a bad idea to use a work email.
- A primary telephone number: The most obvious choice is your cell phone number.
Step 2 – Create an Account with the Connecticut Online Medical Marijuana Portal
This step is essential, as it enables you to access the online registration system based on the email address you provided to your doctor. Once you have created your account and logged into the system, you will need to verify that the details entered by your physician are accurate. You will also need to answer a variety of verification questions.
Then, you can proceed with filling out the MMJ online application.
Step 3 – Finalize I.D. Verification & Payment
After you’ve completed the online application, you will be asked to provide proof of identity and residency before you make your payment. Here is a list of the documentation you’ll need:
- Proof of Identity: Examples include driver’s license, U.S. Passport, or Certificate of Naturalization.
- Proof of State Residence: You can prove you are a Connecticut resident by showing a document with your name and residence dated within the last 90 days. Accepted documents include a computer-generated bill from a utility company, a bank statement, or a Medicare/Medicaid benefit statement.
- Passport Size Photograph: This need to be taken no more than 30 days prior to submitting the application.
Once you have logged all of the required documentation for the application, you will then need to pay the $100 registration fee. You can pay by credit card, check money order, though all money orders/checks must be made out to “Treasurer, State of CT.”
Primary Caregivers for a Connecticut
Medical Marijuana Application
If you or your physician’s office outlines the need for a primary caregiver, you will need to register them on the DOCP application, as they will not give you a registration certificate otherwise. You must identify the person in question as your primary caregiver on the application form, and verify some medical information.
Next, the primary caregiver will have to provide a valid email address and primary telephone number, before creating their own account with the Connecticut Online MMJ portal (the same way that you did). They will need to answer a series of questions and submit I.D and a passport size photo, in addition to paying a $25 registration fee.
For patients and primary caregivers, please use the following address when mailing supplemental documents:
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection,
Medical Marijuana Program,
165 Capitol Ave,
What Happens After I Am Approved For an MMJ Card in Connecticut?
Once the entire online process is completed, the Connecticut medical marijuana card application may take up to 30 days to process, though often it is far quicker than this.
If you’re approved, the DOCP will send you a temporary certificate via email, at which point you can buy medical marijuana in Connecticut from an official state-licensed dispensary (check here for a list of verified dispensaries in the state).
How to Renew Your Connecticut Medical Marijuana Card
Medical Marijuana Cards in Connecticut last for exactly one year from the date of certification. This is an important distinction because the clock starts ticking from that moment – even if you don’t actually use the card for a few weeks.
When the expiration date begins to near, you and your physician will use the same DOCP portal to begin the renewal process – we recommend starting this weeks in advance in order not to let the MMJ card expire, in which case you would have to start over from square one.
Your physician must:
- Confirm that you are still under his/her care
- Provide the date of examination for re-certification
- Confirm there is still a bona-fine doctor/patient relationship in place.
- Complete the trio of certifications at the end of the form.
- Show proof you still live in the state of Connecticut
- Complete certification/verification steps at the end of the form
- Provide an updated photo
- Pay another $100 registration fee
- Update any information that has changed in the last year
Your primary caregiver must also provide an updated photo, complete the same certification/verification steps at the end of the application, and pay another $25 registration fee. (So basically, if you’re wondering how much a medical marijuana card costs in Connecticut, you’re looking at $100 per year – plus of course any actual marijuana products that you purchase from a dispensary).
Wait… Isn’t Weed Legal Recreationally in Connecticut?
In March 2018, Connecticut residents proposed a House Bill (Raised Bill No. 5458) that, if passed, would have allowed for the retail sale of recreational marijuana in the state to adults over the age of 21. However, the bill was rejected with an 11-6 vote from state representatives, so as it stands, medical marijuana in Connecticut is the only legal form of use.
Be advised, though, that the possession and use of marijuana in Connecticut has been decriminalized for first offenders, as long as the amount in question is under 1/2 oz (approximately 14 oz).
Applying for Medical Marijuana in Connecticut: Additional Information
Before you schedule an appointment with a physician or create your account online to apply for medical marijuana in Connecticut, there are still a few things you must be aware of:
- Even with a valid MMJ card, you cannot grow or otherwise cultivate your own cannabis – even in the privacy of your own home.
- The maximum amount of marijuana you can buy or otherwise possess with a valid MMJ card is 2.5 ounces (this is the maximum 1-month supply as deemed by the state).
- You are not allowed to use marijuana in any moving vehicle (including a public bus), in the workplace, on (or within 1,000 ft of) any school grounds or any university/college property (including dormitories), or in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.
- Marijuana cannot be given for palliative (preventative) care if it endangers the health of anyone other than the patient or primary caregiver (i.e. if you are living with other people in your residence).
Have additional questions about applying for medical cannabis in Connecticut? Do you need a Medical Marijuana Card and are ready to begin the online process right now? Let us help by Starting Here
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