Connecticut is one of 33 U.S. states (plus Washington D.C.) that allows marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. The state made the landmark decision to legalize weed for medicinal purposes back in June 2012. At that time, Governor Dannel Molloy signed Senate Bill 1014 into law.
Connecticut established the MMJ program after the state took steps towards the decriminalization of marijuana. In June 2011, 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. There are still severe punishments for the illegal possession, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis, as you can see in this table below.
As such, you must get approved by a doctor to receive a valid MMJ card 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. You must suffer from a diagnosable form of one of the below issues for your application to achieve eligibility.
Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut
The medical marijuana bill in Connecticut saw thousands of new patients, and nearly two dozen dispensaries approved. However, the MMJ program is regarded as relatively strict compared to other states. Bear in mind that some of these states have an “approval” system that is a joke.
The first step involves receiving certification from a licensed CT doctor. You can only use someone who is an active practicing physician in the state. Patients must also register with the Department of Consumer Protection. We provide more information in the “How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut” section below.
Medical Conditions for Eligibility
As of the time of writing, there are currently dozens of qualifying conditions. You can receive a physician’s recommendation for the use of medical marijuana if you have any of the following:
- 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
- Postherpetic neuralgia
- Hydrocephalus (w/ intractable headache)
- Neuropathic facial pain
- Muscular dystrophy
- Osteogenesis imperfecta
- Chronic neuropathic pain (associated with degenerative spinal disorders)
The program recently added further conditions, including Tourette syndrome and interstitial cystitis.
*You are only eligible to apply for medical marijuana in Connecticut if you are a resident of the state. You are ineligible if you are 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.
Do you want to talk about the possibility of qualifying for a Medical Marijuana Card in CT? If so, let us help by Starting Here.
How Do I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Connecticut?
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 are ineligible for an MMJ card in Connecticut.
You can make an appointment with an in-office physician (or simply speak with your PCP). Alternatively, you can try and get in touch with a Connecticut-based doctor through our online MMJ platform.
When your physician deems 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 login and complete the MMJ application online. If you try to apply before approval, you 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 three necessary steps for how to get a medical marijuana card in Connecticut.
Step 1 – Make an Appointment with Your Doctor
Only a licensed physician can initiate the process. If approved with a legitimate medical condition, your doctor will certify you and register you in the state’s online application system. To receive the physician recommendation/certification, you must provide the following information:
- A valid email address: This is the main form of communication between you and the Connecticut DOCP. 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.
At present, your doctor must initiate the registration process. They do so by logging into a secure online system to certify you. You only gain access once your physician electronically submits a valid certification. It is the same situation for a primary caregiver should you nominate one.
Step 2 – Create an Account with the Connecticut Online Medical Marijuana Portal
This step is essential. It enables you to access the online registration system based on the email address you provided to your doctor. You need to verify that the details entered by your physician are accurate. You must also 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 must 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 materials include a computer-generated bill from a utility company, a bank statement, or a Medicare/Medicaid benefits statement.
- Passport Size Photograph: Only photos taken less than 30 days before submitting the application are accepted.
Once you have logged all of the required documentation for the application, you pay the $100 registration fee. You can pay by credit card, check, or money order. Make out all money orders/checks 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. Otherwise, they will not give you a registration certificate. You must identify the person in question as your primary caregiver on the application form, and verify some medical information.
Next, the primary caregiver must provide a valid email address and primary telephone number. Then they must create an account with the Connecticut Online MMJ portal (the same way that you did). They will 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. However, it is usually far quicker than this.
If you’re approved, the DOCP will send you a temporary certificate via email. At this 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 precisely one year from the date of certification. This is an important distinction because the clock starts ticking from that moment. This is the case even if you don’t use the card for a few weeks.
When the expiration date begins to approach, you and your physician will use the same DOCP portal to start the renewal process. We recommend beginning weeks in advance, so you don’t let the MMJ card expire. If you allow this to happen, you 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 recertification
- Confirm there is still a bonafide 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
Your primary caregiver must also provide an updated picture. Also, they must complete the same certification/verification steps at the end of the application and pay another $25 registration fee.
Wait… Isn’t Weed Legal Recreationally in Connecticut?
In March 2018, Connecticut residents proposed a House Bill (Raised Bill No. 5458). It would have allowed for the retail sale of recreational marijuana in the state to adults aged 21+. However, state representatives voted 11-6 against. As it stands, medical marijuana in Connecticut is the only legal form of use.
The state has decriminalized possession and use of weed for first offenders. You escape serious problems as long as the amount in question is under 1/2 oz (approximately 14 grams).
Applying for Medical Marijuana in Connecticut: Additional Information
Interested in scheduling an appointment with a physician to apply for medical marijuana in Connecticut? If so, there are still a few things to remember:
- Even with a valid MMJ card, you cannot grow or otherwise cultivate cannabis at 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. Some physicians may indicate that you should use a smaller amount.
- You are not allowed to use marijuana in any moving vehicle (including a public bus). It is forbidden in the workplace, on (or within 1,000 ft of) any school grounds or any university/college property (including dormitories). You are also not allowed to use it in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.
- You can’t use marijuana for palliative (preventative) care if it endangers the health of anyone other than the patient or primary caregiver.
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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