Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana, took effect on Monday, October 1. Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy signed the measure into law on June 1. Connecticut is the 17th state since 1996 to allow for the physician-authorized use of cannabis as a therapeutic option for qualified patients.
Patients are afforded legal protections under this act is they are diagnosed with 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, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Online registration for qualifying patients and their physicians is now available from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
The Department has until July 1 to submit regulations to the General Assembly regarding the eventual state-licensed distribution of cannabis. In the interim, qualified patients will be allowed to lawfully to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. However, “until state-approved sources of medical marijuana are established, transactions to obtain the drug will still be illegal,” according to a summary of the law in The Norwich Bulletin.
Home cultivation of cannabis by qualified patients is not explicitly addressed under the statute.
Additional information regarding Connecticut’s medical cannabis program is available online from the Department of Consumer Protection: http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=4287&q=503670&dcpNav=|.