Connecticut

Marijuana Laws

The Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program

Throughout 2012, the Connecticut state government made its first steps in creating legislation concerning its residents’ medical use of marijuana – the Connecticut Marijuana Laws. House Bill 5389, signed on May 31st, initiated this by requiring every qualified patient to be registered with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). Later that year, on September 23rd, the state’s medical marijuana program was officially launched, with the registration portal now available for prospecting patients. Medical marijuana legalization was finally achieved in CT.

Following that, the list of MMJ qualifying conditions was created, which has since been consistently updated with all of the State-approved maladies. Most recently, as of June 3rd, 2020, the list now includes chronic pain and all of its related symptoms and diseases. 

Coming a long way from its modest beginning in 2014, the CT MMP now boasts numerous dispensaries across its state borders, run by a multitude of manufacturers, and through the diligent supervision of the DCP, medical marijuana has found a safe haven in the Constitution State.

Program Approval Date

May 2012

Patient ID Card Validity

1 year

Application Fee

$100

Certification Renewal

Annually*

* The MMP-issued Identification Card expiry date may vary. Your physician’s recommendation, along with your medical marijuana purchasing rights, are only valid for 1 year. Following that, we recommend you book a re-evaluation with our licensed doctors. 

Being a Responsible MMJ Patient in CT

Now that we’ve briefly covered its history, you should now have a general idea of the background legislation surrounding the CT medical marijuana program. Your patient status, as an integral part of the MMP,  grants you a responsibility that is equal to your medical benefit – upholding and respecting the lawful use of medical marijuana at all times. In order to do just that, you should know what your patient status implies within the state of Connecticut: 

  • Your patient status provides you with access to a 2.5 ounce supply of marijuana every 30 days. There is no legal reason for you to possess any marijuana beyond that explicitly set limit.

  • Your patient status does NOT give you the right to grow medical cannabis plants in Connecticut. Any and all medical cannabis you intend to use needs to be acquired through legal purchase from a state-approved dispensary. 

  • On the topic of the legal purchase of cannabis – a licensed Connecticut dispensary should be the only establishment where your cannabis-related transactions occur. Personal sales are highly prohibited by the court of law and you should NOT engage with them in any way, shape, or form.

  • If your treatment includes hashish-based products OR any other type of marijuana concentrates, know that the regulations for unlawful use remain the same. The state of CT treats hash and concentrates just as it treats marijuana – as a schedule I drug. 

  • Marijuana paraphernalia (such as bongs, tobacco blunts, rolling paper) is NOT explicitly necessary for any type of medical marijuana treatment. You have no legal excuse for possessing such an item, or, similar to cultivation, to be using it in order to create your own medication.

Taking all of these considerations into mind, we have outlined the three main types of marijuana penalties that CT medical marijuana laws can hold you accountable for:

Three types of marijuana penalties:

Possession

Cultivation / Intent to Sell

Paraphernalia

Possession

Connecticut Marijuana Laws

As Connecticut possession law usually revolves around the half an ounce cut-off point, penalties for anything under or above that quantity will incur a varying penalty, including the potential for a misdemeanor:

  • A civil penalty and a fine of $150 if caught in possession of less than half an ounce of cannabis as a first offender. 
  • For subsequent offenders, the penalty for possession of the same quantity of cannabis can range anywhere from a $200 to $500 fine. 
  • Being caught in possession of more than a half-ounce of marijuana may charge you with a misdemeanor that is punishable with up to one year in jail, as well as a maximum fine of $2000. 
  • Subsequent offenders will be evaluated in the court of law. If they are deemed by the legal authorities to be dependent on the substance, the prosecution may be suspended in order for the prosecuted to complete a drug abuse treatment program.
  • Being found in possession of marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school or daycare center results in imprisonment, followed by probation within a community service program.
Possession 
Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
<1/2 oz – First offenders Civil Penalty None $150
<1/2 oz Subsequent offenders Civil Penalty None $500
>1/2 oz Misdemeanor 1 year $2000
Special Considerations
Prosecution may be suspended for subsequent offenders should they be found in need of a drug abuse treatment program. 
Possession within 1500 ft of a school/daycare results in imprisonment, with community service probation following release. 

 

Cultivation/Intent to Sell

Connecticut Marijuana Laws

Taking possession violations even further, cultivation of marijuana and the intent to sell through illegal means places you in violation of the following CT medical marijuana laws:

 

  • First offenders that are found cultivating or distributing less than 1 kilogram of marijuana will be punished with a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to 7 years of jail time. Second offenders will be punished with a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up-to 15 years of jail time. 
  • Alternative sentences of 3 years jail time followed by probation may be issued by the court of law on a case-by-case scenario. 
  • For distribution or cultivation of 1 kilogram (or more) of marijuana, the fees remain the same. The time of imprisonment is the factor that changes significantly, however. 
  • As per statutory law, first offenders are punished with a minimum sentence of 5 years jail time, which can be extended up to 20 years. 
  • On the other hand, subsequent offenders are forced to serve a minimum sentence of 10 years, which can be further extended up to 25 years. 
  • Non-violent first offenders may incline the court to abate from the minimum mandatory prison sentence on a case-by-case scenario. 
  • Being found distributing or cultivating marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school, daycare center, or public housing service results in the addition of 3 years to the pre-existing imprisonment sentence. 
  • If an adult that is 18 years or older is found distributing marijuana to a minor, then the imprisonment sentence is lengthened by 2 years. Exceptions can be made if the distributor is less than 2 years older than the minor being sold to. 
  • The use of a minor for assistance in the distribution of marijuana results in a 3 year jail time punishment, added to the pre-existing sentence. 
  • Note that any and all items used for the cultivation or distribution process of marijuana are subject to forfeiture by the representatives of the law. 

 

Cultivation and Intent to Sell
Quantity Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
<1kg – first offenders Felony 7 years $25,000
1kg – subsequent offenders Felony 15 years $100,000
1kg> – first offenders Felony 5 – 20 years $25,000
1kg> subsequent offenders Felony 10 – 25 years $100,000
Special Considerations 
Distribution within 1500 ft of a school, daycare center, or public housing project adds 3 years to your prison sentence. 
Distributing marijuana to a minor that is more than 2 years younger adds 2 years to your prison sentence. 
Using a minor for distribution purposes adds 3 years to your prison sentence. 

Paraphernalia

Connecticut Marijuana Laws

Any interaction with marijuana paraphernalia – such as bongs, tobacco blunts, rolling paper, and so on, exposes you to the following legal penalties in the state of Connecticut:

 

  • Being found in possession of marijuana paraphernalia for purposes of cultivation, distribution, and/or inhalation/ingestion of more than half an ounce of cannabis is considered a class C misdemeanor. This is punishable with up to 3 months of jail time, and a legal fine of up to $500.
  • Being found actually distributing paraphernalia or possessing with the intent to distribute is considered a class A misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to one year of jail time, as well as a $2,000 legal fine. The culprit is eligible for this crime if they are aware of the fact that the distribution of said paraphernalia would result in the cultivation, sale, or inhalation/ingestion of more than half an ounce of marijuana. 
  • The same infraction, but for less than one-half ounce of marijuana, is considered a civil infraction, which will result in a legal fine of anywhere between $100-$300. 
  • Being found distributing marijuana paraphernalia within 1500 feet of a school or daycare center results in a punishment of 1 extra year being added to your pre-existing sentence.
 
Paraphernalia
Offense Penalty Jail Time Legal Fine
Possession with the intent to cultivate, distribute, or inhale/ingest <1/2oz Civil Infraction None $300
Possession with the intent to cultivate, distribute, or inhale/ingest >1/2oz Misdemeanor 3 months $500
Distribution of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 1 year $2000
Distribution or possession of paraphernalia within 1500 ft of a school or daycare extends your already existing sentence by 1 year.

FAQ

Connecticut Marijuana Laws

Questions about CT Laws and Regulations

While the penalties for each medical marijuana law are highly important to take note of, we know that state regulations do not always cover the niche cases.

Below you can find a list of potential FAQs that you might have regarding the current state of medical marijuana in Connecticut:

Is weed legal in Connecticut?

No. Weed, as a schedule I drug, is still considered illegal in CT. As such, any recreational or non medicinal use is strictly prohibited by the law, and only a medically qualified patient is allowed to acquire, possess, and utilize marijuana and marijuana-based products.

Where can I purchase edibles in CT?

You can find edibles of varying THC/CBD concentrations, as well as other types of marijuana medication like tinctures and patches, at any of your local Connecticut dispensaries.  

Can I buy medical cannabis from any Connecticut marijuana dispensary?

You can get medical cannabis after getting certified in CT, and as of 2020, there are 17 licensed marijuana dispensaries in Connecticut. Once enrolled, you will have to abide by the CT medical marijuana laws listed above when engaging in the purchase of cannabis. 

However, during registration, you must indicate where you want to buy medicine from. Note that, you can change dispensaries up to 4 times a year.

Where am I allowed to take my medical marijuana?

Patients can only take their medicine in the privacy of their homes. Connecticut marijuana law prohibits the use of cannabis in public places. For instance, taking cannabis in a school bus, public bus, or moving vehicle, is illegal. Most importantly, patients should not take their medicine around children (minors), or near anyone whose health or well-being might be endangered.

Can patients under 18 qualify for medical marijuana in Connecticut?

Patients under 18 diagnosed with one of the below-listed qualifying conditions may be eligible for a medical card in CT:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Irreversible Spinal 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 (unresponsive to standard medical treatment)
  • Tourette Syndrom (for patients who have failed standard medical treatment)

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