Connecticut Medical Marijuana Law Goes Into Effect Monday

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Law Goes Into Effect Monday

HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut patients suffering from certain debilitating medical conditions will soon be able to apply with the state Department of Consumer Protection to receive medical marijuana.

Starting Monday, the agency will make applications available online. The step is among the first toward creating a new system of legalized medical marijuana in Connecticut.

Claudette Carveth, spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer Protection, said Friday the agency has received calls from people interested in an application but the agency has not kept a waiting list.

To qualify for a temporary registration certificate, a person must be at least 18 and a state resident. A Connecticut-licensed doctor must initiate the registration process and certify that the person meets the medical prerequisites.

Only certain medical conditions are eligible for the treatment. They include AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others.

Meanwhile, the consumer protection agency has until July 1 to submit new regulations to the General Assembly as to how medical cannabis will be dispensed and other details. The program is expected to be fully up and running by late 2013.

“From talking to a lot of people, Connecticut clearly will have the tightest, most restrictive system in the country,” said Michael Lawlor, the governor’s criminal justice adviser.

Lawlor said people who do end up qualifying for medical marijuana will now be allowed, under state law, to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana as of Oct. 1. Until state-approved sources of medical marijuana are established, transactions to obtain cannabis will still be illegal.

“The basic possession will be lawful, assuming you have the card,” Lawlor said, adding how he doesn’t expect a large number of people will qualify in the first months.