Connecticut residents have had access to medical marijuana for a decade now. The state's Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) oversees an effective medical marijuana program that ensures patients’ safety and enforces standards for the quality of cannabis sold at state dispensaries.
As with any legislation, the state updates its laws as politicians learn more about the program's effectiveness, cannabis's therapeutic value, and evolving societal norms.
A valid card is the only legal way to obtain cannabis in Connecticut. Any resident of Connecticut with a qualifying medical condition can seek approval from a licensed doctor to obtain a medical marijuana card. Better yet, the application process is simple and relatively quick, especially if you prepare for it ahead of time.
Connecticut dispensaries can only be visited by cardholders registered with the state, and you must be a Connecticut resident to apply for a card. Only a Connecticut-licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse treating you for a debilitating medical condition can certify you for cannabis.
Medical marijuana patients can be any age. However, the applicable qualifying medical conditions are more limited for patients under 18. Those patients must obtain their own cards and have designated caregivers who apply separately. Minors also must get certification from two physicians to apply for a card.
Finally, qualifying patients cannot apply for a card if they’re confined in a correctional facility or under the supervision of the Connecticut Department of Corrections.
getting your Connecticut medical marijuana card
Our friendly staff will arrange your appointment and explain the steps you need to take to obtain a medical marijuana card in Connecticut.
Your appointment will take about 15 minutes. During your evaluation, your doctor will examine your condition and issue a certificate to the DCP to notify the agency that you are approved for the program. Make sure to provide a valid email address!
After receiving your certification, the DCP will send you an email with additional application instructions. You will need to complete your application online by submitting proof of Connecticut residency (such as a utility bill or rent statement), uploading a copy of your government-issued ID, and pay a $100 fee.
If the DCP approves your application, you will receive a temporary medical marijuana card via email within 48 hours. Your actual card will arrive via email within a few weeks. With these cards, you can visit any licensed dispensary to purchase medical marijuana.
Cannabis is a powerful palliative care measure for many people suffering from chronic and life-altering conditions. The clinical evidence backing the therapeutic value of medical marijuana is only growing as more states permit its use and more patients enjoy its benefits.
Currently, over 1,500 providers are registered to recommend cannabis in Connecticut. However, the DCP does not maintain a public directory of doctors who certify patients for marijuana. The state also does not require providers to issue certificates for marijuana.
If you believe you would benefit from medical marijuana, speak to your primary care provider or the specialist managing your condition. If they disagree or are not registered to certify patients, ask for a referral to a medical marijuana specialist.
Always look for board-certified providers, and ask about their experience recommending medical marijuana. It's important to work with a doctor who understands what cannabis can and cannot accomplish.
A qualified cannabis doctor will review your medical history, discuss marijuana's health risks, establish a treatment plan, determine the delivery mechanism for your marijuana, and answer your questions. Be forthcoming and open with them to minimize your risk of side effects and adverse interactions with medications.
The Connecticut medical marijuana program continually reviews and revises its policies. As common knowledge about medical cannabis grows, new conditions are added to the state’s list of qualifying conditions.
The state of Connecticut’s qualifying conditions include:
The full list of conditions is available on the DCP website, including allowable conditions for minorsCall (959) 245-1716 with any questions and to schedule your evaluation
"Very friendly and helpful in getting your card and are there to always answer any questions you may have. I felt very comfortable speaking with the Connecticut medical marijuana doctor through my computer! I highly recommend them!*"
Your certification is valid for 12 months from the date the physician issued the certificate (not from the date you obtained your card). The DCP begins accepting card renewals 30 days before cards’ expiration.
Renewals are completed online, and that process is very similar to the original registration process. You will need your provider to issue a new certification to confirm you're under their care, still have a patient-provider relationship, and still would benefit from medical marijuana.
You will then upload proofs of your identity and residency. Remember to confirm that your address is correct with your physician before they issue your renewal certificate. Otherwise, you will need to make corrections with the DCP, which will delay your application. Renewals are $100 for patients and $25 for caregivers.
In response to the pandemic, Connecticut passed legislation temporarily legalizing telemedicine services for medical marijuana patients. Providers can certify patients and provide follow-up information related to recertification via the internet until June 30, 2023.
All other requirements regarding eligibility and the doctor-patient relationship must still be met.
The entire process for obtaining a medical marijuana card can now be completed online. Still, it’s important to remember that Connecticut still requires proof of a bonafide doctor-patient relationship.
Be sure to seek out a provider with a background in medical marijuana. They can properly assess your condition, medical history, medications, and hopes for treatment using telemedicine.
Treat your telehealth appointment the same as you would an in-person office visit. Be sure to disclose all relevant health information and voice any questions or concerns.
New cards and renewals cost $100 for patients and $25 for caregivers.
The DCP takes up to 30 days from receipt of your application to process your approval. Giving your address and email to your marijuana doctor when you first visit them will expedite the approval process by eliminating the need for corrections to your application.
The application for a Connecticut medical marijuana card can be completed and submitted online, though you must visit a medical marijuana doctor, which can be done in-person or online. The card itself is then emailed as an electronic document, which you print out or present using your smartphone whenever you visit a dispensary.
No—only patients and caregivers with MMJ cards can enter dispensaries. Regardless of changes to state possession laws, the only way to legally obtain cannabis in Connecticut is with a valid medical marijuana card.
In 2021, the DCP increased the legal monthly possession limit for medical marijuana patients to 3.5 ounces. However, a dispensary can only provide up to 2.5 ounces at one time.
Any legal guardian of a qualifying minor or a qualifying incapacitated adult can become a caregiver. In addition, a physician can authorize a caregiver if they document their patient's need for a caregiver with the DCP and that patient affirms it.
Once the patient establishes an account and names you as their caregiver, you can create your own account and complete the same application process.
As of October 1, 2021, medical marijuana cardholders 18 years and older may grow up to three mature and three immature plants. Only 12 plants can be present in one household, regardless of how many card-holding residents live there. The plants must be kept indoors and cannot be visible outside the home.
Plants can only be grown within each cardholder's primary residence and cannot be accessed by individuals under 21 years of age.
Today, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington D.C. allow Connecticut cardholders to visit their dispensaries.
That being said, be sure to research states’ local laws before traveling through them since possession policies vary by state and are frequently updated.