Understanding Connecticut Marijuana Laws

Just because cannabis is legal in Connecticut doesn’t mean you have free reign to do whatever you want regarding the plant. Like all states across the country, you have to be aware of — and follow — Connecticut’s marijuana laws to a T.

These laws might sound like a lot of work, but Elevate Holistics is here to help you understand everything about weed laws in Connecticut and ensure you make decisions about weed consumption without breaking the Connecticut marijuana laws.

So, is marijuana legal in Connecticut? Let’s find out.

  • Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Connecticut?

    On June 1, 2012, Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize medical marijuana after Governor Dan Malloy signed the legalization bill into law following a 21-13 vote in the Senate.

    The rule titled An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana took effect on October 1, 2012.

    Speaking about the law, Governor Dan Malloy said patients with chronic diseases have suffered without medical marijuana’s palliative benefits for a long time, but with the new law, patients and their doctors would be able to decide what’s best for the patients.

    Under Connecticut marijuana laws, patients who suffer a “debilitating medical condition” can use medical marijuana after they obtain a written certification from a qualified marijuana doctor and register with the state’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

    The Department of Consumer Protection is in charge of regulating marijuana in Connecticut and registering medical marijuana patients.

    According to data from the DCP, there are 50,401 registered medical marijuana patients in Connecticut as of September 2022.

  • Connecticut Medical Marijuana Card

    Weed laws in Connecticut stipulate that patients who want to enroll in the state’s medical marijuana program must first obtain a medical marijuana card.

    You must fill out your medical marijuana application carefully and correctly and attach all the relevant documents. If not, the DCP may deny your application.

    Elevate Holistics can help you take care of your application from start to finish. We’ve discussed the application process in detail, including the requirements and step-by-step breakdown here.

  • Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Connecticut?

    Yes, it is legal for adults aged 21 and older to buy and use marijuana in Connecticut.

    The road to recreational legalization began in June 2011 when Governor Dan Malloy decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

    Before decriminalization, the penalty for possession of small amounts was a $1,000 fine, a criminal record, and possible jail time.

    Decriminalization – whose measure passed in the Senate following a 90-57 vote – reduced the penalty for possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana to a $150 fine for first offenders and a $200 to $500 fine for subsequent offenses.

    Ten years later, recreational marijuana finally became legal in Connecticut when Governor Lamont signed Senate Bill 1201, named An Act Concerning Equitable and Responsible Regulation of Cannabis, on June 22, 2021.

    The act stated that from July 1, 2021, adults aged 21 and older could legally possess recreational marijuana. In addition, adults can gift marijuana to other adults with no compensation for the gift.

  • What are the Marijuana Laws in Connecticut?

    Connecticut marijuana laws are the maps you use to find your way around the ins and outs of marijuana in the state, and we’ve explained them below.

    Where Can I Consume Marijuana in Connecticut?

    It is illegal to consume marijuana in public, even if you’re a medical patient.

    Weed laws in Connecticut explicitly state that you cannot use marijuana “in a bus, a school bus or any moving vehicle; in the workplace; on any school grounds or any public or private school, dormitory, college or university property; in any public place; or the presence of anyone under 18.”

    Does MMJ Card Include Employee Protection?

    An employer cannot refuse to hire someone, fire them, or penalize them because they use marijuana.

    However, employers can prohibit the use of intoxicating substances during working hours or take action against an employee for being intoxicated while at work.

    Where Can I Buy Marijuana in Connecticut?

    Registered patients can buy marijuana and marijuana products from any of the 18 licensed dispensaries in the state.

    It is best to buy only from licensed Connecticut dispensaries because their products are safe, and products from unknown sources may harm your health.

    You can find a list of medical marijuana dispensaries here.

    Recreational marijuana dispensaries are not yet operational because it takes time to set up the structure within which they operate, including regulations and licensing.

    In July, Governor Ned Lamont said recreational marijuana dispensaries were “about six months away,” which means the first dispensaries could open in late 2022 or earlier 2023.

    The DCP is currently accepting applications for Cannabis Establishment licenses, and the process has been on since February 3, 2022.

    There are three available license types for marijuana sales, these are:

    • Retailer: license to sell only recreational marijuana
    • Hybrid retailer: License to sell medical and recreational marijuana
    • Dispensary facility: License to sell only medical marijuana

    For more information on recreational marijuana dispensary licenses and how to apply, click here.

    While we wait for recreational Connecticut dispensaries, you can visit any Massachusetts dispensary closest to Connecticut for your weed.

    Why? Because recreational weed is legal in Massachusetts, and you don’t have to be a resident to buy it; you only need to be aged 21 and above.

    What is the Age Limit for Marijuana?

    There is no age limit for medical marijuana in Connecticut, but minors below 18 must register via a designated caregiver who must be a parent or legal guardian.

    For recreational marijuana, only adults aged 21 and above can buy and consume cannabis. Young adults aged less than 21 face civil penalties for marijuana possession.

    Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana?

    No, weed laws in Connecticut do not provide medical marijuana insurance. However, you may ask your insurer if your policy covers physician consultation to get a physician certification for medical marijuana.

    What is the Marijuana Possession Limit?

    Medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can buy up to 3.5 ounces or the equivalent of marijuana within one month. 

    On the other hand, recreational users can possess up to 1.5 ounces on their person and have up to five ounces in a secure place in their home or in the locked glove compartment or trunk of their car.

    Possession of more than 1.5 ounces is punishable by a prison term of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000.

    Can Connecticut Marijuana Patients Have Caregivers?

    Yes, patients may designate one caregiver in their written certification to the DCP.

    However, caregivers must register with the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program and pass a criminal background check before they qualify to care for a patient.

    According to marijuana laws in Connecticut, caregivers must:

    • Be aged at least 18.
    • Not be the patient’s physician.
    • Not have a conviction for illegal activities related to the manufacture, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance.
    • Agree to be responsible for the patient’s care and well-being as regards the use of medical marijuana.
    • Serve only one patient except they have a parental, conservatorship, guardianship, or sibling relationship with each qualifying patient.

    Also, if the patient lacks legal capacity, the caregiver must be their parent or guardian or have legal custody of them.

    Can I Grow Weed in Connecticut?

    Yes, it is legal for patients to grow weed in Connecticut. 

    Registered patients aged 18 and older can grow up to three mature and three immature plants and 12 plants per household.

    Beginning July 1, 2023, adults over 21 will be able to grow three mature plants and three immature plants at home.

    However, people who grow marijuana at home must do so indoors, away from public view, and in a secure location where individuals under 21 cannot access them.

    Remember that until July 1, 2023, it remains illegal to grow marijuana if you’re not a medical patient.

    Consequently, the cultivation of three mature plants and three immature plants attracts a written warning for a first-time offense. A second offense is classified as a civil offense; the penalty is $500, and a third offense is a Class D demeanor.

    Connecticut Marijuana Reciprocity

    Connecticut does not accept out-of-state MMJ cards; only state residents can register in the medical marijuana program.

    Fortunately, adult use is legal, so anyone aged 21 and above can buy marijuana as soon as dispensaries open.

    Connecticut Cannabis DUI

    Marijuana may be legal in Connecticut, but driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, and if you’re caught, you’ll face the consequences of the law.

    There’s no minimum threshold for marijuana that shows up in your test, so you can be charged with impaired driving even if you consumed marijuana days before and only traces of marijuana metabolites appear on the test.

     

    connecticut marijuana laws

     

    A first DUI offense is punishable by a jail term of up to six months, a fine ranging from $500 to $1000, a 45-day driver’s license suspension, and an ignition interlock device installation for one year.

    A second DUI offense committed within ten years of the first is punishable by up to two years in jail, $1000 to $4000 in fines, 45-days driver’s license suspension, and installation of an ignition interlock device for three years.

    A third and subsequent offense within ten years of the first offense is punishable by three years in jail, $2,000 to $8,000 in fines, driver’s license revocation with potential reinstatement after two years, and permanent installation of an ignition interlock device.

  • Is CBD Legal in Connecticut?

    Yes, CBD derived from hemp is legal in Connecticut. According to Senate Bill 893, titled An Act Concerning A Pilot Program for Hemp Production, hemp and hemp products, including CBD, are legal. The CBD must have a THC level not exceeding 0.3%.

  • Cannabis Safety Tips

    The Department of Consumer Protection has provided safety tips to help you enjoy marijuana safely. These tips include what to do in case of accidental ingestion, how to safely dispose of your weed, and safe storage. 

    Accidental Ingestion

    Accidental ingestion happens when a person or animal unknowingly consumes cannabis.

    You need to know the signs of cannabis ingestion so you can get help if accidental ingestion occurs. The signs of cannabis ingestion include:

    • Agitation
    • Slurred speech
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Sleepiness (this sign is most common in children)
    • Problems with coordination
    • Confusion
    • Unusually high heart rate

    In serious cases, children may have seizures, trouble breathing, and/or neurological problems.

    Call your healthcare provider or the Connecticut Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if accidental ingestion occurs.

    The DCP advise that your child may need immediate medical attention if they are unconscious, having trouble breathing, walking, or sitting up. In such cases, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

  • Safe Disposal

    All types of used cannabis and materials or packaging that have made contact with cannabis constitute cannabis waste. This includes vape pens, bings, pipes, buds clippings, expired, leftover, and unused edibles. 

    Before disposing of cannabis waste, mix it with other waste materials like coffee grounds or kitty litter so that someone else can’t use it, then seal it up in a container and throw it in the trash.

    If the packaging is recyclable, ensure it is empty and clean, then throw it away with other recyclable waste.

    But if it is not recyclable, make sure it is empty, then throw it together with regular thrash.

    Don’t flush cannabis products or packaging down the sink or toilet.

    Safe Storage

    You lower the risk of accidental ingestion when you store your cannabis properly. You can employ safe storage by doing the following:

    • Make a list of all the cannabis products you have in your home so that you’ll know exactly what was ingested if accidental ingestion occurs.
    • Store cannabis in its original containers, and don’t remove the labels. The label will have important information, like the THC level, if accidental ingestion occurs.
    • Keep cannabis in a secure place out of the reach of children and pets. Accidental ingestion can’t happen if they can’t reach it.

  • Enjoy the Best of Connecticut Marijuana With Elevate Holistics

    We believe in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and that access should not be a barrier to these benefits. Even in states where cannabis is legal, many patients may not know how to access it.

    That’s why Elevate Holistics provides everything you need for safe access to cannabis. We can help you get an appointment with a qualified marijuana doctor, get your medical marijuana card or find a licensed dispensary.

    Unfortunately, we don’t currently operate in Connecticut, but this may change in the future. For now, if you know someone in another state we service, you can point them in our direction. With Elevate Holistics, we can help you get your MMJ card 100% online, 100% hassle-free. Just click here to get started.

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