Connecticut patients suffering from certain debilitating medical conditions are, starting from Monday, October 1, 2012, able to apply with the state Department of Consumer Protection to receive medical marijuana. This step is among the first toward creating a new system of legalized medical marijuana in Connecticut. 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.
Connecticut’s medical marijuana patients and their caregivers are now allowed to possess up to one month’s supply of the medicine. Dispensaries of the sort seen in Los Angeles or Denver will not be allowed and no more than 10 licensed growers will be operating in the state at any given time.
Claudette Carveth, spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer Protection, said on Friday, September 28th, that the agency has received calls from people interested in an application but the agency has not kept a waiting list. The agency will make applications available online.
“For years, we’ve heard from so many patients with chronic diseases who undergo treatments like chemotherapy or radiation and are denied the palliative benefits that medical marijuana would provide,” Gov. Malloy said. “With careful regulation and safeguards, this law will allow a doctor and a patient to decide what is in that patient’s best interest.”
Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana, was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law on May 31st, 2012. With this signature Connecticut became the 17th state to allow doctors to recommend marijuana for medical uses, setting up what will be the most restrictive regulatory framework for dispensing the drug anywhere in the nation.
Patients who are currently receiving medical treatment for a debilitating medical conditions set out in the law may qualify for a temporary registration certificate beginning October 1, 2012.
To qualify, a patient must also be at least 18 years of age and a Connecticut resident. A Connecticut-licensed doctor must initiate the registration process and certify that the person meets the medical prerequisites. Each patient may also register one primary caregiver if the need for a caregiver is documented by the patient’s physician.
The temporary registration certificate application will be available online and registration will involve a three step process:
- Step 1: The physician initiates the registration process by logging into a secure, online system and certifying their patient.
- Step 2: After the physician electronically submits a valid certification, their patient can access the online system to complete the patient portion of the application.
- Step 3: If the physician certifies the need for a primary caregiver, the caregiver can log in after the patient, and complete the application.
Only certain medical conditions are eligible for the treatment and they include AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others.
For more information about how to register, please check DCP’s “How to Register” page.
Michael Lawlor, the governor’s criminal justice adviser. 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. 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 added.
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