Starting this Friday, patients registered with Connecticut’s medical cannabis program can start cultivating at home.
From October 1, qualified patients aged 18+ are permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants at their homes. In a situation where more than one registered patient lives in the household, the maximum number of plants is 12.
In Connecticut, a patient needs to be diagnosed by a state-licensed physician as having one of a wide range of qualifying conditions in order to access medical cannabis. In cases where the patient is under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must name two physicians supporting the palliative use of marijuana by the patient.
As at Sunday, there were 53,738 registered patients in the state – so, that works out to around 1.5 per cent of the state’s entire population. There are plenty of physicians in the state registered to certify patients – 1,488 at the last count. But dispensaries are a bit thin on the ground, with just 18 operating in the whole state. The low number of dispensaries for so many registered patients obviously means the facilities that do exist are kept pretty busy.
There are also only a handful of producers in the state – 4 at this point in time.
Beyond this initial opening up of home growing to medical marijuana patients, all adults in the state over the age of 21 will be able to grow under the same rules starting July 1, 2023.
Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older on July 1 this year. Possession of 1.5 oz of cannabis is now legal (plus an additional 5 ounces in a locked container), but retail sales will likely not be available until at least the end of next year.
The new home grow option for patients may help address medical cannabis supply issues that already exist in the state. Connecticut’s Commissioner of Consumer Protection has temporarily lowered the per-transaction limit for registered medical marijuana patients to 2.5 ounces per month. More than 2.5 ounces per month can be obtained, but requires an approval by the patient’s certifying healthcare provider.
Connecticut became the 17th state to allow medical use of marijuana, which occurred back in 2012.