SUMMARY: Governor Dan Malloy signed into law Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use, on June 1, 2012. The law took effect on October 1, 2012. Under the law, patients with a 'debilitating medical condition' must receive 'written certification' from a physician and register with the state's Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). Online registration for qualifying patients and their physicians is now available from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
Under the law, qualifying patients and their primary caregivers can possess a combined one-month supply of cannabis. Patients may eventually obtain marijuana from certified pharmacists at licensed dispensaries, who will obtain it from licensed producers. The Department of Consumer Protection has until July 1 to submit regulations to the General Assembly regarding the eventual state-licensed distribution of cannabis. In the interim, qualified patients will be allowed to lawfully to possess personal supplies of cannabis although, technically, "transactions to obtain the drug will still be illegal." The option of home cultivation is not explicitly addressed under the statute.
Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: "cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or any other medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved by the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to regulations adopted under section 14 of this act." A qualifying patient shall have not more than one primary caregiver at any time. Any marijuana, paraphernalia relating to marijuana, or other property seized by law enforcement officials from a qualifying patient or a primary caregiver in connection with a claimed palliative use of marijuana shall be returned to the qualifying patient or the primary caregiver immediately upon the determination by a court that the qualifying patient or the primary caregiver is entitled to the palliative use of marijuana as evidenced by a decision not to prosecute, a dismissal of charges or an acquittal.
Additional information for Connecticut patients and physicians regarding Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana is available online from the state Department of Consumer Protection.