Connecticut Laws and Penalties

OffensePenaltyIncarceration  Max. Fine  

Possession

Personal Use

Up to 1.5 oz in publicNo PenaltyN/A$ 0
Up to 5 oz in private residenceNo PenaltyN/A$ 0
1.5 oz or more in publicMisdemeanor1 year$ 2,000

Distribution or Cultivation**

Cultivation of up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants (first offense)Written warningN/A$ 0
Cultivation of up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants (2nd offense)Civil OffenseN/A$ 500
Cultivation of up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants (subsequent offense)MisdemeanorN/A$ 500
Less than 1 kilogram (first offense)Felony7 years$ 25,000
Less than 1 kilogram (subsequent offense)Felony15 years$ 100,000
1 kilogram or more (first offense)Felony5* - 20 years$ 25,000
1 kilogram or more (subsequent offense)Felony10* - 25 years$ 100,000
Within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school, public housing project, or daycare center is punishable by an additional 3 years imprisonment.
By a person 18 years or older to a person under 18 is punishable by an additional 2 years imprisonment.
Distribution or cultivation includes possession with intent to distribute or cultivate marijuana.
* Mandatory minimum sentence
** Adults may legally cultivate marijuana beginning July 1, 2023.

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

With the intent to use it to cultivate, distribute or inhale/ingest less than 1/2 ozCivil InfractionN/A$ 300
With the intent to use it to cultivate, distribute or inhale/ingest more than 1/2 ozMisdemeanor3 months$ 500
Distributing paraphernalia or possessing with the intent to distributeMisdemeanor1 year$ 2,000
Distributing or possessing paraphernalia within 1500 feet of an elementary/middle school is punishable by an additional 1 year of imprisonment.

Forfeiture

Any item used for the cultivation or distribution of marijuana is subject to forfeiture.

Penalty Details

Possession for Personal Use

S.B. 1201 was signed into law on June 22, 2021. The personal use provisions of the law took effect on July 1, 2021. It permits adults 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flowers or an equivalent amount of cannabis concentrates in public, and up to five ounces of marijuana in their private residence. The measure limits the discriminatory actions that employers, hospitals, and others may take against those who test positive for past cannabis exposure. It also provides protections for parents and tenants who use cannabis in compliance with the law. The bill mandates that the odor of marijuana alone cannot be used as a basis for police to search an individual, and it prohibits jail time as a penalty for those under the age of 21 who are caught in possession of marijuana. Young adults (those ages 18 to 20) face civil penalties for marijuana possession. The use of cannabis in public remains subject to penalty.

Possession of more than 1.5 ounces of marijuana can be punished with a prison term not to exceed one years and a fine not to exceed $2000.

For a second offense, the court must make an evaluation and if the court  decides the person is drug dependent may suspend prosecution and order the person to complete a drug abuse treatment program.

For a subsequent offense, the court may sentence the person as a persistent offender for possession of a controlled substance under 53a-40.

Possession within 1,500 feet of a school or daycare center will receive a term of imprisonment and term of probation with a community service requirement.

Distribution or Cultivation

Distribution or cultivation includes possession with intent to distribute or cultivate marijuana.

S.B. 1201 was signed into law on June 22, 2021. Home cultivation is permitted under the law, but adults are not legally permitted to engage in this activity until July 1, 2023. At that time, an adult can grow up to six plants or 12 plants per household. Until then, home cultivation remains prohibited and is punishable by civil fines. For home growing in CT prior to July 1, 2023, penalties for cultivating up to three mature and three immature plants are: (1) for a first offense, shall be issued a written warning, (2) for a second offense, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, and (3) for any subsequent offense, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.

**Registered medical cannabis patients will be permitted to engage in home cultivation in the fall of 2021.

For first offenders distribution or cultivation of less than 1 kilogram of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or up to 7 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to 15 years of imprisonment.

The court may prescribe an alternative sentence of up to 3 years imprisonment. The offender may then be released at any time during those 3 years and placed on probation for the remainder of their term.

For first offenders distribution or cultivation of 1 kilogram or more of marijuana is punishable by 5-20 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up 10-25 years of imprisonment. The court cannot reduce a sentence below the minimum years of prison time required by the statute, this means that first offenders face a minimum of 5 years imprisonment and subsequent offenders a minimum of 10 years imprisonment. The court may make exceptions to these mandatory minimum sentences if the defendant is under 18 or is/was mentally impaired.

For non-violent first offenders, the court may depart from the mandatory minimum sentence if a particular reason is stated.

Distribution or cultivation of marijuana within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school, public housing project, or daycare center is punishable by an additional 3 years imprisonment on top of any other sentence imposed.

Distribution of marijuana by a person 18 years or older to a person under 18 is punishable by an additional 2 years imprisonment, on top of any other sentence imposed. There is an exception to this rule if the distributor is less than 2 years older than the minor.

Using a person under 18 years of age to assist in the sale of marijuana is punishable by 3 years imprisonment, on top of any other sentence already imposed.

Hash & Concentrates

S.B. 1201 was signed into law on June 22, 2021. The personal use provisions of the law took effect on July 1, 2021. It permits adults 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flowers or an equivalent amount of cannabis concentrates in public.

The Connecticut statute uses the terms “Marijuana” and “Cannabis-type substance” to refer to plant Cannabis or any substance made from or with Cannabis, including hashish or concentrates. The terms are given the exact same definition in the statute. The term “Marijuana” is used to distinguish “Marijuana” from other hallucinogenic substances, whereas the term “Cannabis-type substance” is used to define penalties for possession of said substances. The penalties for all infractions involving hashish or marijuana concentrates are therefore the same as the penalties for all infractions involving plant marijuana.

  • Connecticut Gen. Stat. §21a-240(7), (29) Web Search

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia with the intent to use it to cultivate, distribute or inhale/ingest more than one-half ounce of marijuana is a class C misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 3 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.

Distributing paraphernalia or possessing it with the intent to distribute it is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a $2,000 civil fine. In order to be guilty of this crime the defendant must know or should have known that the item would be used to cultivate, distribute, or inhale/ingest more than one-half ounce of marijuana.

Paraphernalia possession or distribution intended to manufacture or ingest less than one-half ounce of marijuana is a civil infraction, which will result in a fine of between $100-$300 (including administrative costs).

Distributing or possessing paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of an elementary/middle school is punishable by an additional 1 year of imprisonment.

Forfeiture

Any item used for the cultivation or distribution of marijuana is subject to forfeiture. This includes vehicles or aircraft that are used to transport marijuana for the purpose of distributing it.

More Information

Drugged Driving

Every state criminalizes driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Some jurisdictions also impose additional per se laws. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Read further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available online.

Legalization

Generally, legalization means a policy that supports a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers can buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.

Tax Stamps

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction.