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Connecticut Marijuana Laws
Let’s kick off the article here also with marijuana legalization history in Connecticut.
By signing SB 1201, recreational marijuana use became legal in Connecticut as of July 1, 2021. The use and possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana for individuals aged 21 and older are now permitted under the Connecticut marijuana laws. State and local governments will need to decide how to define, govern, and apply the law in their communities in the coming years. There are still many aspects of the law that need to be addressed.
Who Can Purchase and Use Marijuana in Connecticut?
Starting on January 10, 2023, adults aged 21 and older may legally buy up to a fourth of an ounce or seven grams of marijuana per transaction for recreational use.
So far, adults in Connecticut who are 21 years of age and older are allowed under the marijuana laws to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flowers or an equivalent amount of cannabis concentrates in a public place and up to five ounces of marijuana in a private place.
Where Can I Use or Possess Marijuana in Connecticut?
According to Connecticut marijuana laws, you cannot smoke or vape marijuana in places where you cannot smoke or vape tobacco. However, city municipalities have the authority to establish regulations governing where cannabis may be used in public. Property owners, lodgings, landlords, and rental companies may prohibit consuming cannabis on their premises. You may not use marijuana in state parks, state beaches, and waters.
Smoking in most indoor areas, public parks, and within 1,500 feet of elementary/middle schools, public housing projects, or daycare centers is illegal.
Sale, Distribution, and Cultivation of Marijuana in Connecticut
As of January 2023, in Connecticut, selling cannabis is a severe offense that often results in jail time if you are convicted and do not have a relevant permit or license. The laws and penalties for selling marijuana differ depending on the drug type, the amount, and whether it is a first or second offense under the marijuana laws.
Suppose you are found guilty of cultivating, delivering, or selling marijuana weighing equal to 1 kg, less than one, and more than one kilogram. In that case, you face the following penalties under Connecticut marijuana laws:
- Cultivation of up to 3 mature and three immature plants: First offense – written warning. Second offense -fine of $500;
- Less than 1 kilogram: First offense- up to 7 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Second offense – up to 15 years in prison and fines of $100,000;
- 1 kg. or more: first offense – 5-20 years of imprisonment and fines of $25,000. Second offense – 10-25 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000.
Medical patients can grow up to three mature and three immature plants at home, with a total of 12 plants allowed per household. Adult-use consumers will be able to grow cannabis from July 1, 2023. Residents of Connecticut are also permitted to transport and store up to five ounces in a locked container. Additionally, dispensaries only accept medical ID cards issued in Connecticut according to marijuana laws.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Connecticut
Driving Under the Influence (DUI), also known as OUI (Operating Under the Influence), is a criminal offense when an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (Driving While Intoxicated) and is followed by the following reaction.
The statutory 45-day license suspension, which prevents you from driving, often starts 30 days after the arrest date. The arrest data is the basis for the license suspension. It is also separate from any penalties or requirements that may be imposed as a result of the court case.
What Are the Medical Marijuana Laws in Connecticut?
A patient can register for a medical marijuana certificate only if he or she is a Connecticut resident being treated for a debilitating medical condition by a Connecticut-licensed physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse based on the marijuana laws.
Debilitating Medical Conditions Include:
- 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;
- Wasting Syndrome;
- Crohn’s Disease;
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
- Sickle Cell Disease;
- Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy;
- Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis;
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis;
- Ulcerative Colitis;
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 1 and Type II;
- Cerebral Palsy;
- Cystic Fibrosis;
- Irreversible Spinal Cord Injury with Objective Neurological Indication of Intractable Spasticity;
- Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care;
- Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder;
- Spasticity or Neuropathic Pain Associated with Fibromyalgia;
- Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis;
- Post Herpetic Neuralgia;
- Hydrocephalus with Intractable Headache;
- Intractable Headache Syndromes;
- Neuropathic Facial Pain;
- Muscular Dystrophy;
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta;
- Chronic Neuropathic Pain Associated with Degenerative Spinal Disorders;
- Interstitial Cystitis;
- MALS Syndrome (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome);
- Vulvodynia and Vulvar Burning;
- Intractable Neuropathic Pain that Is Unresponsive to Standard Medical Treatments;
- Tourette Syndrome;
- Chronic Pain of at least six months duration associated with a specified underlying chronic condition refractory to other treatment interventions;
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Associated with Chronic Pain;
- Chronic Pancreatitis;
- Movement disorders associated with Huntington’s Disease.
How to Become a Qualified Caregiver
To become a qualified caregiver under the Connecticut marijuana laws, you must:
- Be 18 years old or older;
- Agree to accept responsibility for ensuring the qualified patient’s well-being with regard to the palliative use of marijuana;
- Not have a conviction for breaking any laws related to the unauthorized production, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance;
- Not be the qualifying patient’s physician.
Under the Connecticut marijuana laws, If the qualifying patient lacks legal capacity, you must be the patient’s parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the patient.
You must have specific documents and other items in a digital format ready for upload. If a patient’s physician certifies the need for the patient to have a primary caregiver, the patient may register one person to act as their caregiver concerning their palliative use of marijuana.
A primary caregiver applicant will only be able to access the online registration system if the patient’s physician indicates a need for a primary caregiver and the patient identifies the applicant as the person who will serve as their primary caregiver.
Advertising Marijuana Laws in Connecticut
Only cannabis establishments licensed in Connecticut may advertise cannabis or services related to cannabis in this state. Businesses or individuals that certify medical marijuana patients are not licensed cannabis establishments and may not advertise cannabis-related services.
These restrictions apply to all advertising methods, including television, radio, billboards, outdoor signage, print publications, the Internet, mobile applications, social media, or other electronic communications such as emails.
Prohibited activities for those advertising cannabis or cannabis-related services include:
- Advertising that targets or is designed to appeal to individuals who are under the age of 21;
- Advertising using any image, or any other visual representation, of the cannabis plant or any part of the cannabis plant, including, but not limited to, the leaf of the cannabis plant;
- Advertising by means of an electronic or illuminated billboard between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.;
- Advertising where less than 90 percent of the audience for the advertisement is reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older, based on reliable evidence;
- Advertising using location-based devices such as cell phones. Exceptions exist for mobile apps;
- Sponsoring or advertising at, or in connection with, charitable, sports, musical, artistic, cultural, social, or other similar events, unless the cannabis establishment has reliable evidence that at least 90 percent of the audience will be 21 or older;
- Advertising cannabis or cannabis-related products visible to the public within 1,500 feet of an elementary or secondary school ground, recreation center or facility, childcare center, playground, public park, library, or house of worship;
- Advertising on or in public or private vehicles or at bus stops, taxi stands, transportation waiting areas, train stations, airports, or other similar transportation venues;
- Operating websites that advertise cannabis or cannabis-related products without verifying that users are 21 years of age or older.
Marijuana Packaging and Labeling Requirements in Connecticut
Cannabis labeling and packaging guidelines under the Connecticut marijuana laws are as follows:
- A producer must individually package, label, and seal marijuana products in unit sizes so that no single unit must contain more than a one-month supply of marijuana.
- A producer must place any product containing marijuana in a child-resistant and light-resistant package.
- Before selling a marijuana product to a dispensary, a producer must label each one, securely attaching a label to the packaging that reads in legible English:
- The name and address of the producer;
- The brand name of the marijuana product that was registered with the department;
- A unique serial number that will match the product with a producer batch and lot number so as to facilitate any warnings or recalls the department or producer deems appropriate;
- The date of final testing and packaging;
- The expiration date;
- The quantity of marijuana contained therein;
- A terpenes profile and a list of all active ingredients (THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA), and any other active ingredient that constitutes at least 1% of the marijuana batch used in the product;
- A pass or fail rating based on the laboratory’s microbiological, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and chemical residue analysis.
As a reminder, we want to note, as we have done in many of our blogs about marijuana laws per state, the guidelines about marijuana regulations and laws in Connecticut can not be interpreted as legal advice. They carry more informational character, especially if we consider that the rules issued by the corresponding body in the state are subject to constant change. Therefore, it is essential not to miss any updates, whether you are a cannabis user or a business owner, to be compliant with the Connecticut marijuana laws.
The Connecticut marijuana laws serve to limit the discriminatory actions that employers, hospitals, and other organizations may inflict on people who test positive for cannabis exposure in the past. It also provides protections for parents and tenants who use cannabis in compliance with the law.
We hope the article presented above will be helpful and comprehensive for you; we’ll keep being here and make it easy for you to be ready to take a trip to this alluring yet challenging industry!