Is Recreational Weed Legal in Connecticut?

August 6, 2021
Recreational Weed, Legal, State, Connecticut
Recreational Weed, Legal, State, Connecticut

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in the State of Connecticut?

Yes, recreational weed is legal in the state of Connecticut, as of July 1, 2021.  Medical marijuana is also legal throughout the state.  As long as a person is at least 21 years of age, they can purchase it recreationally, while patients with certain qualifying conditions can get a medical card to purchase marijuana at any age, regardless, if they live in Hartford or Stamford for instances.

 

History of Weed Laws

In 2011, CT Governor Malloy legalized possession of up to 0.5 ounces of cannabis under the Senate Bill 1014.  Just a year later, this state legalized a medical marijuana program under House Bill 5389, allowing certain individuals to obtain legal right to purchase marijuana if they had certain qualifying conditions.

 

Also, in 2021, Governor Lamont signed the Responsible and Equitable Regulations of Adult-Use Cannabis Act, or Senate Bill 1201.  This effectively allowed adults 21 or older to purchase, possess and consume marijuana.  Possession of up to 1.5 ounces became legal outside of the home, with up to 5 ounces being legal within a residence. 

 

This bill went further to expunge convictions for up to 4 ounces of marijuana and offer specific protections for possession within a school zone or in a job location, as well as those looking to rent homes and apartments.  Senate Bill 1201 also gave the state’s Department of Consumer Protection the role of overseeing regulation throughout the state, including the licensing process of vendors and dispensaries.

 

Where Can a Person Legally Purchase Weed in Connecticut?

As The Constitution State has only very recently legalized recreational marijuana, the state’s recreational users remain in a gray area where technically, products are not yet available recreationally on the market.  The state is currently hard at work to come up with laws and regulations that will allow dispensaries and perhaps other types of businesses to sell marijuana recreationally throughout the state.

 

In the meantime, medical patients can visit state-licensed dispensaries to purchase cannabis, as long as they have a valid medical card proving that they are authorized to make purchases.  Further, caregivers are permitted to make purchases on behalf of patients as long as they have proof of their status as provided by the state.

 

As of now, medical patients can purchase an amount of cannabis that allows them to exceed 2.5 grams per month, which is the limit for recreational users.  They are subjected to state and local taxes at the time of purchase.

 

It has been established that dispensaries can sell to recreational users in the amount of 1.5 ounces of flower or 7.5 grams of concentrate at a single time.  Meanwhile, adults can possess up to 5 ounces at home, or 25 grams of concentrate.

 

Where Can Cannabis Legally Be Used?

In Connecticut, it is illegal to consume cannabis in public spaces, and there are unique penalties associated with consuming cannabis within a school zone, on public transportation, inside of a moving vehicle, in a workplace, on a university campus or in any other type of public environment.  Further, it is strictly illegal to consume cannabis in the presence of someone under the age of 18, even in one’s home.  Medical patients are legally prohibited from consuming cannabis around someone who could become endangered as a result.  At home and in other private residences, users can consume cannabis however they choose within the possession laws of the state.

 

Possession Laws

In Connecticut, it is legal for adults to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, or 7.5 grams of concentrate, or products containing up to 750 milligrams of THC on their person.  Meanwhile, 5 ounces of flower, 25 grams of concentrate or 2.5 grams of THC are legal to possess if they are kept in a locked box in the trunk of a car, a glove compartment or at home.

 

Patients and caregivers can possess up to 5 ounces, but gifting or exchanging is strictly illegal.  Meanwhile, landlords are prohibited from denying renters due to cannabis usage or possession, and employers cannot fire employees as a result of cannabis possession unless it is being consumed during work hours.

 

Can Residents Grow Their Own?

Presently, it is illegal to cultivate marijuana on a private property.  In October of 2022, medical patients can legally grow up to six plants on their private property, and in July of 2023, recreational adult users can grow up to 6 plants on their property as well.

 

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut has a state-regulated medical marijuana program that patients can apply for on their own, or through a caregiver.  A state-issued ID will be supplied that is valid at any dispensary.  As recreational marijuana laws are still being ironed out, presently, you can only legally purchase marijuana in the state with a medical card.

 

Qualifying Conditions:

  • ALS
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Intractable headache
  • Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Nervous tissue/spinal cord damage or injuries
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Shingles
  • Failed Back Syndrome
  • PTSD
  • Arthritis
  • Severe psoriasis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Seizure disorders
  • Vulvodynia

 

At the same time, patients under the age of 18 can only acquire a medical card with at least one of the following conditions:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Intractable neuropathic pain
  • Irreversible spinal cord injury
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Uncontrollable intractable seizure disorder

 

Patient Qualifications:

A person can only be given a medical marijuana card if they are being treated by a physician who has diagnosed them with one of the above conditions and has determined that marijuana is a suitable form of treatment.  Meanwhile, patients who are minors must meet with a board-certified healthcare specialist who specializes in the condition being treated. 

 

How to Register for Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

Once you have received the necessary certification from a physician, you will submit this along with the state-provided application through the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services’ website.  You’ll need to provide a copy of your photo ID as well, and also pay $100 for the registration fee.

 

Qualifying as a Caregiver

A caregiver cannot have a criminal record for controlled substances, and may not be a practicing physician.  They must be at least 18 years of age and can only be responsible for one patient unless there are multiple patients who are immediate relatives of one another. 

 

Registering as a Caregiver

Once a patient requests you as a caregiver on their application, you will receive an email to sign up to the patient’s registration forms to fill out your part of the submittal.  You will upload your ID to prove your identity and pay a $25 fee.

 

Reciprocity Laws

As of now, out-of-state residents cannot legally purchase marijuana in Connecticut, whether or not they have a medical card.

 

Licensing Laws

The state will provide cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries with a license, as well as laboratories that test cannabis.  The law requires that all cannabis products sold within the state are third-party tested by a licensed laboratory based on strict criteria, and that the lab reports are provided to the state.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

#1: When Did Weed Become Legal in Connecticut?

Recreational marijuana has only been legal as of this year, as Connecticut residents voted to allow cannabis laws to change after many years of consideration.

 

#2: Can I Buy Weed in a Dispensary as a Recreational User?

Although recreational cannabis is now legal in Connecticut, dispensaries are not yet set up to allow for recreational sales.  Therefore, while possession is permitted, it may take some time before you can visit a local dispensary without a medical card.

 

#3: Is it Legal to Dab in Connecticut?

Connecticut permits the possession of controlled amounts of cannabis concentrates that can be used for dabbing, and you can purchase dabbing hardware legally throughout the state.