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Connecticut marijuana laws

Is marijuana legal in Connecticut?

Current federal status


Cannabis is legal for qualified patients with a licensed card.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in the state of Connecticut. Recreational marijuana will become legal on July 1, 2021. 

The state Legislature approved an adult-use legalization law on June 17, 2021. It will take effect on July 1, 2021. The information in this article is based on that new law.

Connecticut legalizes marijuana, becoming 19th state to regulate adult use

Penalties prior to July 1, 2021:

  • The first offense may result in fines of up to $150 and subsequent offenses may result in fines of up to $500. 
  • Possession of more than a half-ounce may result in a misdemeanor conviction, up to one year in prison, and a fine of up to $2,000. 

Distribution or cultivation penalties include:

  • Distribution or cultivation of less than a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of marijuana may result in a felony conviction, with jail time of up to seven years and fines of up to $25,000 for the first offense; for the second offense, jail time of up to 15 years and fines up to $100,000. 
  • Distribution or cultivation of more than a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of marijuana may result in a felony conviction, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000 on the first offense; additional convictions result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000. 

Governor’s Bill No. 16, introduced in February 2020 to the Joint Commission on the Judiciary, would legalize possession of 1.5 ounces of recreational marijuana for residents 21 and older. The bill likely will not see progress until 2021, as the legislative session was adjourned before the bill could advance to a vote.

A 2020 poll found that 63.4% of Connecticut residents support full legalization.

Connecticut medical marijuana laws

In 2012, Connecticut legalized access to medical marijuana with the passage of HB 5389.

The combined amount of marijuana possessed by the qualifying patient and the primary caregiver for palliative use does not exceed an amount of usable marijuana reasonably necessary to ensure uninterrupted availability for a period of one month.

Home cultivation is not permitted.

Connecticut qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

Qualifying conditions are physician-diagnosed ailments that can be treated by medical cannabis. 

Required qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Connecticut include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage to nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Post Laminectomy Syndrome with chronic radiculopathy
  • Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • 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
  • Hydrocephalus with intractable headaches
  • Intractable headache syndromes
  • Neuropathic facial pain
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Severe rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spasticity or neuropathic pain associated with fibromyalgia
  • Post Herpetic Neuralgia
  • 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 intervention
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome associated with chronic pain

For underage patients:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Terminal illness requiring end-of-life care
  • Uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Intractable neuropathic pain that is unresponsive to standard medical treatments 
  • Tourette Syndrome for patients who have failed standard medical treatment

For a complete list of qualifying conditions and guidelines, please refer to Connecticut’s medical marijuana qualification requirements.

How to get a medical marijuana card in Connecticut

Connecticut residents can apply for a medical marijuana registration certificate online by following instructions here

A physician must certify a patient’s condition before the registration process. Patients must submit:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residency
  • Photo
  • Application

The application fee is $100 for patients and $25 for caregivers. Certification is valid for one year following physician approval in the online system.

The medical marijuana program in Connecticut is run by the Department of Consumer Protection.

Does Connecticut accept out-of-state medical cards? 

Connecticut does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards at dispensaries. Out-of-state medical marijuana cards do not provide immunity from prosecution for marijuana possession.

When does my Connecticut medical marijuana card expire?  

“Medical marijuana registrations in the State of Connecticut expire annually,” a communications official at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection said in an email to Leafly. ”There is no one date that everyone renews on; it’s simply a year from your first registration.”

Connecticut marijuana growing laws

Connecticut does not permit home cultivation of marijuana.

Connecticut cannabis public consumption laws

Connecticut’s medical marijuana laws do not protect patients if the patient’s marijuana use endangers the health or well-being of someone else.

Also, the law does not apply if the patient consumes marijuana in a public place (i.e., any area used or held out for use by the public, whether owned or operated for public or private interests), including:

  • In a motor bus, school bus, or other moving vehicle
  • At work
  • On school grounds or any public or private school, dormitory, college or university property
  • On cannabis dispensary premises

Any person who possesses or has under their control less than one half-ounce of a cannabis-type substance except as authorized shall be fined $150 for the first offense and between $200-$500 for subsequent offenses.

For more on Connecticut cannabis public consumption laws, visit:

Restrictions on the Consumption of Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

Public Act. No. 11-71

Connecticut cannabis DUI laws

Even in medical-use and adult-use states, it is illegal to drive while under the influence. Connecticut law implies consent from drivers to submit to a chemical analysis test of blood, breath, or urine. 

The officer shall provide the driver with an opportunity to call their attorney before submitting to a DUI test, although if the driver refuses to submit to the test, their license will be immediately revoked and evidence of a refusal shall be admissible as evidence in a court of law. The driver may request a hearing to appeal the decision to revoke their license.

Tests that can be administered

  • Field sobriety test: At the officer’s discretion, they may conduct a field sobriety test before arresting and ask the driver to submit to a chemical test
  • Breath test: This secondary protocol can be taken to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content
  • Urine test: If the officer suspects the driver of being under the influence of cannabis, they may conduct a second chemical test—usually urine—at least 10 minutes after the first test. Any amount of THC, even traces, may be used as evidence to convict a driver.

Cannabis DUI penalties

  • First offense: Imprisonment up to six months, $500-$1,000 fine, 48 consecutive hours mandatory minimum sentence or 100 hours of community service, 45 day suspended license, one year driving with an IID
  • Second offense (within 10 years): Up to two years imprisonment (120 days mandatory minimum), $1,000-$4,000 fine, 100 hours of community service, 45 day suspended license, three years driving with an IID
  • Third and subsequent offenses (within 10 years): Three year’s imprisonment (one year mandatory minimum), $2,000-$8,000 fine, 100 hours of community service, and license revoked, with potential for reinstatement after two years with permanent use of IID (may be lifted after 15 years for good cause)

For more information, please refer to Connecticut Law About Driving Under the Influence.

Connecticut cannabis testing regulations

Connecticut’s medical cannabis testing regulations are similar to those of other states—they call for self-policed testing for virtually all the same contaminants, including mycotoxins, heavy metals, and pesticide residue.

State law also requires each medical marijuana brand label to display lab test potency results, including a terpene and cannabinoid profile including THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, and any other active ingredient that constitutes at least 1% of the marijuana batch used in the product.

Common questions about marijuana legalization in Connecticut

Is recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut? 

No. Only medical marijuana is legal in Connecticut. However, legislation introduced in 2020 would make recreational marijuana legal for adults over the age of 21. 

Can you get a medical marijuana card for anxiety in Connecticut? 

Connecticut’s list of qualifying conditions does not include anxiety. There is a provision in the legislation that allows the public to petition for additional eligible conditions to be added, and since the 2012 passage of the law, a number of further conditions have been added.

Can you get a medical card with a felony in Connecticut? 

There are no laws prohibiting convicted felons from becoming medical marijuana patients in Connecticut. 

Can you grow your own cannabis in Connecticut? 

Cultivating cannabis at home in Connecticut is not sanctioned by law and can result in incarceration or a fine depending on the weight of the plants. 

Are vape pens legal in Connecticut? 

Medical marijuana inhalation devices are legal in Connecticut under the current legislation, though they are not specifically mentioned. State licensed dispensaries offer vape cartridges. 

Learn more about marijuana legalization in Connecticut

Learn more about the regulations and laws surrounding cannabis policy in Connecticut:

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