Recommending Cannabis in Connecticut

General Requirements

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-408c

Medical professionals[1] recommending medical cannabis must have an (1) active Connecticut medical license issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, (2) practice within the State of Connecticut, (3) possess an active controlled substances registration issued by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection that is not subject to limitation, (4) create a DAS Business Network account to access online registrations, (5) possess an active Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substance registration that is not subject to limitation, and (6) must be registered with and able to access the Connecticut Prescription Monitoring Program

Written Certification Requirements

Physicians must issue a written certification to a qualifying patient that authorizes the palliative use of marijuana by the qualifying patient. The Department of Consumer Protection prescribes the form of the certification. The certification must be signed and dated by the patient’s physician, and it must state that in the physician’s professional opinion, the qualifying patient has a debilitating medical condition and the potential benefits of the palliative use of marijuana outweigh the health risks.  This written certification is valid for one year from the date it was signed and dated by the physician.

Iif the qualifying patient is less than 18 years old, a qualifying physician cannot issue a certification that requires the marijuana to be smoked, inhaled, or vaporized.  The dosage must be low enough to allow for other forms of intake.

A physician is not subject to arrest or prosecution or penalized in any manner for providing a written certification for the palliative use of marijuana as long as the physician:

  • Completed a medically reasonable assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition and the certification is based on this assessment;
  • Diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition;
  • Prescribed or determined it is not in the best interest to prescribe prescription drugs to address the symptoms or effects for which the certification is being issued;
  • Concluded that in the physician’s medical opinion, the potential benefits of the palliative use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks to the patient;
  • Explained the potential risks and benefits of the palliative use of marijuana to the patient or where the patient lacks legal capacity, to the parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the patient;
  • Has a bona fide relationship with the patient in order to register them with the program. (A bona fide physician-patient relationship means a relationship in which the physician has an ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care and treatment of a patient’s debilitating medical condition or a symptom of the patient's debilitating medical condition);
  • The physician has no financial interest in a dispensary or producer licensed under this act, and;
  • The physician is reasonably available to provide follow-up care and treatment for the patient, including any examinations necessary to determine the efficacy of marijuana for treating the patient's debilitating medical condition, or a symptom thereof.

Temporary Certifications

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-408n

The Commissioner for the Department of Consumer Protection will issue and update regulations regarding licensed dispensaries, licensed producers, distribution systems, and the lawful amount of marijuana each qualifying patient can possess. During the time between new regulations wherein which the new regulations are not yet effective, the qualifying patient’s physician can provide the patient with a temporary registration certificate.  This certificate will be valid up until one month after the regulation becomes effective, and the certificate must indicate the amount of usable marijuana for a one-month supply.

Eligible Conditions

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-408(3)

Adult Patients:

  • 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 or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder,
  • cachexia,
  • wasting syndrome,
  • Crohn's disease,
  • posttraumatic stress disorder,
  • irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity,
  • cerebral palsy,
  • cystic fibrosis or terminal illness requiring end-of-life care,
  • any medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved for qualifying patients by the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to regulations adopted under section 21a-408m;

Patients under the age of 18:

  • terminal illness requiring end of-life care,
  • irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity,
  • cerebral palsy,
  • cystic fibrosis,
  • severe epilepsy or uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder
  • any medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved for qualifying patients by the Department of Consumer Protection pursuant to regulations adopted under section 21a-408m;

Renewal

Renewing MMP Certificates (DCP) - http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=4287&q=530668

Registration certifications are only valid for one year; thus, the physician must renew the certificate each year if the patient is still and would like to remain a qualifying patient. The physician must (1) confirm that the patient is under their care, (2) provide the date of the new examination for the renewal certification, (3) confirm that there is still a bona-fide patient-physician relationship, (4) complete the required certifications, and (5) update any new or changed information.



[1] As of October 1, 2016, nurses are able to administer marijuana to qualifying patients or research subjects in a hospital or health care facility licensed by the Department of Public Health.  After January 1, 2017 wherever “physician” is listed in this manual, “and an advanced practice registered nurse” should be inserted except in cases of glaucoma, because beginning January 1, 2017, advanced practice registered nurses will be able to issue certifications, examine qualifying patients, and complete all other requirements that apply to physicians within this manual with the exception of glaucoma.  Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-408c.