Aaron J. Romano, P.C.
A t t o r n e y s   a t  L a w


Medical Marijuana

Our office has successfully represented entities that wish to become part of the medical marijuana industry, including one established grow in Connecticut.  Whether you want to open a grow, dispensary, or ancillary industry to become part of the growing medical marijuana economy call us and see how we can help.

On May 31, 2012, Public Act 12-55 was passed by Connecticut's General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Malloy, allowing the use of medical marijuana.  This not only opens the door for those wishing to obtain a medical marijuana certificate, but for those wishing to produce medical marijuana and dispense it. 


Our office has supported this legislation throughout its process to the General Assembly and is now representing producers and dispensaries.  We have been recognized throughout the state and nation as being leaders in this field and have been interviewed and cited in numerous trade journals and newspapers.  We have developed a strong network of attorneys, producers, and dispensary owners throughout the nation and wish to serve the local community to provide safe access to medical marijuana.

Producing and dispensing medical marijuana has many potential pitfalls due to its status as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.  Our office has the knowledge and experience to navigate all of these areas. 









Below are some frequently asked questions from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website regarding the new medical marijuana legislation:

Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana, passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Dannell Malloy on May 31st, 2012, requires the Department of Consumer Protection to issue temporary patient registration certificates for the palliative use of marijuana starting on October 1, 2012.

Beyond what is set forth in the law itself, the department does not have additional information available for either patients seeking a registration certificate or individuals interested in becoming a licensed marijuana producer or dispensary.

To help potential patients, producers and dispensaries better understand the medical marijuana law, the department has prepared a list of frequently asked questions:

Q. When can patients start registering with the Department of Consumer Protection for temporary registration certificates?

A. Starting October 1, 2012, qualifying patients will be able to apply for temporary registration certificates from the Department of Consumer Protection.

Q. Can patients be placed on a waiting list?

A. No. The department is not maintaining any type of temporary list of patients interested in obtaining a temporary registration certificate.

Q. Who will be eligible to use medical marijuana?

 A. To qualify, a patient needs to be diagnosed by a physician as having one of the following debilitating medical conditions that is specifically identified in the law: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease or post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients also have to be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of Connecticut. An inmate confined in a correctional institution or facility under the supervision of the Department of Correction will not qualify, regardless of their medical condition.


Q. What about other medical conditions for which patients could benefit from medical marijuana?

A. An eight-member Board of Physicians will be established by the Department of Consumer Protection, consisting of physicians or surgeons who are board-certified in one of the following specialties: neurology, pain medicine, pain management, medical oncology, psychiatry, infectious disease, family medicine or gynecology. The board will recommend to the Department of Consumer Protection additional medical conditions, medical treatments, or diseases to be added to the list of medical conditions that qualify for the palliative use of marijuana. To be added as a qualifying condition, such recommendations will have to be approved by the Department and implemented by the adoption of a regulation.

Q. What will a physician have to do to certify the use of medical marijuana for a patient?

Physicians will not “prescribe” marijuana in the same way other medications are prescribed to patients. Rather, the Department of Consumer Protection will develop a form that a physician may use to issue a written certification that a particular patient has been diagnosed with a disease that makes the patient eligible for the palliative use of marijuana and, based on a medically reasonable assessment of the patient's medical history and medical condition, the potential benefits to the patient from the palliative use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks. This assessment will have to be made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship. In addition, the physician will have to explain the potential risks and benefits of palliative marijuana use to the patient or their legal guardian.

Q. Will every pharmacy in the state dispense medical marijuana?

A. No, pharmacies will not be licensed to dispense marijuana; only licensed pharmacists will be able to obtain a dispensary license from the Department of Consumer Protection.

Q. Who will grow the marijuana?

A. Only producers licensed by the Department of Consumer Protection will be authorized under the bill to cultivate marijuana. At any one time, the number of licensed producers will have to be at least three and not more than 10. The Department of Consumer Protection will establish regulations setting out the qualifications for licensed producers. Among other things, any person seeking to be licensed as a producer will have to demonstrate they have the financial capacity to build and operate a secure indoor facility that could grow pharmaceutical-grade marijuana and the ability to maintain adequate controls to prevent the diversion, theft or loss of the marijuana in their facility.

 

Q. Can I use the application form currently available from the Department of Consumer Protection for a Manufacturer or Wholesaler of Drugs, Cosmetics or Medical Devices to apply to be a producer or dispensary of medical marijuana?

A. No. The appropriate application forms are not available at this time.

 

Q. Does the law require health insurers to cover medical marijuana?

A. No. The law explicitly says it does not.

Q. Will patients be able to use medical marijuana anywhere?

A. No. The law prohibits ingesting marijuana in a bus, a school bus or any moving vehicle; in the workplace; on any school grounds or any public or private school, dormitory, college or university property; in any public place; or in the presence of anyone under 18. It also prohibits any use of palliative marijuana that endangers the health or well-being of another person, other than the patient or primary caregiver.

Q. How much marijuana can a patient have on hand?

A. No more than a one-month supply. The Department of Consumer Protection will adopt regulations setting forth a protocol for determining what constitutes an adequate supply to ensure the uninterrupted availability of medical marijuana for a one-month period.

Q. Can a landlord refuse to rent to someone or take action against a tenant solely because the tenant is qualified to use medical marijuana?

A. No.

Q. Can a school refuse to enroll someone solely because the person is qualified to use medical marijuana?

A. No.

Q. Can an employer decide not to hire someone or decide to fire, or otherwise penalize or threaten that person, solely because the person is qualified to use medical marijuana?

A. No. An employer, however, may prohibit the use of intoxicating substances during work hours or discipline an employee for being intoxicated while at work.

For the latest information on the Medical Marijuana Program, please continue to visit our website at ct.gov/dcp/medicalmarijuana or subscribe to medical marijuana updates by registering on the DCP website.

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