Connecticut Sets Rules For Medical Marijuana Farms, Shops

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Three to five medical marijuana shops could be approved for business in Connecticut as early as January 2014, Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein said last week.
Three to five medical marijuana shops could be approved for business in Connecticut as early as January 2014, Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein said last week. Photo Credit: O'Dea at Wikimedia Commons

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Medical marijuana farms and dispensaries could be up and running in Connecticut by early next year, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.

The department will start the process of issuing permits for growing and distributing medical marijuana “in early September,” Commissioner William Rubenstein said last week.

“It is our hope to be able to make our selections for both producer and dispensary facility licenses by around the first of the year,” Rubenstein said.

The Connecticut General Assembly approved the law to allow medical marijuana in May 2012, and Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the act into law that same month. The Legislative Regulations Review Committee finalized the specifics of the state’s laws on Aug. 27, allowing the department to move forward with its permits.

The law allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat 11 conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Residents can petition the state Board of Physicians to add more conditions to the list starting this fall.

Prescriptions are available only to Connecticut residents over 18 years old. The law also allows patients to have a “designated caregiver” who will be able to help buy and administer medical marijuana. Under state law caregiver must be approved by the state and be a family member or legal guardian.

Prescribing doctors must have “a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient,” and they need to be available to patients for follow-ups afterward under the regulations. Doctors will also be prohibited from writing prescriptions for financial gain, or having relationships with manufacturers or distributor.

Not every doctor may be willing to issue medical marijuana prescriptions, however. The state leaves it up to each doctor’s discretion on whether to offer it as a treatment or not.

“The Department of Consumer Protection cannot require physicians or hospitals to recognize marijuana as an appropriate medical treatment in general or for any specific patient,” the state’s website says. “If you believe that your physician is not providing you with the best medical care for your condition, then you may want to consider working with a different physician.”

The state has allowed for temporary licenses to be issued to patients since October 2012. But there is still no legal way to buy or grow marijuana in Connecticut, until the department begins issuing permits for manufacturing and distribution.

In the first round the state will issue permits for “three to 10” manufacturers and “three to five” distribution centers, Rubenstein said.

Once open, only licensed patients and their designated caregivers will be allowed inside dispensaries without special permission from the state, unless they are employees or making a delivery. Dispensaries must keep logs of customers and visitors.

The regulations allow for marijuana to be sold in “raw” form or as cigarettes, extracts, lotions, patches or baked goods. Suppliers cannot include alcohol or other supplements in their products.

Manufacturers also cannot turn marijuana into a beverage or a candy. Packaging also cannot encourage recreational use or anything “customarily associated with persons under the age of 18,” according to the law. Both of these clauses are designed to discourage marketing marijuana to kids, either directly or indirectly.

“Making ‘medicine’ into food and beverages is a ‘slippery slope’ that will lead to increases in marijuana abuse as in other states that have allowed these products,” John Daviau of the Connecticut Marijuana Abuse Prevention Alliance wrote to the review committee.

Information on permit applications and the full regulations for Connecticut’s medical marijuana laws are available at the state website.

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Comments (25)

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Lots of good information posted in the comments section about the dangers of pot

For those that are too blind to use Google, I will spare you the trouble. Just click this (Google search page) - OR Google marijuana and seizures yourself. This country has no problem protecting me from marijuana while allowing BP, GE, Exxon-Mobile and others to Frack drill and dump their waste wherever it is convenient and less costly for them

Jason Parraga 5 and Niiki....please stop posting debunked studies.
You see you anti-folks have it all wrong in every aspect. One nation is leading the way in debunking all your phony agenda-backed reports, ISRAEL. Now why they have been studying and applying cannabis for 30 years and have kept it secret is beyond me but they have study after study shaming all your negative studies. The Endocannabinoid system is helped by cannabis not damaged by it. If it werent for cannabis studies, we wouldnt have learned about the endocannabinoid system you morons. Only pot-heads want cannabis legalized? Are you that ignorant? Oncologists everywhere are sending their patients into the streets to find cannabis for treatment not just dudes at the surf shop. Put your glass of legal intoxicant down, which STUDIES HAVE PROVED IT damages not only brain cells but livers and lets not forget the nifty social damage from alcohol. But what really upsest me about you anti-folks is that your ignorance and the fiscal benefits Big Pharma, Big Booze, Big Pulp, Big Cotton, Big Tobacco and Private Prisons have attained through keeping cannabis and all aspects of it (hemp) illegal, is that many have DIED not from Cannabis use but from not having the OPTION for their condition. Instead of posting studies from 2008 or studies from Duke University (founded on tobacco crops) why dont you post REAL studies from 2010-2013 and taste that egg on your faces. If only you all had this much blind hate for the real drugs that KILL your families and friends, our society celebrates the drink and prescription pill use. Congratulations on being on the wrong side of the argument...nothing new though since you have been following the misinformation so closely all these years. Go back to Nixon ignoring the Shafer Commision reports and still putting cannabis on the Schedule 1 Drug List as per his agenda to ruin lives and make only a few very , very wealthy. Start telling the truth!!!!

Marijuana dependence can cause impairment or distress and other effects that interfere with other areas of life, he says. "It's fairly common for people who are using marijuana regularly to complain that their ability to think clearly is impaired — to remember, to organize their thoughts, to follow through with multitasking."

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, "hijacks and corrupts" the natural process of endocannabinoids, a key family of chemicals that help guide the brain in proper maturation, says Ruben Baler, a neuroscientist with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). These chemicals "play key roles in memory formation, learning, decision-making," says Baler.

Einstein? Its called being "stoned"! We have receptors built into our brain, hard wired for cannabis.
Whatever blog you got that info from, is misleading. When you are high you are cloudy, that is called being high!
You think that a joint lasts 24/7? Why do you post nonsense when you have zero idea what you are talking about?

You seem to be in denial of your addiction.

looks like more drug addicted Republicans.

"Doctors will also be prohibited from writing prescriptions for financial gain, or having relationships with manufacturers or distributor. "

Does this apply to manufacturers and/or distributors of oxycodone and other prescription pain medicines? Considering no one has ever died as a result of 'pot' use, of course.

Check out topix of Norwalk... Some good examples of the results of being a pot head.

The only ones that support pot use are pot heads.

To all the people crying foul: Bridgeport has fiesta, USA: a known synthetic marijuana manufacturer listed in the yellow pages. You people are beyond retarded. I'm not even gonna bring up the garbage they put in energy drinks, big brand cigarettes, or the known effects of liquor.

If a citizen of Bridgeport is infringing your freedom by using marijuana the same as the aforementioned three/four drugs, you can personally contact the police.

However, I am in no way delusional in thinking that they will "market to kids". Requiring an I.D. AND a medical condition approved by two different doctors compounded with the complete lack of marketing-based packaging means that this "for the kids" argument is also completely false.

Many people are uneducated still about Marijuana. Let them live in denial if it makes them feel better.
Meanwhile the idiots that claim that it destroys brain cells are out drinking all night and smoking cigs!
Pathetic, however funny that they do not get it.

Marijuana Use May Shrink the Brain

Smoking Pot Could Have Lasting Effects on the Brain

June 2, 2008 -- Long-term marijuana use may actually shrink certain parts of the brain and have lasting effects on mental health.

A new study shows heavy marijuana use over several years was associated with structural differences in at least two different regions of the brain, the hippocampus and amygdala.

Researchers found that the hippocampus, which is thought to regulate memory, was an average of 12% smaller among marijuana users, compared with people who didn't smoke pot. The amygdala, involved in emotion and memory, was an average of 7% smaller.

The study also suggests that long-term marijuana users were more likely to report symptoms associated with mental disorders, although the strength of their symptoms didn't meet the criteria for diagnosis of mental illness.

Pot destroys the brain.. I know of this person from Port Chester that is a pot head. A total waste product.

Sorry Mr. Nelson but your pal is just lazy and a waste and it has nothing to do with cannabis use, perhaps its his crutch like many use alcohol and food the same way. Lets be frank here and admit that a lazy pothead is safer than a functioning alcoholic. Some people are born with no drive and wether they smoke cannabis or not, it is not going to make a difference to them. If your theory were anywhere near accurate then we would not have the geniuses who have admitted to smoking cannabis and im not talking about just musicians here. I know folks who drink and are responsible and i also know alcoholics who neglect and abuse their families because of the drink, everyone is different. Dont judge all by just one or two you may know. See you have to remember that if you tell a man a cookie will make him dumber but that cookie taste too good to say no, then the person eating the cookie will act dumb. This is what has happened with cannabis, "dope" is the
label given but studies came out that cannabis actually stimulates the brain in a positive way just the opposite of popular belief (misinformation).

Bridgeport has already had its first application for a growing facility. People were freaking out because they thought that there would be break ins, etc. The applicant was very calm and pointed out it would be a state licensed facility and no more or less than any liquor manufacturer.

Packaging this as candy I think is a HUGE mistake, if you google images you will see why. Kids do not need be marketed to, they need to be educated and make the right choice.

The kids need to be educated to stay away from pot or they could end up being a Robtard.

CT is moving ahead nicely with this. Also, good to see Eric Holder actually do something right for a change and let WA and CO allow for legalized marijuana.

I want to open a shop, I know one in CO that nets $30k each month.

Cannabis Use May Cause Brain Inflammation

Marijuana use may cause inflammation in the brain that leads to problems with coordination and learning, a new study in animals suggests.

The study also teased out why this brain inflammation leads to motor and learning problems, and found a surprising answer — cannabis activates immune cells that appear to play a critical role in how a brain region called the cerebellum works.

LOL is that from the movie reefer madness in 1932?

Not too mention no one cares about "may cause", that completely discredits the post.

A new study in animals? HAAA, oh boy you are just hoping anything sticks you throw at the fan!

No not from any movie. Just the horrible facts about the dangers of pot. You can't see it or understand it because what little brain you had has been destroyed.