Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program Advances, Dispensary Rules to Come Next Summer

Connecticut has taken the first major step toward setting up its medical marijuana program, starting the registration process on Monday by releasing the official online application for patients.

Patients who receive a doctor’s recommendation can now apply with the Department of Consumer Protection to receive a temporary registration certificate. Caregivers can also now register to provide medical marijuana once a patient identifies them as such on the application form.

The MMJ industry is hoping that this is a sign of what’s to come.

Other medical marijuana programs on the East Coast have been beset by numerous delays that have dragged out the process for months and even years. Connecticut, however, hit its first major deadline.

The real test will be next summer, when the state is supposed to submit rules governing the distribution of medical marijuana to the General Assembly. The rules will include regulations covering dispensaries and grow sites, which officials say will pave the way for the first MMJ centers to open by the end of 2013.

Still, the time frame might be a bit optimistic even if Connecticut meets all its deadlines. If distribution rules aren’t set until next summer, that means grow sites and dispensaries will have just a few months to apply for permits, meet local and state requirements, obtain the necessary approvals and find suitable locations. While not impossible, it sounds implausible.