© 2013 | Amy Lane APRN
Qualifying Patient FAQs
Q. Who is eligible to use medical marijuana?
A. To qualify, a patient needs to be diagnosed by a Connecticut-licensed 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. How do I register as a patient?
A. The first step is to make an appointment with the physician treating you for the debilitating condition for which you seek to use marijuana. You will not be able to register in the system until the Department receives a certification from your physician that you have been diagnosed with a condition that qualifies for the use of medical marijuana and that, in his or her opinion, the potential benefits of the palliative use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks of such use. We began accepting physician certifications on October 1, 2012.
Once your physician has certified you for the use of marijuana, the Department will seek additional information and documents from you demonstrating, among other things, your identity and residency to determine whether you are qualified under the statute to register with the Department. Once the Department receives the required information, we will make a determination as to whether you are eligible for a registration certificate and, if so, one will be sent to you.
Q. I have been contacted by, or saw an advertisement for, someone claiming they can help me get a patient or caregiver registration certificate. Is there a way for me to find out if this company is associated with the Department of Consumer Protection?
A. The Department of Consumer Protection is not working with any outside businesses in connection with the patient and caregiver registration process. Moreover, the Department has not shared any information about the registration process with anyone, beyond what is on this website. Our goal is to design a registration system that is easy to understand and that would not require you to work with a third party in order to register. Also, the only information the Department will be requesting will be information that you, your physician, or where applicable, your caregiver should have.
Q. My medical condition is not listed as one that would make me eligible for medical marijuana. Can additional medical conditions be added to the list?
A. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection has established a Board of Physicians 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 need to be approved by the Department and implemented by the adoption of a regulation. The Department of Consumer Protection's regulations on medical marijuana have set out a process by which members of the public can petition the Board of Physicians to recommend additional medical conditions, medical treatment or diseases to the list of conditions that qualify for the palliative use of marijuana.
Q. Does the law require health insurers to cover medical marijuana?
A. No. The law explicitly says it does not.
Q. Can patients 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. The maximum allowable monthly amount is 2.5 ounces unless your physician indicates a lesser amount is appropriate. Any changes to the allowable amount will be based on advice from the Board of Physicians.
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?
Q. Can a school refuse to enroll someone solely because the person is qualified to use medical marijuana?
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.
Q. What are my options as a patient if I have a qualifying medical condition and believe that medical marijuana would be the most effective treatment for my symptoms but my physician will not certify me for the medical marijuana program?
A. 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. 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 Department, however, cannot refer you to a different physician; any information we receive regarding which physicians have, or will, certify patients for medical marijuana is being treated with the utmost level of confidentiality.
Amy Lane APRN