Majoring in Marijuana

in this Feb. 14, 2019 photo, cannabis seedlings grow under lights as part of a research project by students in the new cannabis minor program at the State University of New York at Morrisville, N.Y.

(The Center Square) – Effective Oct. 1, medical marijuana patients in Connecticut are permitted to cultivate cannabis plants in their home.

Senate Bill No. 1021, which went into effect July 1 after being signed by Gov. Ned Lamont, provided for adult use recreational marijuana and expunged records of anyone convicted of marijuana offenses, drops dispensary designation requirements for medical marijuana patients, and establishes a committee of certified doctors to make decisions on a variety of issues pertaining to medical marijuana.

“The law … [creates] a comprehensive framework for a regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, criminal justice, and equity," Lamont said upon signing the bill in late June. "It will help eliminate the dangerous, unregulated market and support a new and equitable sector of our economy that will create jobs.”

Qualifying medical marijuana patients age 18 and older will be permitted to grow up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants in their home, with a limit of 12 plants per household, the bill reads. Plants are only to be accessible by the patient or a caregiver.

Recreational cannabis users are not permitted to cultivate marijuana plants until 2023, under the law.

In addition, medical marijuana patients will not be mandated to designate a dispensary, or hybrid retailer, as an exclusive place to purchase products.

Also beginning Friday, a physician board will be established, comprised of eight physicians or surgeons knowledgeable in the medical marijuana field and who are certified by the American board in their specialty. The board will determine qualifying conditions and treatment for medical marijuana patients.

A Social Equity Council will also be established, which is designed to encourage participation from the industry by people in communities who have been harmed by cannabis prohibition.

Also beginning Friday, pharmacists working in dispensaries are required to upload real-time sales data to the state upon completion of a sale or no later than one hour after its completion.

Under the bill, the state will collect a 3% tax on receipts from cannabis retailers, hybrid retailers and micro-cultivators. The bill established that 3% tax stacked on the state’s 6.35% sales tax.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.