August 29, 2018, Connecticut
Medical marijuana has been legalized in 30 states of the US. The majority have statewide MMJ programs have already gone through the nurturing phase. As time passes by, respective state lawmakers are actively working to improve cannabis laws in order to streamline legal MMJ operations.
Connecticut has recently experienced such reforms where lawmakers have amended cannabis laws to add eight new qualifying medical conditions to the program. It is expected that the number of registered MMJ patients will notably be increased after the expansion. After the newly added conditions, Connecticuters will be able to use medical cannabis for 30 different medical conditions.
Regulation Review Committee in the state legislature is responsible to watch over Connecticut’s medical cannabis operations. Members of the committee have voted to approve eight new medical conditions to be added to the program. Six conditions are pertaining to adult patients whereas two newly added medical conditions are linked to younger patients. It is important to mention that the committee members have unanimously passed the new cannabis rules. Connecticuters 18 and above will now be available to use medical marijuana for these medical conditions:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Facial pain
- Postherpetic neuralgia
- Intractable headaches and migraines
In addition, patients that are under 18 will be allowed to use medical marijuana for:
- Brittle bone disease
- Muscular dystrophy
Excruciating pain is a common denominator among these newly added qualifying conditions share. So, state officials are hoping that the expansion of the MMJ program will improve the public health index of the state.
Officials haven’t estimated the number of patients that would join the program after its expansion. However, it is certain that this number will be in thousands. Connecticut’s medical marijuana program is already serving over 27,000 patients while around 1,000 physicians have been registered with the state to make MMJ recommendations. And presently nine MMJ dispensaries are operating in the state. The administration hasn’t yet considered increasing the number of dispensaries.
Timeline of medical cannabis in Connecticut
Connecticut’s medical marijuana laws remain unchanged for several years before this expansion. The first real cannabis reform in the state took place seven years ago when possessing a small amount of pot was decriminalized by the government. The state actually demoted the minor possession of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor (that could also entail a jail time and hefty fine) to the non-criminal offense with nominal penalty.
In the following year, the state successfully legalized medical cannabis. Connecticut’s Senate played a key role in making the legalization a reality. However, no significant changes were made to MMJ laws from then onwards. Many cannabis reforms have failed to make it before the latest addition of new qualifying conditions.
For instance, the bill to increase the number of MMJ dispensaries couldn’t get the approval from the legislature. Similarly, the proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis also lost somewhere in many other legislative drafts. With state officials putting an end to a longtime dormancy by adding new qualifying conditions, marijuana advocates are hoping that more progressive changes are in store for cannabis landscape.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]