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Medical Cannabis Patients Advised to Buy Early to Avoid Adult-Use Deluge in Connecticut

Long lines are expected at hybrid retailers.

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Adult-use cannabis sales in Connecticut will begin on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 10:00 am. On Friday, the state's Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) asked registered medical marijuana patients to purchase cannabis prior to Tuesday to avoid expected long lines and traffic at hybrid retailers.

The state's Medical Marijuana Program serves nearly 50,000 patients. To purchase medical cannabis products from a dispensary or hybrid retailer, patients must be certified as having a qualifying condition by a practitioner and then obtain the appropriate registrations with the DCP. Medical cannabis patients currently pay a $100 registration fee, but that will be discontinued as of July 1, 2023.

Registered patients have an allotment of 5 ounces per month. Products purchased through the Medical Marijuana Program are not subject to sales or other taxes because medication is nontaxable. Financial assistance for low-income individuals and veterans is also be available at licensed establishments.

Patients in the program will still have access to products with higher THC potency, and products administered in medicinal forms such as pills or tablets that will not be available to adult-use consumers. In addition, even after the adult use market opens, the state will retain several medical-only dispensary facilities available to serve patients.

"While we hope there will be no disruption or inconvenience to patients, it is always best to be prepared," said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. "Patients who can make purchases ahead of time, or have their medicine delivered, are advised to do so."

According to Seagull, many hybrid retailers will provide separate checkout counters for patients.

Cannabis was approved for adult-use in June 2021. 

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