Can You Grow Weed in Connecticut?

Like neighboring New York, Connecticut is the only other state in the country that has taxes based on THC potency.
RXD Co Website Blog Post Poster CONNECTICUT
May 2, 2024 • 5 Min Read
By Alison Lucek
Understanding Cannabis Legislation in The Constitution State

One of the 13 original colonies and first in the nation to have a constitution, “The Constitution State” was the 19th state to legalize adult-use cannabis, joining border states New York and Massachusetts in ending cannabis prohibition in 2021.

Connecticut residents enjoy quaint villages, colorful fall foliage, Revolutionary War history, a prestigious university, cannabis use and possession for medical and recreational purposes, and as of July 1, 2023—the opportunity to legally grow weed at home—up to six plants with no more than three mature at one time.

This picturesque New England state has enacted succinct cannabis legislation with powerful social equity and criminal expungement initiatives. Though your cannabis purchases may be more expensive in CT due to a state tax based on cannabis potency, 60-75% of all cannabis excise tax revenue flows is used to promote equitable access to business capital, workforce education, and community investment in the Social Equity and Innovation Fund. Now in April 2024, just one year after retail sales began, state lawmakers are at work again on a marijuana resentencing bill for people still incarcerated post-legalization.

You Can Grow Weed in the Constitution State:

What to Know about Home Cultivation in CT

On July 1, 2023, all adult residents of Connecticut were extended the same home cannabis cultivation rights previously reserved for CT medical cannabis patients. Today all Connecticut adults aged 21 and over are permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants at home, three mature and three immature plants.

While medical marijuana patients have that right beginning at age 18 years, recreational cannabis users must be at least 21 years of age to grow. All households with more than one adult can grow up to 12 plants. All home cultivation must be conducted indoors at one’s primary residence, in secluded and secured areas that are not visible from the street.

Connecticut Cannabis Supply, Sale, Purchase, Possession, and Use

Though adult-use marijuana was legalized in Connecticut in July 2021, recreational sales did not begin until January 10, 2023, when state-licensed dispensaries began selling cannabis products. To legally purchase weed in CT, individuals must be age 21 and over with valid ID, a qualifying patient, or registered caregiver with a medical marijuana card.

As of December 1, 2023 when the state raised the amount limit permissible in a single transaction, adults 21 and over can purchase up to ¼ ounce of raw cannabis flower or its equivalent at hybrid or adult-use retailers, possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis (or an equivalent amount of cannabis products or concentrates) on their person and up to 5 ounces in a secure container at home or in a locked glove box.

CT state law stipulates that all hybrid cannabis dispensaries must have a licensed pharmacist present to attend to qualifying medical marijuana patients and record all sales of medical cannabis in the state’s electronic Prescription Monitoring and Reporting Program.

Individuals who suffer from a variety of debilitating and chronic conditions can gain access to the state’s medical cannabis program by applying to the Department of Consumer Protection to obtain a medical marijuana ID card which grants them and their caregivers the right to purchase from licensed dispensaries. Connecticut law also allows individuals the right to petition the Department if they wish to advocate for a condition not yet approved by the state for medical cannabis access.

Like neighboring New York, Connecticut is the only other state in the country that has taxes based on THC potency. State law requires that every purchase incurs a state sales tax of 6.35%, a 3% municipal tax, and 10-15% state cannabis tax based on THC content. Compared to surrounding states with an adult-use market, Connecticut has the highest taxes with estimations that total tax revenue from its cannabis sales will reach about $73 million by fiscal year 2026.

Although legalized for both medical and recreational purposes, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is still treated as a Class C misdemeanor in Connecticut and the movement of marijuana outside state lines is prohibited.

The History of Cannabis Legalization & Ongoing Reform in Connecticut

Back in 2011, Connecticut decriminalized marijuana possession under ½ ounce and the following year in 2012 when the landmark HB 5389 was passed, the state legalized medical marijuana and established the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program. The passage of HB 5450 in 2016 saw the expansion of the medical marijuana program with the addition of six new qualifying conditions and the permission for minors to gain access to the program.

Then on July 1, 2021, when Governor Edward “Ned” Lamont signed SB 1201, An Act Concerning Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis, recreational cannabis was legalized in The Constitution State. From that date, CT adults 21 and over were allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis or an equivalent amount of cannabis products or concentrates and possess up to five ounces of cannabis or an equivalent amount in a locked container in their residence, or their vehicle’s trunk or locked glove box.

SB 1201 outlined dates for home cultivation as well, naming October 1, 2021, for qualifying medical marijuana patients who are at least 18 to securely cultivate up to three mature and three immature plants in their homes. It granted the same permission to follow for all CT adults 21+ starting July 1, 2023, with a household cap of 12 plants.

The bill decriminalized possession of fewer than five ounces on one’s person and fewer than eight ounces in a vehicle’s trunk or locked glove box, imposing a civil fine instead of possible jail time. It established lesser penalties for many first-offense violations including those for larger possessions and illegally manufacturing, selling, or possessing with intent to sell up to eight ounces. It authorized the legal possession of cannabis paraphernalia, eliminated cannabis odor as a basis to stop or search, established protections to prevent underage use, penalties for underage possession, local controls, and a multitude of public health and safety policies. Finally, it charged the Department of Consumer Protection with licensing and regulating cannabis business and it detailed how sales would be taxed, setting rates and directing revenue toward various social equity funding initiatives.

In December 2022, CT’s Department of Consumer Protection completed its first adult-use licensing round, awarding 50% of the 56 licenses to social equity applicants and since the adult-use market opened for business on July 1, 2023, sales have been strong. In the opening year of its recreational market, Connecticut adult-use retailers sold $144.7 million worth of cannabis and cannabis products in 2023, adding to $129 million in revenue from medical sales.

Now in April 2024, the state legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to provide sentencing relief to those still incarcerated over marijuana despite the state enacting legalization, creating a pathway for the dismissal or sentencing reduction of cases involving cannabis offenses that have since been made legal.

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