Department of Consumer Protection Responds to Legislative Committee’s Approval of Medical Marijuana Regulations
Agency to Launch Selection, Petition Process in September
“With the Committee’s approval behind us, the Department can now move forward with its statutory mandate to implement a program for producing and dispensing marijuana to the qualifying patients who register for the program. To that end, we are announcing several significant developments that will begin in early September,” Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said today. “We wish to thank the members of the Regulation Review Committee for their approval of these regulations. Over the past 15 months, our efforts have been supported by Governor Malloy and his staff, and by Attorney General Jepsen’s office, and we are most appreciative.”
The Department will begin the process of selecting three to ten producers, and dispensary facilities, which are anticipated initially to number between three and five, based upon current qualifying patient numbers. Producers that are licensed by the Department will be the only organizations in the State authorized to grow marijuana, and agency-approved dispensary facilities will be the only organizations authorized to sell marijuana to qualified patients and their caregivers.
To select the first producers and dispensary facilities, the Department will initiate a competitive application process. In early September, the agency will post two Requests for Applications (“RFAs”) on its medical marijuana website, www.ct.gov/dcp/mmp. One RFA will be specifically for applicants who seek approval as a producer; the other will be for those who wish to apply for a dispensary facility license. Both RFAs will include detailed instructions explaining what is required of applicants and the criteria the agency will use to evaluate and score the RFA responses.
“It is our hope to be able to make our selections for both producer and dispensary facility licenses by around the first of the year,” Rubenstein said.
Once the regulations are effective, persons who want additional medical conditions added to the list of eleven that qualify a patient for treatment with medical marijuana may begin to petition the program’s Board of Physicians, Rubenstein said. The Board, which is comprised of up to eight physicians, has met several times over the past year to advise the agency on various aspects of the program, and will continue to meet at least twice annually to consider petitions. The regulations provide the process for filing such petitions.
“We will post on our website numerous considerations that petitioners must address in order for a petition to be presented to the Board of Physicians,” Rubenstein said.
Patients who wish to be newly qualified and certified for medical marijuana should review the instructions at www.ct.gov/dcp/mmp. The Department has also posted renewal instructions for patients who sought and received temporary certification after October 2012; those registrations expire on the one-year anniversary of the patients’ physician certification.