This week the legislative committee for Connecticut's medical marijuana program approved 6 new illnesses to be added to the list of qualifying conditions, but turned one down after a tie (2-2). The committee is supposed to have 8 voting members, but the state is having trouble filling the positions with qualified physicians. A fifth member has been added this week. Patients qualifying with these new conditions should be able to apply for the program in about a month. As of last month, Connecticut had over 8,200 registered patients and gaining at about 100 per week. Officials expect about 13,000 patients by the end of the year.
"The core problem is that we now have a statute says the board is going to have eight doctors or surgeons knowledgeable about the palliative use of marijuana," said Rep. Tom O'Dea, R-New Caanan, a committee member. "The problem is that there have been only four qualified to do that. Now, we have a fifth."
As of mid-January, the state had 8,228 patients registered for the medical marijuana program. State officials say Connecticut is adding about 100 registered patients a week, and their numbers could reach 13,000 by the end of 2016.
The state also is adding three dispensaries, boosting the number to nine. Connecticut has four licensed medical marijuana growers.