Many states recognize the legitimate medical use of marijuana and have developed programs with specific protocols and qualifications to become a medical marijuana patient. In Connecticut, the Department of Consumer Protection implements and oversees this program. Currently, there are thousands of registered patients in Connecticut using various Cannabis preparations for the treatment of thirty recognized ailments. Now for the first time since the program’s inception a dispensary, Still River Wellness, will open in the Northwest Corner in Torrington providing more access for residents interested in becoming patients. Previously many patients had to travel an hour or more to reach a dispensary.
On Thursday, March 7, the Scoville Memorial Library will host several presentations followed by a panel discussion about becoming a medical marijuana patient and the use of Cannabis as a treatment. Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull is one of the presenters. She was appointed Commissioner in May 2017. From 2011 she served as the Deputy Commissioner and led the team that developed DCP’s Medical Marijuana Program.
Additional presenters are Tom Macre from Still River Wellness, and Mark Braunstein, one of the lead proponents of medical legalization and a patient. They will briefly discuss medical Cannabis, the genesis of the program, its growth to over 30,00 patients since its inception, legal requirements and how the state system functions, who qualifies and how, ailments treated with Cannabis, types of preparation and other aspects. According to
Mark Braunstein “Even after 28 years of paraplegia, I remain both self-supporting and self-sufficient. I am productive not despite marijuana, but because of it.”
Braunstein became a paraplegic from a diving accident in 1990. He uses no pharmaceutical drugs, but instead only traditional herbal remedies, including marijuana to treat the spasms and pains of his spinal cord injury. Between 1997 and 2012, he testified eight times before Connecticut’s Judiciary Committee, for the legalization of medical Cannabis.
Tom Macre co-founded the dispensary with his father Tom Sr. Previously they founded MedTech, a Medical Equipment company. There Macre helped providers develop treatment plans for their patients and has worked one-on-one with patients to ensure proper training and education on the safe and effective use of his company’s equipment. Working with pain management physicians, he learned the value that medical marijuana could have for patients suffering from chronic intractable pain and quickly educated himself about the medical marijuana industry and treatments.
After the presentations, a panel discussion moderated by ethnobotanist and library program coordinator Lawrence Davis-Hollander will occur with plenty of time for questions and answers. While the opening of the Torrington dispensary was incidental to the development of this educational program, Davis-Hollander says the library’s timing was good. “ We felt that with so many states allowing the use of medical Cannabis plus additional states legalizing recreational marijuana that it was time to help inform our patrons about their options and remove some of the stigmas this plant has carried for decades.”
Thursday, March 7, 6 pm
Snow Date: March 21, 6 pm
Scoville Memorial Library
38 Main Street