OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sSB-124

AN ACT CONCERNING THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA.

As Amended by Senate "A" (LCO 7317)

Senate Calendar No. : 326

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 06 $

FY 07 $

Consumer Protection, Dept.

GF - Cost

203,933

191,853

Consumer Protection, Dept.

GF - Revenue Gain

At least 204,000

At least 192,000

Comptroller Misc. Accounts (Fringe Benefits)

GF - Cost

44,300

90,100

Judicial Dept.

GF - Revenue Gain

Minimal

Minimal

Judicial Department (Probation); Correction, Dept.

GF - Cost

Potential

Potential

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill requires patients and their primary caregivers to register with the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) regarding the medical use of marijuana. The maximum fee that DCP may charge for the registration is $25. While it is uncertain the number of patients and caregivers that would register for the medical use of marijuana, this would result in a revenue gain.

The bill also requires patients to pay an additional fee to offset the direct and indirect costs incurred as a result of the bill. Therefore, DCP would have to charge additional fees in the aggregate of approximately $248,236 in FY 06 and $281,946 in FY 07 in order to offset the costs associated with the bill as described below. (Since it is uncertain how many patients will register for the medical use of marijuana, the dollar amount of the required assessment is unknown. ) The bill establishes the “Medical Marijuana Administration Account” within the General Fund for this purpose.

The increased accessibility of marijuana would require additional safeguards for marijuana handling, storage, and maintenance within the state. As a result, two Drug Control Agents, with an annual salary of $66,695 each, would be needed in the Department of Consumer Protection to advise manufacturers, wholesalers, laboratory licensees and health care professionals regarding safeguards and standards required by state law and regulations for controlled substances. 1 One Secretary, with an annual salary of $33,727, would also be needed to facilitate the licensing of physicians and the registration of patients and primary caregivers. Additionally, DCP would incur costs of $36,816 in FY 06 and $24,736 in FY 07 in Other Expenses and Equipment in order to implement the provisions of the bill.

The bill makes it a crime to lie to a law enforcement officer about using marijuana for medical purposes or about being issued a doctor’s certification to use marijuana for such purposes. To the extent that this new crime increase the likelihood that offenders would be prosecuted or receive harsher penalties, a potential revenue gain from criminal fines and potential cost for incarceration and/or probation supervision in the community exist. It is anticipated that relatively few fines would be imposed on an annual basis, and, consequently, any revenue gain under the bill is expected to be minimal. On average, it costs the state $2,150 to supervise an offender on probation in the community as compared to $35,040 to incarcerate the offender (note that both figures include fringe benefits).

Senate “A” narrowed the definition of debilitating medical condition and made other minor changes that did not materially alter the fiscal impact of the original bill.

The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either House thereof for any purpose.

1 The fringe benefit costs for state employees are budgeted centrally in the Miscellaneous Accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated fringe benefit reimbursement rate as a percentage of payroll is 53. 91%, effective July 1, 2004. However, first year fringe benefit costs for new positions do not include pension costs lowering the rate to 22. 65%. The state's pension contribution is based upon the prior year's certification by the actuary for the State Employees Retirement System.