Monday, June 7, 2010

New medical-marijuana regs now law in Colorado

Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law today two bills regulating and
legitimizing the state's medical-marijuana industry.

"The companion measures I signed today strike a delicate balance between
protecting public safety and respecting the will of the voters," Ritter
said in a statement.

The bills — which impose complicated licensing requirements on
medical-marijuana dispensaries and crack down on unscrupulous doctors
indiscriminately handing out marijuana recommendations — were some
of the most high-profile measures passed in the legislature this year.

But Ritter signed the bills, House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 109, this
morning without the usual public ceremony such attention-grabbing
legislation usually commands. Instead, the bills were signed privately
along with a slate of 28 various other bills before Ritter headed out on
a bill-signing tour in southwestern Colorado.

Supporters of the bills say they will professionalize the
medical-marijuana industry and make it harder for people to abuse the
system. But several prominent medical-marijuana advocates say the rules
go too far, will drive marijuana dispensaries out of business and will
push patients back into the underground marketplace. A team of lawyers
has already begun recruiting potential plaintiffs for lawsuits
challenging the laws' constitutionality.

A number of law enforcement officials, meanwhile, say the rules don't go
far enough. They argue that, by permitting marijuana dispensaries, the
legislature overstepped its constitutional authority.

Of the pair, Senate Bill 109, which requires that patients have a "bona
fide" relationship with the doctors who recommend marijuana for them,
had the less bumpy ride through the legislature.

The new law will require doctors to have completed a full assessment of
the patient's medical history, to talk with the patient about the
medical condition that has caused them to seek marijuana and to be
available for follow-up care. The law also prevents doctors from getting
paid by dispensaries to write recommendations.

Supporters hope the measures will eliminate fast food-style
medical-marijuana-recommendation operations that critics say have
swelled the state's registry with illegitimate patients.

"Senate Bill 109 will help prevent fraud and abuse," Ritter said in his
statement today.

House Bill 1284, which creates strict new regulations for
medical-marijuana businesses, generated considerably more controversy.
The law requires that dispensaries be licensed at both the state and
local levels, and it allows local governments — or voters — to
ban dispensaries and large-scale marijuana-growing operations in their

Some cities have already moved to do just that. Vail's Town Council
voted last week to ban dispensaries, while Greenwood Village officials
are currently drafting an ordinance to do the same. Aurora City Council
members are preparing a ballot question that would ask voters whether
they want dispensaries in the city, and a number of other cities have
extended their dispensary moratoriums while they figure out what to do.

The new law will place other requirements on dispensaries, as well.
People convicted recently of a felony — or at all of a drug-related
felony — will be barred from operating a dispensary. People who have
lived in Colorado for fewer than two years cannot open a new dispensary.
And all dispensaries must grow at least 70 percent of the marijuana they
sell, meaning people currently operating as wholesale growers either
have to partner with a dispensary or shut down.

Significantly from a legal standpoint, the law also makes a distinction
between dispensaries and "primary caregivers" — small-scale
marijuana providers whose work is protected in the state's constitution.
In order to qualify for that special protection now, caregivers can
serve no more than five patients and grow no more than six plants per
patient, in most cases. They must also register with the state.

Dispensaries, the new law says, are not caregivers and don't qualify for
their elevated, constitutional protection.

A number of dispensary owners fear that — between the new
requirements and the ability of local governments to ban dispensaries
— the law may put them out of business.

But Ritter said in his statement today that the law will allow
communities to put "sensible and much-needed controls" on dispensaries.

1 comment:

Hydroponics-Nutrients said...

But still the bill for medical marijuana in US most states has been passed by the govt itself. Now, the only thing one need to check is it correct usability.

For further information. Just log on to :
Medical Marijuana