Lawmakers to tweak state’s medical marijuana code

Colorado lawmakers are tweaking the state's medical marijuana code.

Early version would create two classes of medical marijuana licences

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A bill introduced in the State Legislature and assigned to the judiciary committee aims to clarify numerous provisions in the existing Colorado Medical Marijuana Code. The bill will likely be tweaked several times before it reaches a vote in the floor, but here’s the summary of the initial version:

Under current law, any person applying for or who has been issued a medical marijuana license is subject to certain residency requirements. The bill narrows the application of the residency requirements to owners only, as defined by rule of the department of revenue. A medical marijuana infused-products manufacturer is limited to having no more than 500 marijuana plants on site unless the manufacturer is granted a waiver.

A primary caregiver who cultivates medical marijuana for his or her patients must register the cultivation site and all patient identification numbers with the medical marijuana state licensing authority and comply with all zoning and building codes. Under current law, a medical marijuana center is subject to prohibitions on unfair business practices that may include selling products below cost. The bill allows a center to sell at a reduced cost or donate medical marijuana to indigent patients.

A medical marijuana center is authorized to sell clones in addition to medical marijuana and medical marijuana infused-products. A medical marijuana center is permitted to trade medical marijuana with another center in exact equal amounts and can sell that medical marijuana, but the medical marijuana may not be traded again.

Under current law, a medical marijuana license may not be issued to a person who has been convicted of a felony within the last 5 years or who has ever been convicted of a felony drug offense. The bill changes the requirement so that only those persons who have been convicted of felony drug offense in the last 5 years may not be issued a license.

Current law imposes a 2-year residency requirement on all license applicants. The bill changes the residency requirement so that it applies only to those applicants who are going to be owners of a medical marijuana business.

Currently, a licensed medical marijuana center may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school, drug or alcohol treatment facility, higher education facility, or residential child care facility. The bill grandfathers in those centers that were located at their present sites on or before December 15, 2009. The bill repeals the provisions that made the location of optional premises cultivation operations confidential.

The bill creates 2 new classes of medical marijuana licenses:

* A primary caregiver cultivation license, which gives a primary caregiver who has received a waiver to serve more than 5 patients or who grows more than 30 plants at a time the authority to grow medical marijuana only for his or her patients or for the patients of another primary caregiver, if the licensee has been delegated authority over the patients.

* An infused-products manufacturing facility license, which allows a facility to be licensed for exclusive use by multiple infused-products manufacturers.

The bill clarifies that if a patient has applied for, but has not yet received, a registry identification card, the patient may present the application and a photo identification at the time of purchase in lieu of the registration card.

The bill states that the labeling of medical marijuana-infused products is a matter of statewide concern. The bill creates a process by which a physician who has a restricted license to practice medicine may apply for clarification of whether the restriction prohibits the physician from making a medical marijuana recommendation.

A primary caregiver may delegate his or her authority to another primary caregiver with whom the primary caregiver has an existing business relationship if he or she maintains a professional relationship with a patient.

The bill states that land that is used for the cultivation of medical marijuana cannot be classified as agricultural land for tax purposes.

The bill clarifies that medical marijuana medical records are medical records for the purposes of the theft of medical records statute. An owner, officer, or employee of a licensed medical marijuana business who releases the medical record of a patient commits a class 1 misdemeanor. The state licensing authority may adopt rules regarding licensing action against a licensed business that releases patient information.


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