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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Romer's medical marijuana bill would target dispensaries, younger patients - Boulder Daily Camera

Romer's medical marijuana bill would target dispensaries, younger patients - Boulder Daily Camera

If state Sen. Chris Romer has his way, the medical marijuana industry will look quite a bit different a year from now.

The legislation the Denver Democrat plans to introduce in January would require all caregivers with more than two patients to obtain a license from the state. The conditions of the license would require that caregivers develop health care plans for their patients and offer more services than selling marijuana to patients.

"I fully expect well over 50 percent of the dispensaries will go out of business," he said.

He calls the status quo "a train wreck" with dispensaries springing up on every corner "like convenience stores."

Romer said retail operations in which patients walk in, buy pot and leave wouldn't qualify under this licensing scheme, and all businesses would be required to apply for licenses. Those that didn't qualify would become illegal.

Dispensaries that follow a wellness center model and physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists who also sell marijuana likely would qualify.

Caregivers also would need to undergo criminal background checks, though Romer said he doesn't know what sort of cut-off he'd use to disqualify a caregiver. Most likely, past arrests for non-violent, marijuana-related offenses wouldn't disqualify someone.

Marijuana activists said Romer and the rest of the Legislature need to remember that accessing marijuana for medicinal purposes is a constitutional right in Colorado, and any limits on it that patients and caregivers feel are unreasonable will be challenged in court.

One proposal that activists say they would welcome is the creation of a licensing system for grow operations. Most attorneys agree that the law today doesn't allow for commercial grows, even if all the marijuana goes to a legal dispensary.

Romer said he understands the economic and practical necessity of allowing grow operations. His legislation would create licenses for grow operations that could show all their marijuana went to medical use and met certain health and safety standards.

Romer also wants an additional medical review board to look at all applicants from patients who are under 25.


Anonymous said...

I can assure mr. Romer that issuing a state license isnt the answer at all. Look at the state license that already exist. One in particular is an attorneys license to practice law in Colorado. What a dam joke. All it does is give those with no ethics a license to steal. I do not think a license needs to exist as all the people like David Lane and the ethics they maintain give them the right to practice law.
I say Mr. Romer, we need less government and not more. I also think you need to study the colorado constitution. I believe anyone who wants to grow pot should be able to for there own use without government intervention.djw

Barney said...

Medical marijuana "caregivers" are the same as pharmacists. They provide the medication that has been prescribed by a physician. Pharmacists do not need to know their clients, nor provide additional care beyond selling the medication. Why should MMJ be any different?

Jordan said...

Generally agree that we need "less government not more" however, without jumping to conclusions, Senator Romer did ASK members of Sensible Colorado (an organization who's principle goal is to decriminalize marijuana) for input in crafting his legislation. I think this speaks volumes about Mr. Romer's agenda in NOT jamming his version of legislation down the throats of constituents.

I would suggest writing to him with your concerns!

Sensible's posting on his request: