(Rebecca Blackwell, Associated Press file)

Colorado audit agency awarded for report on problems with marijuana regs

The Colorado Office of the State Auditor is being recognized as one of the best in the country with national awards for its work auditing the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system last year.

The National State Auditors Association gave Colorado its Excellence in Accountability Award in the large performance-audit category, which is given to only one winner each year for government auditing excellence.

Colorado marijuana audits receive national recognition
Dianne E. Ray, Colorado’s state auditor, accepts the national Excellence in Accountability Award from Rebecca Otto, president of the National State Auditors Association, during the organization’s annual conference in St. Paul, Minn., earlier this month. (The Denver Post)

The National Legislative Program Evaluation Society, part of the National Conference of State Legislatures, awarded its Certificate of Impact in recognition of documenting public policy impact and program improvements.

State Auditor Dianne E. Ray accepted the Excellence in Accountability Award this month at the NSAA’s conference in St. Paul, Minn., where she gave an overview of the audit during the conference. The Certificate of Impact will be presented in October at NLPES’s annual professional development seminar in Raleigh, N.C.

The performance audit examined business regulations on the medical marijuana industry in the state, finding that Colorado did not have a strict regulatory system in place.

Related: Auditor says Denver management of medical marijuana licensing improving

The audit helped frame the debate for legislators, state regulators and the public over how to regulate recreational marijuana, which Colorado voters legalized in November 2012, four months before the audit was released, which took effect in January.

Colorado’s state auditors issued a second performance audit in July 2013 that focused on the patient side of medical marijuana regulation.

Both audits are available on the state auditor’s website, http://www.state.co.us/auditor, under the link “OSA Audit Reports.”

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This story was first published on DenverPost.com