Colorado’s rules regarding medical marijuana should be brought in line to match those around recreational pot.
It makes no sense, for example, that the state requires the testing of retail marijuana for contaminants, potency and homogeneity but not medical marijuana.
Colorado medical marijuana
It is against the law to infuse trademarked products with marijuana for recreational sales. Not so with medical.
Also, having an “undisclosed financial interest in a retail licensee” is against the law. Again, that is not the case with medical marijuana.
Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration tried to resolve some of these issues through a set of recommendations offered to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. But the committee rejected all but one of the administration’s 15 recommendations.
That means lawmakers now will have to debate every aspect of the medical marijuana code, which could open the door for big changes in how the drug is grown and sold, according to The Associated Press’ Kristen Wyatt.
Many of the rules recommended were sensible and should be approved by the legislature.
For example, the administration wanted more oversight of caregivers, requiring disclosure of where pot is grown. Currently, divulging the location is optional and only about 5 percent of the 3,000 licensed caregivers do so. That creates a problem for law enforcement who encounter questionable growing operations.
Senate Bill 14, which was introduced earlier this month, has several sensible reforms, such as requiring caregivers to register with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. Currently, patients, but not caregivers, must register with the health department. Also, the bill, sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, would establish guidelines for physicians who make medical marijuana recommendations for patients suffering from severe pain, creating a standard of care. That’s common for every other type of pain medication. And with 95 percent of patients on the registry saying they need marijuana for pain, it only makes sense.
Marijuana advocates are worried this is a back-door way of shutting off the supply. It is not. It is part of the continual and gradual process of bringing marijuana into the legitimate world of medicine.