Last week, the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division released a packet of compliance forms intended to help dispensaries determine if they're in line with the state MMJ law, which goes into effect on July 1. And while the forms were expected, some recipients say they contain details they weren't aware of before and create more questions than answers.
Julie Postlethwait, spokeswoman for the MMED, says she's been swamped with calls as dispensaries rush to meet guidelines, with topics ranging from the hours shops can be open (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) to whether or not private caregivers can sell to dispensaries (they can't).
Some of the most common questions deal with security systems. Postlethwait says people are worried that if their video feed to the state isn't operational in time, they will be shut down. But Postlethwait says the state will work with people and be lenient so long as they show they are moving toward compliance. "Everyone is working hard to get to the same place," she says. "We are going to have to help each other out."
Jessica "Cheesecake Lady" LeRoux
Jessica LeRoux, owner of Twirling Hippy Confections, a marijuana edibles company, is one of those people. LeRoux says she's been working with Quest for weeks to try and resolve issues with a static IP and worries that shops she vends to in rural areas are going to have issues with satellite Internet providers as well.
But the security camera forms are the least of LeRoux's problems with the packet. She fears language on the delivery manifest about when orders must be placed will prevent her from bringing last minute add-on items or new products for shops to test out. "Sometimes it's a lifesaver to be able to sell an extra fifty or sixty treats a week," she says. "Now I can't do that unless I write all sorts of extra stuff -- and then, if they reject it, the rules say I'm supposed to destroy it. That doesn't make any sense."
Another major gripes is that the packet only now released forms for keeping patient records manually as opposed to using a computerized point-of-sale (POS) system. Patient purchase records have to be kept according to state law, but nothing requires them to be kept digitally. Due to the lack of information on the manual forms up until now, LeRoux says shops have been scared into buying expensive POS systems they didn't need by "annoying people that I want to punch in the dick.
"All these sales and scare tactics have been allowed to go on for weeks," she maintains. "A lot of people have wasted money on a system they don't need to use... It's much more affordable to go out and buy a ream of paper and a printer."
LeRoux says she is willing to jump through the hoops to legitimize her business in the state's eyes, but she doesn't really believe the laws are doing what they were intended to do. In Telluride last weekend for the bluegrass festival, LeRoux recalls seeing someone openly selling ganja out of a bag with a dispensary label on it to some college-age girls inside the festival grounds.
"If [their goal] was to keep it out of the hands of non-patients, they failed," she said. "Instead, they made a profit margin for the skeezy user."
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