Senator Chris Romer has taken a leading role in writing proposed legislation for the medical marijuana industry -- and not all of his ideas are to the liking of people in the business.
As he told us in a November 16 blog, he wants more scrutiny for young medical marijuana users, many of whom he feels have gotten their IDs based on phony or exaggerated diagnoses, and favors dispensaries that resemble "clinics," not "frat houses."
How does Romer plan to achieve these goals? Westword has just obtained a copy of his bill's latest draft, which lays out proposals for three different types of state licenses (one for clinics with fewer than 300 patients, another for operations with more than 300 patients, and a third for medical marijuana growers), a medical marijuana review board to examine applications for those under age 21 (down from age 25, his previous separation point), and much, much more.
Read the entire sixty-plus page document here -- but first, get a flavor of the areas covered from its summary, on view below:
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted.)
Section 1. The bill creates the medical marijuana licensing authority (state licensing authority) in the department of revenue. The state licensing authority grants, refuses, and renews a medical marijuana clinic license or medical marijuana grower license after the licensee has received a local license. The state licensing authority also administers all aspects of medical marijuana licensure, including rulemaking. Many of the functions and duties of the state licensing authority are similar to those held by the state licensing authority for alcoholic beverages. There will be 3 types of licenses: One license for medical marijuana clinics serving 300 or fewer patients; one license for medical marijuana clinics prior draft serving more than 300 patients, but fewer than 1,500; and a medical marijuana grower license. A licensed medical marijuana grower must transact all sales using an electronic payment method.
Section 2. The bill makes illegally selling or distributing 2 ounces or more of marijuana that comes from a medical marijuana source a class 4 felony.
Section 3. The department of public health and environment will promulgate new rules related to standards for issuing registry identification cards, procedures for primary caregiver applicants, documentation for physicians who prescribe medical marijuana, sanctions for physicians who violate the act, and other services that a primary caregiver may provide and the minimum required levels for those services.
A patient may change his or her primary caregiver no more than 4 times during a given year.
A group of 3 patients and primary caregivers may form a cooperative for the purpose of cultivating and exchanging medical marijuana.
A chiropractor or registered nurse who is a registered primary caregiver may treat up to 20% of his or her patients with medical marijuana without having a medical marijuana clinic license. A physical therapist or optometrist who is a registered primary caregiver may treat up to 20 patients with medical marijuana without having a medical marijuana clinic license.
An individual who is permitted to use medical marijuana must have in his or her possession a registry identification card when possessing a usable form of marijuana.
A physician who certifies that a patient can use medical marijuana may not receive remuneration from a primary caregiver, medical marijuana clinic, or medical marijuana grower related to medical marijuana.
Local governments may enact zoning requirements related to medical marijuana.
The bill creates a medical marijuana review board (board) that will consider requests by nonveteran patients under 21 years of age who want to be registered medical marijuana patients. For a patient who is under 21 years of age to become a registered medical marijuana patient, a majority of the board must determine that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and could benefit from the use of medical marijuana.