Marijuana Licensing Authority calls "emergency" residency hearing

On Sunday, August 1 -- officially "Colorado Day" -- Colorado collected the last medical marijuana business applications it will accept before officially shutting out any new operations until July 2011, in accordance with new state law. And the state is wasting no time further defining those laws: The first rule-making hearing of the new Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Licensing Authority is today at 10 a.m.

This "emergency" rulemaking hearing will focus on residency requirements. Under the "Colorado Medical Marijuana Code," a person who applies for a dispensary license must be a resident of Colorado for two years, and all employees of a dispensary -- now known as a "center" -- must also be able to prove residency. But HB 1284, the main regulatory measure, neglected to give a specific definition of what constitutes a resident.

What's the emergency? This loophole -- and the fact that the state is looking at residency rules legislators did not contemplate -- just emerged last week, as we reported in an interview with Senator Chris Romer about residency rules.

By calling an emergency hearing, the state can avoid some of the standard requirements for public notice (and may choose not to accept public comments). Click to read the MMJ meeting announcement on the state's website.

Even if no comments are taken, the hearing is open. It's at the Gaming Conference Room #110, 1881 Pierce Street in Lakewood.

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