Medical marijuana bills line-by-line breakdown, courtesy of CMMR's Matt Brown

Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation imploded at a critical stage for HB 1284, a bill to regulate the MMJ industry, and SB 109, which sought to clarify the relationship between doctors and patients.

Nonetheless, both bills passed -- and now, CMMR executive director Matt Brown tries to make sense of them via a mammoth, 38-page analysis that attempts to expand on advocate Brian Vicente's overview about what the laws will mean for patients and providers.

Brown doesn't have all the answers, since regulatory agencies must write specific rules to put meat on the bills' bones. But his detailed examination is the most ambitious effort to date to look at the legislation in practical terms. To read the entire document, click here, or look below to check out sample questions about caregiver-patient restrictions, plant limits and more.

Q4: Does HB1284 prevent a Primary Caregiver from growing a small number of very large plants to stay within plant count limits?

No. Neither HB1284 or SB109 mention anything about the type or size of marijuana plants that may be grown for a Primary Caregiver's patients.

Q5: What is the maximum plant count for a Primary Caregiver?

There is not a maximum plant count for Primary Caregivers. HB1284 creates a new cap of 5 patients per Primary Caregiver under normal circumstances. However, since the Department of Health will now be recording plant count recommendations above the standard 6 plants,61 there is no cap on the number of plants that a Primary Caregiver may grow. If one Primary Caregiver has 5 patients with the standard recommendation, the Primary Caregiver would be limited to 15 flowering and 15 non‐flowering plants and 10oz of finished product. If the same Primary Caregiver had 5 patients with a recommendation for 25 plants each then the Primary Caregiver would be allowed to grow 125 plants. No maximum number is placed on the plants a doctor can recommend to a patient.

Q4: May a husband and wife each be a Primary Caregiver for 5 patients if they have separate grow rooms?

HB1284 isn't very specific on how husband/wife caregiver teams may work together. HB1284 clearly states "two or more primary caregivers shall not join together for the purpose of cultivating medical marijuana." If a husband and wife are each Primary Caregivers and they have separate growing facilities within the house, this may not be a violation of the "shall not join together" clause. Ultimately, we will have to wait for Department of Health to write clear rules regarding this new restriction.

Q5: If I am limited to 5 patients, can I drop a patient who isn't actively buying in order to have 5 "active" patients?

HB1284 does not give clear guidance on how to "drop" a patient to remain under the 5 patients per Primary Caregiver limitation. A patient can't force a Primary Caregiver to be listed on that patient's registry card, so there will have to be some mechanism for a Primary Caregiver to be removed from a patient's record.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts