Back in July, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment asked medical marijuana cardholders for their thoughts on the department dropping red card fees from $90 to $35. Last week, the comment period was extended to August 12 on the CDPHE website without any explanation. We've now learned that's because some of your e-mails might not have ever made it to the department in the first place.
I caught up with CDPHE spokesman Mark Salley, who said that the extension was put in place because a "technical problem" with the e-mail system prevented some comments from reaching their designation during the first two weeks of July. The problem has since been fixed, and to make up for potential lost e-mails, the CDPHE extended the comment period.
Salley didn't go into detail about the glitch, but I'd like to think that the overwhelming number of patients writing to tell the CDPHE it's a good move flooded the system and caused it to crash. Wishful thinking, but I like to remain optimistic.
Either way, the extension gives everyone another eight days to tell the CDPHE what you think of the decrease in fees. If you are in any way debating it, remember: That extra $55 would likely be much better spent on some high-grade bubble hash or a new pipe for yourself. But hey, it's your money and your call...
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The fee reduction is due to the large increase in registered medical marijuana patients. More patients in the system allows the costs to be spread further. The state estimates that it costs roughly $3.36 million to run the program (you can see more details about the programs financials in a .pdf here). Divide that cost by 96,000 patients expected to apply or re-apply for a red card, and you come up with the $35-per-patient cost.
We've been assured they'll get there this time.
More from our marijuana archives: "Medical marijuana grow isn't child abuse any more than having a liquor cabinet, attorney says"