The winds of change are coming to Colorado (see article). A new proposal, which was approved 6-1 Wednesday by a legislative committee, would make it harder for fraudulent pot users to become medical marijuana patients. The proposal would also bar doctors from working at dispensaries, make it illegal for doctors to offer discounts in exchange for patients using predetermined dispensaries, as well as require follow-up doctor visits. The way the system is now, you only have to see the doctor once a year. Also, felons convicted in the last five years would be barred from running shops, dispensary owners would have to be licensed, pay a $2,000 application fee, in addition to a $3,000 renewal fee. Currently, any caretaker can open a shop, including convicted drug dealers. One guy in a previous article had been convicted of marijuana related felonies three times in the State of Nevada, and then moved to Colorado to open a dispensary.
The new regulations are welcomed by the larger dispensaries. They want uniform rules to follow, in order to protect their newly thriving businesses. A recent attempt at an ordinance in Centennial, CO and the newly adopted ordinance in Los Angeles, have the dispensary owners worried that they could be shut down by inconsistent city and county based rules. Uniform rules at the State level are their best hope to maintain the status quo. But the new regulations are not welcomed by everyone. People that have hopes of starting a dispensary, yet can’t afford the new fees, are up in arms. Patients will get the shortest end of the stick, as they are going to have to travel farther to see a doctor that will sign their forms. Low income patients will be hit the hardest, as they will have to pay for more and more visits. One man in the article stated that the VA won’t reimburse him for his medical marijuana related expenses, and that if he had to pay for multiple visits, it would be the deathblow to his medical marijuana card.
The proposed rule changes are set to take effect on March 1, unless state lawmakers decide to go a different route (not likely). One thing that is VERY interesting to me is the logical reasoning that the local cops have (it’s time to call Ripley’s, because I can’t F’n believe it). To quote the article, ‘Police say medical marijuana dispensaries were robbed or burglarized at a lower rate than liquor stores or even banks last year….they were hit at about the same rate as pharmacies.’ I would like to ask for a round of applause for these boys in blue, because they are willing to admit the truth!!!!!!!!!!!