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Medical Marijuana Registry Data Shows Cause for Concern

New Statutory language for Colorado's MMJ program
New Statutory language for Colorado's MMJ program
State Website

On Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released statistics, in a press release on their website that gave them pause for concern.

"As of Dec. 15, a total of 820 licensed physicians had authorized medical marijuana for 15,800 patients. Of those 820 physicians, just 15 accounted for 73 percent of total patients, and just five have authorized 49 percent of all recommendations."

"These figures are representative of the concerns we have about whether some physicians really have a bona fide physician-patient relationship, as required in the constitution, with those for whom they are authorizing the use of marijuana." said Chief Medical Officer Ned Calonge

The CDPHE and the Governor's office are recommending the following provisions for legislators:

• Define a bona fide physician-patient relationship that includes an on-going relationship, a complete assessment of a patients medical history and follow-up care.

• Ensure a physician recommending medical marijuana is in good standing and has not had his/her federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration revoked or suspended.

• Prohibit physicians from receiving remuneration from a primary care giver or dispensary.

Changes in statuary language are intended to ensure that only appropriate patients are participating in the Medical Marijuana program and to make sure that doctors are not engaged in a financial conflict of interest, while best serving their patient's medical needs.

The statutory language (dated Dec.14th) from the Governors Office of Legal Counsel is linked at the bottom of the news release.

It primarily focuses on defining a "Bona Fide physician-patient relationship" and spelling out appropriate physician decorum.

Colorado dispensaries that now have a "doctor day" or even a doctor "on staff" will need to change any arrangements that aren't in line with the new statuary language. Doctors will need to keep "separate records" from non-MMJ patients and perform follow-up with medical marijuana patients.

It would be ironic if, by the time the state and local municipalities react to each new aspect of this new industry, marijuana is legalized in much the same way as alcohol is now. A recent poll reveals that this idea may not be that far fetched, as 53% of respondents support the legalization of marijuana


  • workingman1 5 years ago

    "Concern"??? Why is there concern? The ONLY concern presently is the rediculous and expensive "war" ona PLANT and the people who may posess or grow it. LEGALIZE AND TAX IT

  • Jeff 5 years ago

    Oh real big concern. Why is it the DEA/Federal Gov't dispenses Medical Marijuana to its 4 surviving IND members over the past 20-30 years without even feeling the need to keep medical records on these patients and whether Medical Marijuana is helping or hurting the patient? Only one reason they, the feds, already know that marijuana is a safe, therapeutic plant with a safe and temporary psychoactive effect that actually benefits the human body i.e. our own human endocannabinoid system. Given the fact that marijuana prohibition was created and maintained for racial/political reasons in 1937 never having anything to do with health and well being, is no surprise that marijuana/Hemp will eventually be the new multi billion dollar industry for the world. The biggest conflict is getting the feds to be able to remove marijuana from Schedule I and legalize Marijuana for medical and personal use while saving face for perpetuating a crime on the people for purely political reasons.

  • Gary M Ruehle 5 years ago

    Good on those 15 who have taken 75% of their patients off of REAL drugs with DANGEROUS and deadly side effects, like liver damage, heart damage, and yes, even death. NO ONE has ever died from marijuana. You cannot overdose on it. Over 7,000 people died of aspirin overdoses last year alone. We need MORE doctors like the 15 to give us a harmless but beneficial plant for our medicine. Why is it even against the law at this late date? Gary M Ruehle

  • Maxx Furio! 5 years ago

    I believe that due to the legalization of Medicinal Marijuana, the Colorado economy has a real shot at being one of the first cities to come out of this recession, with a new industry leading the pack! Also lets not over look the real "green factor" that could be waiting for us at the end of the legalization of Cannabis road: Hemp! Hemp is truly a miracle plant in that it can be used to make Bio-Fuels (Ethanol), Hemp fiber for clothing,(3 times stronger than cotton), Bio paper far superior to tree paper and (farmable in 120 months as opposed to 120 years)and Hemp plastic has some of the strongest and greenest potentials of them all. We are living in times that could see the turn of a new Agricultural and industrial revolution from something we banned 60 + years ago due to a certain land holders special interest with regard to producing paper. It is obvious to me that the cannabis industry is tied to the potential greening of a nation and a return to US domestic resource efficiency...

  • Mike R 5 years ago

    You're right. It is a cause for concern. We need many more doctors giving out the scrips. Those poor guys are hella overworked!