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Proposed House bill: medical marijuana must be smoked

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Yesterday, House Bill 1250 was introduced in an effort to ban medical marijuana edibles in the state. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Cindy Acree (R-Arapahoe and Elbert Counties) and Sen. Scott Renfroe (R-Weld County).

Within the past few years, lawmakers have struggled to regulate the booming medical marijuana businesses in Colorado. Medical marijuana became legal in the state in 2000 with the passage of Amendment 20; once the federal government relayed a reluctance to enforce federal marijuana laws that conflict with state laws, the dispensary businesses started popping up everywhere.

In reaction, many cities decided to ban dispensaries within their limits and other state-wide regulations followed. In June of last year, a law was passed requiiring marijuana-infused product manufacturers to be licensed. These licenses were difficult to get and even harder to adhere to, and the Denver City Council backed off on the regulations.

Medical marijuana advocates are vocal against HB 1250, arguing that patients need the option of ingesting medical marijuana instead of smoking it. Cannabis Therapy Institute states:

The therapeutic value of consumed cannabis medicinals cannot be understated. This is another direct attack on patient rights.

In addition to the medical impact, many Colorado businesses would be affected, effectively outlawed, including companies like Mile High Ice Cream and Nancy B's Edible Medicine.

Interestingly, bill only bans food and beverages; "ointments and tinctures" are still allowed.