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Questioning Colorado HB1284 on medical marijuana

Romer sitting in the crowd
Romer sitting in the crowd
Martin Weiker Photography

Well it's been two days since the committee on HB1284 held its public hearing. Yesterday was spent in committee, likely reviewing the eleven hours of testimony and handouts from officials and citizenry alike.

This bill just doesn't seem to have many supporters…from either side of the equation. Most people recognize that this is an industry that badly needs regulatory direction, but they also agree that it doesn't come from this bill.

It takes a lot of work to pass a bill through the House and Senate. One really has to feel for elected officials charged with the task. From less than three feet away, Senator Chris Romer's every wince and grimace was clearly visible and his frustration was sometimes palpable as he listened to hours of testimony.

Ten representatives from various judicial and law enforcement agencies stated that crime related to marijuana is worse since the dispensaries came along, but didn't produce any reports or meaningful statistics. They oppose the bill because it gives legitimacy to Medical Marijuana Centers (or dispensaries). They make the point that "dispensaries" are extra-constitutional. That Amendment 20 to the Colorado Constitution did not contemplate dispensaries.

Questions like "How do we put the tooth paste back in the tube?" came up frequently. Vice Chair, Senator Joyce Foster asked the question most frequently and with the most variations ("Cat back in the bag" etc, etc). The question really meant "What will happen if we ban dispensaries, can we go back to just the patient/caregiver model?"

The bill requires MMJ centers to grow 70% of their own product, procuring the other 30% from other centers only. Some legislators mentioned that they didn't want, so called, "freelance growers." Hey, isn't that what the basic caregiver according to Amendment 20 is anyway?

Does this requirement appear to be a little off to anyone else? Do we require grocery stores to grow 70% of their produce, or liquor stores to distill 70% of their own booze? Is there any industry that is subject to such a rule? This rule would greatly inhibit the variety and quality that some centers could offer their patients.

The bill also states "Primary caregivers may not charge a patient more than the cost of cultivating or purchasing the medical marijuana, but may charge for caregiver services." Why?

There is so much to cover in this bill, check back tomorrow for "More Questions on HB1284." 


  • Justice Freedom 5 years ago

    Chris Romer is a complete tool. A clown walking around in an expensive suit pretending to be a politician. A scum-bag who everyone around the State Capital knows isn't sharp enough to get out of his own way. He couldn't write a Bill that made any sense if you spotted him everything but his name and date-of-birth. God help us if we reelect him to any office higher than County Clerk--we have no one but ourselves to blame if we do.

  • greenteam 5 years ago

    Yep, what a jerk.

  • 5 years ago

    The bill is biting CMMR in the ass for their failed lobbying attempts. There is a lot that is unconstitutional, but unfortunately the patients will have to pay to get it overturned. Shame on Chris Romer for trying to become Mayor of Denver on the backs of patients. He will lose.

  • Jason D. Kozdra 5 years ago

    Any time the government attempts to regulate what's left of the free market, you are going to see these kinds of problems. Citizens attempting to shackle other free citizens by enforcing their own pet peeves. No good thing is going to come from more bills unless they are bills repealing existing anti-pot and other victimless crime laws.

  • PabloKoh 5 years ago

    You look at this as if Romer wanted to control the dispensaries. No, He wants to shut down the medical marijuana industry. That will be accomplished if this bill is passed. Requiring the dispensaries to grow 70% will require growing more than 99 plants in one location and result in likely prosecution under US Federal law. This bypasses the State Attorney's office and puts in the hands of Federal prosecutors and jury's (also exempting any medical marijuana evidence to be presented because MM is not recognized in Federal Court). A single phone call by police officials to DEA regarding suspected State non-compliance and the dispensary is shut down. It is a very sly bill and it is a work around of the people's will and State Constitution. Romer knows exactly what he is doing.

  • TYC 5 years ago

    They'll argue this right up until complete legalization rolls around. Geez, I really dislike power hungry politicians. Every time I see one I feel like I need a shower.

  • KB 5 years ago

    Right on to TYC, PabloKohi, Jason D. Kozdra,, greenteam and Justice Freedom for their comments!

  • AntiBusinessBill 5 years ago

    By closing most of the dispensaries, Romer will completely destroy the needed supply of medical cannabis to deal with the approximately 100,000 patients in Colorado. It doesn't take a Ph.D in Economics to realize that this will drive prices up and drive quality down.

    And contrary to Romer's rhetoric, dispensing is indeed mentioned in the Amendment to Colorado's Constitution. Article XVIII § 14(2)(d) makes specific reference to "acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana."

    This bill will indeed run out most of the small to mid-size businesses to essentially monopolize/limit the sale of medical cannabis to a few individuals with an absurd amount of money ready to pay the absurd proposed licensing fees...

    Natural competition would thin the dispensary herd; increase patient access to cannabis (especially in remotre areas of CO) , and increase the quality and needed variety of medicine 4 different conditions

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