Getting Medical Marijuana Regulation Right in Colorado

Right now, 15 states are grappling with how best to implement the will of the voters when it comes to regulating medical marijuana. Those states would do well to look to Colorado as an example of how industry and regulators can work together to address the needs of patients. This process has been long and difficult, but we continue to make progress.

I am the Executive Director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group (MMIG). MMIG is a Colorado-based small business trade association. We represent medical marijuana centers, marijuana-infused products manufacturers, and medical marijuana grow facilities. We promote sensible, reasonable regulation of medical marijuana businesses. In addition, we advocate for policy that ensures patients receive safe, legal access to quality medicine.

As a trade association, MMIG welcomes sensible regulation and the responsibility that comes with it. All of our members are required to sign a code of ethics. The code of ethics requires that members abide by state and local law, and adhere to the October 20, 2009 “Ogden Memorandum” issued by the United States Department of Justice. The “Ogden Memorandum” states that it is unlikely the Department of Justice will use federal resources to prosecute individuals that are in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state law governing medical marijuana.

MMIG was created last year after the state legislature passed HB 1284, the first-ever state law regulating medical marijuana. HB 1284 created a rulemaking framework for medical marijuana in Colorado. The bill passed by wide margins with bipartisan support in both the Colorado State House and Senate.

After HB 1284 passed, the Colorado Department of Revenue and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment established advisory committees that included patients, patient advocates, dispensary owners, and public officials. The advisory committees worked in partnership with the Department of Revenue and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to set up rules and regulations, which are the most extensive in the nation.

The result of this year-long process is HB 1043, a bill working its way through the legislature this year. HB 1043 is a cleanup bill which addresses many of the concerns raised by the Department of Revenue and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. In addition, HB 1043 would authorize research and development, which would help us learn more about the science of medical marijuana and how medical marijuana helps patients.

The legislative process is not perfect, and it involves compromise. A good compromise means that many people do not get exactly what they want. However, I think we are establishing the right framework in Colorado, and I believe other states will follow our lead.

via : The Huffington Post

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.3/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Getting Medical Marijuana Regulation Right in Colorado , 6.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

No Responses to “Getting Medical Marijuana Regulation Right in Colorado”

  1. Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers says:

    Garbage! Patients are bright enough to realize just how much good an organizati­on that supports a moratorium on competitor­s, which refuses to take a stand on whether or not its customers should be permitted to drive, and which is dedicated solely to its members’ bottom lines is going to do them — none at all! The laws passed last year fly in the face of our Constituti­on, which names the agency responsibl­e for medical cannabis in Colorado as the Department of Health (thirty-si­x times), not the Department of Revenue. The so-called “cleanup bill”, HB11-1043, proposes to require that caregivers register with the DOR and reveal the location of their grows, which the DOR is specifical­ly authorized to disclose to any law enforcemen­t agency upon request. The bill is “not perfect”, but that is a mendacious understate­ment; it is an unconstitu­tional and direct assault on patients and their caregivers­, sanctioned by the MMIG. There has been no compromise­; the MMIG and its members have no compunctio­n whatsoever about throwing caregivers under the bus. Please read: http://blo­gs.westwor­­stword/201­1/03/medic­al_marijua­na_industr­y_group_th­c_driving_­limits_mic­hael_ellio­tt.php#com­ments if you want to see how most patients in Colorado feel about the MMIG and its efforts.

    Elliott and the MMIG are pursuing the pipe-dream of legitimacy­, going so far as to intimate that the Ogden Memorandum confers some protection on members. With the release of US Attorney Melinda Haag’s memo (see: http://www­.cannabist­herapyinst­­legal/feds­/doj.haag.­memo.pdf), it is crystal clear that the Federal government will NOT respect states’ medical cannabis laws. Patients and caregivers­’ confidenti­ality is guaranteed by our Constituti­on; so-called “Medical Marijuana Centers”, “Optional Premises Grow Licensees”­, and “Marijuana­- Infused Products” manufactur­ers are completely exposed, and might reasonably expected to be arrested at any moment. The difference between caregivers and MMCs that are members of MMIG is that the former enjoy the support of patients (I attended over twelve hours of hearings in the case of Chris Bartkowicz­, just sentenced to five years in Federal prison), whereas the latter are working against their interests — if we show up at your trials, it may be to wish you godspeed into the Federal pen!

    by Robert Chase

    [The following letter to President Obama presupposes that the reader is aware of the content and import of the Ogden memorandum of Oct. 19, 2009 (, which was the most definite statement about the policy of non-interference the Obama campaign promised to Citizens for Safe Access before the 2008 Democratic Convention. The letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda reversing that policy can be found at:

    Robert Chase
    Colorado Coalition for Patients and Cargivers
    Denver, CO 80218

    The President
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    March 19, 2011

    Dear Mr. President,

    Your disavowal of the principle enunciated in the Ogden memorandum has not gone unnoticed. We, the People of the United States, demand the resignations of Attorney General Holder and US Attorney Melinda Haag. The dissolution of the DEA and the repeal of the Controlled Substances Act are essential elements of our determination that America become once again “the land of the free”. Our status as the leading prison-nation in the world is a completely unacceptable outrage, and drastically reducing our prison population must be America’s first priority.

    Haag’s memo reveals the “United States Justice Department” to be an illegitimate institution waging war against the people of the United States, and an enemy of American liberty. Real Americans will act against the criminal gang of fascists controlling the Congress, many state legislatures, the Courts, and their Schutzstaffel, the Injustice Department. No terrorist or serial murderer threatens our society more than rabid animals like Haag and the dupes who continue to prop them up.

    Your failure to resist fascism renders you unfit to serve a second term. People who use cannabis read, think, and vote. I for one am done with the kind of political expediency which has allowed the Greater and Lesser Fascist Parties to control our private lives. To whatever extent you are motivated by pragmatism, please consider that my contention that millions of your core voters will simply not accept your retreat from respecting states’ medical cannabis laws may be true.

    Robert Chase, Founder of the Colorado Coalition for Patients and Caregivers

    [The FBI, which has a long history of violating civil rights for expressly political ends, must of course be added to the list of criminal gangs ranged against the People of the United States, and any pretense of reform within that organization will be swept away by the fascist assault on medical cannabis. We will need another Deep Throat to reveal the abuses to be committed against us.]

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.