Thursday, May 20, 2010

A complete breakdown of HB 1284

Posted By on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM

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Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation and Executive Director Matt Brown have released the most comprehensive breakdown yet of what House Bill 1284 actually means. Click here for the full PDF.

Some tidbits:

Can patients shop at any licensed dispensary or just the one named as their primary MMJ Center?

Yes, patients will be able to shop at any licensed MMJ Center. Section 2(6)(f)3 of HB 1284 says, “If a patient elects to use a licensed medical marijuana center, the patient shall register the primary center he or she intends to use.” Note, this does not say “exclusive” or “only” center they intend to use. Since the MMJ Center will be able to grow plants for each patient who names them a “primary center” the Department of Health will need to record this information. HB 1284 does NOT say anything to the effect of “a patient may shop only at the primary Medical Marijuana Center listed on their card.”

Is a Medical Marijuana Center the same as a Primary Caregiver?

No. Section 2(2) of HB 1284 defines the term “Primary Caregiver” as “a natural person, other than the patient or the patient’s physician […].” “Medical Marijuana Center” is the name given to a person or business licensed under the terms of HB 1284, which is entirely separate from the “Primary Caregiver” authorized by Amendment 20. The definition of “Medical Marijuana Center” in HB 1284 specifically includes the phrase “but is not a Primary Caregiver."

Are there limits on the number of patients a MMJ Center can serve?

No. Early drafts of HB 1284 included various limits on patients a MMJ Center can serve but those limits were removed. A MMJ Center can serve as many patients as possible, and may grow whatever number of plants are authorized by the patients naming the MMJ Center as their “primary” MMJ center.

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Does HB 1284 allow for “warrantless searches” of the MMJ Center by any local law enforcement official?

No. HB 1284 grants the Department of Revenue the right to audit the books and records kept by the business during normal business hours. HB 1284 also states, “nothing in this article shall be construed to limit a law enforcement agency’s ability to investigate unlawful activity in relation to a medical marijuana center, optional premises cultivation operation, or medical marijuanaÔÇÉinfused products manufacturer.” This section doesn’t say, “law enforcement gets to shred all existing laws on warrants, searches or seizures.” It specifically says “unlawful activity”, which would not include medical marijuana provider activities allowed by Amendment 20 and HB 1284.

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