Waiting to inhale
When the Department of Revenue released a clarification statement saying it expected new patients to wait 35 days from the mailed application date before purchasing medication, it struck a nerve with patient advocates.
"This rule effectively denies patients' access to medicine," Denver attorney Lauren Davis said in a news release.
For background: Patients' applications are subject to a 35-day review period from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. If the patient's not contacted, the application is considered approved. What's not been clear, until now, is what patients should do in the meantime.
Interestingly, director of enforcement Matt Cook says the request for clarification actually came from within the industry.
"So that's what my position is," Cook says in a phone conversation. "If you do [sell to a patient within those 35 days], you're on your own, if there's a violation."
Political causes often create unique partnerships, and opposition to a potential MMJ center ban is no different.
"If you look around this room, you're gonna see some people that you've probably never seen in the same room, uh ... treating each other well before," said campaign manager Mike Elliott to a packed Penrose Library room last week. The event was held to kick off the Citizens for Safer Communities campaign.
For instance, within the group of growers, patients, politicians, lawyers and more was Woodland Park doctor William Schroeder.
"I am a highly trained scientist. I am a highly trained physician. I am a conservative Republican, and a Christian," he said. "I am here as a citizen and a healer, to protect the sick from the foolish."
In paperwork dated Oct. 3, a group of attorneys filed suit against the El Paso Board of County Commissioners on behalf of several businesses, including Hammers Construction and Hatch Wellness Center.
The suit alleges that "the Defendant simply cannot establish a regulatory scheme and then allow a ban of the very businesses it allowed to exist through regulation," referring to the Board's ban decision just months after creating zoning regulations.
In response, county spokesman Dave Rose has one message: "We expect to prevail."
"To the extent that they are challenging either the ability or the appropriateness of the actions of the Board of County Commissioners in placing this question on the ballot, we simply disagree," Rose said in a Tuesday phone conversation.
The county is still reviewing the suit; a court date has not been scheduled.
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