CannaBiz: DOR releases MMJ rules 

Required reading

Last week, the Colorado Department of Revenue (colorado.gov/revenue/medicalmarijuana) released 77 pages — pared down from 99 — of mostly finalized rules for the state's medical marijuana industry.

"One thing to note, the DOR got rid of the 12-by-12 surveillance area at the point of sale requirement," writes local attorney Charles Houghton in an e-mail blast. Previously, the DOR had planned to record patients' IDs on camera.

Among other changes, the advocacy group Cannabis Therapy Institute lauded the DOR for an increased focus on patient privacy, but still cited concerns over the definition of the wording in one passage, which mentions a "legitimate" inquiry. The rule reads, "Surveillance recordings and clear still photos must be made available to the MMED [Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division] and law enforcement upon an administrative or law enforcement request demonstrating that the information sought is relevant and material to a legitimate regulatory or law enforcement inquiry."

The rules have been sent to the attorney general's office for legality review, where they may still be changed.

Vying for votes

"I told [my daughter] if there were any baked goods around, not to touch it."

On that light note, Colorado Springs City Council candidate Lisa Czelatdko kicked off a Monday night political forum at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery, hosted by the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council. Mayoral candidates including Tom Gallagher and Richard Skorman courted voters through supportive statements. City Council candidates including Bill Murray, Dawn Lloyd (an MMJ patient herself), Tony Exum, Sean Paige and, surprisingly, Douglas Bruce spoke in support of MMJ as well.

Bruce drew perhaps the most vocal reaction when he laid out the position of his five-candidate coalition.

"The position of the Reform Team is very simple: Our view is there is no role for the city government in regulating medical marijuana, period," he said to loud applause.

No (still) means no

A recently publicized memo from the United States Department of Justice clarifies its position that MMJ is as illegal as ever.

"Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)," wrote U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in a February response to a clarification request from the Oakland, Calif., city attorney. "And, as such, growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws permitting such activities."

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