New MMJ Patients Hit With Waiting Period

By Greg Campbell, FACE THE STATE

The days of scoring medical marijuana before the ink is dry on the doctor’s recommendation may be over in Colorado. Matt Cook, head of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s new Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, released a memo Monday warning MMJ retailers not to sell pot to anyone whose doctor’s recommendation is less than 35 days old.

That’s the amount of time granted under Amendment 20 for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment to reject or approve a patient’s application. Theoretically, that’s also the amount of time the agency has to issue patient licenses, but as anyone who’s been through the process knows, it can take months for a license to arrive in the mail. In lieu of an official license, the doctor’s recommendation—along with proof that it was submitted to the CDPHE—can be used to legally buy, own and grow medical marijuana.

Before the passage of HB 1284, which imposed a myriad of new regulations on the state’s medical marijuana industry, new patients routinely shopped for pot as soon as the recommendation was signed and the application mailed to the state.

No more. Cook wrote that applicants could still be denied within the 35-day window, exposing any Medical Marijuana Center, or MMC, to criminal sanctions for selling to them.

From the memo:

A patient with application paperwork that is less than thirty-five days old may be denied a card by the CDPHE in the remaining portion of the thirty-five days. Therefore, it is the position of the (Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division) that if a MMC sells medical marijuana to persons having evidence of the proper filing of applications with the Patient Registry which are not dated at least thirty-five days prior to the sale, that MMC is doing so at its peril.

If MMCs sell medical marijuana to patients having evidence of the required applications being filed with the medical marijuana registry, but not dated at least thirty-five days prior to the date of the sale which are later denied by the CDPHE, or the patient has presented fraudulent documents, the MMC may face administrative and criminal sanctions as provided in law.

Read the entire memo here.

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