A Right To Do Business in Medical Marijuana

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  A Right To Do Business in Medical Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on January 17, 2010 at 05:53:12 PT
By Brian Vicente 
Source: Denver Post 

Colorado -- 1. Is the current medical marijuana model working? This past year, Colorado has witnessed intense media coverage of the medical marijuana issue, with much of it focusing on the so-called "chaos" that has stemmed from the emergence of medical marijuana wellness centers or "dispensaries." 
Yet what is so chaotic about licensed, tax-paying businesses providing this medicine to qualified individuals in accordance with the law adopted by voters? Just what is so scary about a cancer or AIDS patient having access to medical marijuana at a safe, community-based location? For that matter, what is so scary about someone simply suffering from debilitating back pain having such safe access, as well?It falls within the scope of the law, their physician recommended it, and it is far safer and potentially more effective than using highly addictive and potentially deadly prescription pain-killers.Dispensaries have emerged as a compassionate, community-based solution to fulfill the growing demand for medical marijuana. They serve as a centralized location which provides safe and legal access to this doctor-recommended medicine and function as a positive alternative to the illicit drug market. These facilities provide consistent access to quality medication from state-licensed caregivers who possess a keen understanding of marijuana's medical properties, dosage, and usage. Patients from across the state rely on these facilities due to the fact that medical-grade marijuana can often be difficult — if not impossible — for patients to obtain.Real "chaos" would be achieved by shutting down these facilities and sending patients with debilitating illnesses back to parking lots and alleys to access their doctor-recommended, constitutionally protected medicine.2. How should the medical marijuana industry be regulated?Any new business that employs thousands of Coloradans is met with calls for regulation, and Colorado's medical marijuana industry needs sensible regulations to further control and professionalize this growing health care field. At the core of this discussion should be the needs of medical marijuana patients, who number in the tens of thousands now and are expected to surpass 100,000 in the next two years.Last month, leaders in this field — including several hundred patients, medical professionals, caregivers, and elected officials — gathered at a public stakeholders meeting at the University of Denver Law School to discuss impending state-level regulations. After hours of discussion and debate, several points of consensus emerged as necessary to ensure safe, reliable access to medical marijuana.In particular, statewide legislation in 2010 should include the following provisions:• Establish a uniform, statewide application for licensing dispensaries and growers.• Establish a Board within the Department of Regulatory Affairs to serve as the licensing authority for dispensaries and growers. The Board should be comprised of experts from the medical marijuana field including patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and law enforcement.• Establish a uniform, statewide sales tax and a regular retail sales tax at the city and county level.• Allow cities to regulate zoning issues, but not ban dispensaries.• Utilize existing health and safety enforcement, food quality, and labeling requirements for medical marijuana edibles and other preparations.Other states, including New Mexico, Maine, and Rhode Island, have established similar common-sense dispensary regulations, which have secured safe patient access while gaining substantial new tax revenue for cash-strapped state and local governments. Eliminating dispensaries would send this market back underground and destroy what Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown refers to as the "fastest growing industry in Denver." Doing so makes neither fiscal nor moral sense. Snipped   URL: Denver Post (CO)Author: Brian VicentePublished: January 17, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Denver Post CorpWebsite: openforum denverpost.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #1 posted by MattBrown on January 20, 2010 at 08:21:55 PT:

Responsible Medical Marijuana Regulation Coalition
In reference to medical marijuana regulation, a new coalition—the Sensible Patient and Provider Coalition (SPPC)—has formed to lead the fight for responsible regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries, growers and caregivers. Coalition members include:•	Sensible Colorado,, a group of Colorado professionals and parents formed to research, educate, and advocate for effective drug policy. •	Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation,, a coalition of medical marijuana patients and providers formed to establish criteria for the regulation of medical marijuana in order to make a positive difference in people’s lives.•	Colorado Patients and Providers Coalition (CPPC),, a homegrown Colorado organization acting for the betterment of our local community and to aid in creation of legislation affecting fair regulation and to keep local business Colorado Owned & Grown (COG).•	Dispensary Owner’s Coalition,, a group of Denver-area medical marijuana dispensary owners and caregivers providing services to patients throughout the region. To read more about SPPC visit Matt Brown (CMMR) 
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