Published: Feb 17, 2015, 5:53 pm By Joey Bunch, The Denver Post It can’t be often that a chamber of commerce calls for more regulations, but that happened Tuesday when the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce threw its weight behind legislation to clamp down on people growing medical marijuana.
Senate Bill 14 — sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, and Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont — would require marijuana caregivers to register and get a license from the state. That would help law enforcement know who is a growing only the amount authorized for the number of patients they have and who’s breaking the law. The bill also would require caregivers to tell their patients of possible contaminants, so the users have informed consent on what they’re using.
“Our caregivers system is being abused across Colorado as a means of avoiding proper licenses or abiding by the same regulations as the rest of the cannabis industry,” Tyler Henson, the president of the chamber, said in a statement.
Editorial: Colorado medical marijuana rules should match recreational
The bill was introduced on the first day of the session, Jan. 7. and it awaits a hearing in the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
The chamber explained that the rationale of the caregivers system is it allows medical marijuana patients who can’t grow their own pot to find a person who can grow it for them. Many caregivers grow for multiple patients at once, which makes it efficient.
But what that has resulted in, the chamber said, is growers yielding hundreds of plants per harvest without the same licensing or oversight as commercial grow operations. As a result, the pot that’s grown for medicine doesn’t have the same safety regulations or industry standards as its recreational counterpart.
The chamber cited the case of an Avondale man who was arrested last week for allegedly growing 600 plants when he had only enough patients to grow 75. He also had about 100 pounds of dried pot, investigators said.
“Unfortunately, when things like this happen, it is the licensed and regulated industry that often takes the blame,” Henson said.
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