2014 Colorado Cannabis Legislative Update

The 2014 legislative session is almost at an end and we’re still standing. Here’s a little update on where we are, in no particular order, moving into these final days.

Rx MaryJane at the Wizzinator booth at the 2014 BIG Industry Show befoe the High Times Cannabis Cup.

Rx MaryJane at the Wizzinator booth at the 2014 BIG Industry Show before the High Times Cannabis Cup.

  • HB1122, a clean-up bill, defines “locked and enclosed” among other things. Passed and already signed by the Governor.
  • The Whizzinator Bill (HB-1040) was killed in committee. Essentially it came down to ridiculousness. It started out as a felony, then got dropped to a misdemeanor, then a civil fine. We killed it before the debtors prison bill (HB1061) passed, so the ridiculous argument went like this:

If this bill passes…
You get fired for faking a drug test (assuming you get caught).
You can’t get unemployment.
You can’t get a job.
You can’t pay your civil fine.
You go to jail. What was civil is now criminal.

  • The bill that would have given money to law enforcement in surrounding states (HB1209) was killed by the House Appropriations Committee.
  • How could I forget SB037, which sought to solve the non-existent problem of people using their welfare benefits debit cards to purchase marijuana at dispensaries (when most dispensaries can’t even get a checking account, much less process credit/debit cards). It didn’t get far. Killed in the first committee.
  • After much consternation, I’m happy to announce that the Drug-Endangered Child bills are DEAD for another year! It was an intense battle, down to the very end. Three brave Democratic Senators put their votes on the line and sided with the Republicans on these two (SB177 & SB178).
  • The bill to add PTSD was killed in House Appropriations this week. (HB1364)
  • The marijuana records sealing bill was killed in Senate Appropriations Thursday. (SB218)
  • The medical marijuana research bill (SB155) has passed the Senate. It passed the House committee Thursday without amendments, so should see a clear path to the Governor’s desk. Although Resolutions don’t really do much more than make a statement, the General Assembly has taken it upon itself to ask the federal government to allow medical marijuana research through SJM006.
  • The Concentrates Bill (HB1361) passed the Senate committee today, as did the Edibles Bill (HB1366), with amendments.
  • The Local Impacts Task Force bill (HB1196) died, likely because there isn’t money for it this year. The DUI Task Force bill (HB1321) is still alive.
  • The so-called “Caregiver Bill” was never introduced. Instead, HB1396, a bill that allows contractors to access the registry and defines the doctor-patient relationship, is moving forward. The CDPHE had implemented a “no expanded plant counts will be recorded” policy internally.
  • The Hemp Oversight bill (SB184) is moving forward, although we did have a funding issue we had to resolve. The hemp program was trying to use money from the medical marijuana patient fund for hemp research. Anyway, it got fixed, and that money is now coming from the retail marijuana tax money.
  • HB1323 gives patients a little more privacy. I haven’t said anything about it because I don’t know where it came from. It seems to be moving along, and I’m quite happy about that.
  • The DUI Felony bill (HB1036) was stalled but has been revived in the last few days of the session. It will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday afternoon.
  • A late bill dealing with banking, HB1398, the Cannabis Credit Co-ops bill, was just introduced Thursday and was quickly amended into yet another study, while public safety remains at risk for another year.

It’s been a very bumpy ride. Thank you to everyone who helped with any and all of these efforts. There will be more work to do next year when we confront the sunset of the medical marijuana code. I’m counting on your continued support!

Please DONATE to the cause so we can continue doing this work on behalf of patients!

Categories: Advocacy, Alcohol, Business & Industry, Children, Teens & Youth, Colorado, Driving, Family & Relationships, Law Enforcement, Mental Health, Patients, Policy & Politics, Research

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