Today was a busy day at the Capitol for marijuana. The CDPHE and MED gave their respective reports to the House Committee on Health, Insurance and Environment. I love how the CDPHE cherry-picked the worst statements from their report to include in their press release.
Rep. Tate essentially killed his own bill (HB1036) in committee today, but not before we got in some public comment. Beth Gonnaget was awesome, not without offending a couple of committee members, but that’s par for the course. It became very clear that the provision in the bill restricting employees from recommending cannabis to pregnant women was ill conceived. The idea of asking every woman or any woman if she’s pregnant before selling her medical marijuana was clearly offensive. Do we all have to pee on a stick first? Presumably, if he can find a Senate sponsor, Rep. Tate will introduce a better bill addressing the issue. We shall see.
The Medical Marijuana Sunset Review bill was passed out of committee today, but with several amendments. Essentially, the recommendations of the DORA Review were amended back into the bill, with the exception of caregivers and testing. Those issues will both be addressed in separate legislation.
To put things into perspective, I was happy to bring out some real statistics about caregivers from the Caregiver Data Report from the Department of Health. As of July 31, 2014, out of nearly 3000 caregivers only 23 were caring for more than 5 patients while over 75% were caring for a just single patient. I brought these stats out to address testimony from law enforcement about how only 5% of caregivers are registered with the DOR and accusations from the industry that all the diversion is coming from caregivers.
All in all, it was a pretty good day. No major damage done. Other damage averted.