New medical-pot bill to restrict providers
January 11, 2010
The fight to regulate the rapidly growing number of medical-marijuana dispensaries took a drastic swing toward shutting down the hundreds of Colorado storefronts after state Sen. Chris Romer announced Sunday that a pending pot bill would reflect the wishes of law enforcement groups.
The attorney general, sheriff’s organizations and police groups want a five-person limit on the number of patients a pot provider – dubbed a “caregiver” – can serve.
Romer, a Democrat from Denver, said the bill reflecting that cap will likely be introduced once the legislative session starts Wednesday by state Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, who could not be reached for comment.
It’s a stark departure from Romer’s original bill, which would have required dispensaries to provide other health services and to register their products in a database for law enforcement purposes.
Romer, at one point the dispensaries’ most vocal legislative champion, distanced himself from the new bill and said the concession follows a Friday-afternoon meeting with the governor and law enforcement representatives. He also blamed pot advocates for being too resistant to regulation.
“Almost all the cannabis people thought my bill was too restrictive. Maybe they need to wake up,” Romer said. “When the sheriffs roll their bill out, they’ll understand how reasonable my bill really was.”