Last summer a Superior Court judge decided that a portion of our medical marijuana regulations are unreasonable because our regulations didn’t have a process for dispensary registration certificate holders to renew their dispensary registration certificate if they didn’t earn their approval to operate within 1 year.  

This week we posted new draft rules (and an Online Survey to get public comment) to comply with the Judge’s Order.  We’re also using this opportunity to refine the regulations- basically to close some loopholes we’ve found in physician certifications and delivery by dispensaries among other things.  Here’s a summary of some of the modifications to our current rules that we’re proposing: 

  • Adding a process by which dispensary registration certificate holders, who don’t earn their approval to operate within 1 year due to individual circumstances, may renew their dispensary registration certificate;
  • Removing the prohibition of an individual who was a principal officer or board member of a dispensary that failed to get an approval to operate within 1 year from being a principal officer or board member of a new dispensary;
  • Revising the method of selecting future dispensaries to match the method we used in 2012… removing the allocation on the basis of locations with the highest number of qualifying patient residents;
  • Clarifying what is required of a dispensary to be considered open, operating, and available to dispense;
  • Clarifying the policies and procedures for inventory control and the transportation of marijuana to a dispensary’s cultivation site or to other dispensaries, and delivering to qualifying patients and designated caregivers;
  • Clarifying that a dispensary agent delivering marijuana for a dispensary is required to have a registry identification card issued under the registration certificate;
  • Clarifying where a dispensary may dispense medical marijuana to a qualifying patient or designated caregiver;
  • Clarifying where a dispensary agent may transport medical marijuana, plants, or paraphernalia;
  • Clarifying what a trip plan needs to include;
  • Limiting dispensary donations by patients and caregivers to 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana every 2 weeks;
  • Adding seniors, veterans, and folks that receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to the list of folks that qualify for discounts on patient registration cards; and
  • Amending the meaning of “25 miles” to by road rather than as the crow flies. 

This is “regular” rulemaking, so we’ll be holding oral proceedings during the formal rulemaking period.  We think we’ll be able to work through the process and establish the modified rules by early 2015.