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Medical Marijuana - The Debate Rages On
An early start to recreational marijuana sales in Nevada cleared the final state hurdle Monday, paving the way for the program to roll out in under two months. The Nevada Tax Commission adopted temporary regulations proposed by the Department of Taxation that will allow the state to issue recreational marijuana licenses by July 1. Most of the regulations were copied from the state’s medical marijuana program. Tax department director Deonne Contine stressed the urgency in getting the regulations adopted so the state can meet Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed budget request, which includes $70 million from recreational marijuana taxes over two years. ADVERTISING “If we don’t adopt the regulations, we will not have a temporary program. If we don’t have a temporary program, we will not have the revenue that’s included in the governor’s budget,” Contine said. For the marijuana industry, Monday’s decision means lifeblood. “Its great for the state. It’s great for the industry. I think its great for everybody,” said Armen Yemenidjian, owner of Essence Cannabis dispensaries. “This is a display in how Nevada gets things done.” The state’s stamp of approval shifts the focus to local governments. Marijuana companies need both a state and local license to operate. Clark County is scheduled to begin licensing by July 1, and officials for the cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas said Monday both municipalities plan to do the same. Henderson could be the outlier, however. The city council implemented a 6-month moratorium on any marijuana licenses in February, meaning recreational sales by the five dispensaries in the city cannot happen until at least August. Potential snag Not everyone was happy with the regulations adopted Monday, and a group that wants exclusive rights on transporting recreational pot from growing facility to retail shops could cause a snag in rolling out the early start. Sam McMullen, representing the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada, said the ballot measure voters approved in November gave currently licensed liquor distributors an 18-month monopoly on marijuana distribution licenses. Contine said “we fundamentally disagree with what Mr. McMullen has said.” The department will accept applications from liquor distributors, medical marijuana companies and medical marijuana distributors. Contine said they decided to open the applications beyond liquor distributors because of the potential conflict with federal licenses. Liquor distributors are licensed federally. And like banks or casinos, choosing to participate in a market that is federally illegal could jeopardize that license, Contine said. McMullen said his clients are aware of the risk, and added that “they’re totally willing to apply.” When the issue first arose in March, McMullen told the tax department his clients were considering taking legal action to protect their exclusivity on the distribution licenses. When reached by phone Monday, McMullen said his clients were considering their options and that he would meet with them within the next day or two. Jamie Munks contributed to this report.
Marijuana, the Myths and Facts
Many people across the Country use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Luckily for those in the state of Colorado they can now legally seek relief without fear of the law. In the November 2000 general election, the people of Colorado voted to legalize the use of medical marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating medical conditions. Amendment 20 allows a patient to have up to 2 ounces of cannabis in their possession and grow up to 6 plants.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you have one of the qualifying medical conditions then just follow this simple guide to legally apply for your medical cannabis card.
First you will need to schedule a medical marijuana evaluation with a state approved doctor. There are many resources for researching and choosing a compassionate doctor across Colorado, so be sure to do the proper research to find a reputable source. It's best to provide this doctor with your medical records if possible. While this makes the process easier for everyone, it's not required at many locations.
Your doctor will need to diagnose you with one of the following conditions to be eligible for the official Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry:
HIV or AIDS or a medical condition or treatment that produces, for this patient, one or more of the following and which, in the physician's professional opinion, may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana.
Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy)
Persistent muscle spasms (including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis)
Once your doctor approves the recommendation, they will need to fill out the Physician Certification form. Only licensed medical doctor's in good standing with the state of Colorado may sign this form. Next is your official Registry Application Form. This needs to be signed, dated and notarized in front of an official state Notary. Then you need to include a photo copy of a valid Colorado ID (driver's license, state ID, etc). Finally, a $90 non-refundable application fee must be paid by an included check or money order payable to CDPHE.
All forms are available for download from the official Colorado Department of Public Health website. Be sure to make photo copies of everything! Then package and mail all the materials to the Registry's Office within 60 days of the doctor's signature:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Medical Marijuana Registry or MMR HSVRD-MMP-A1 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, CO 80246-1530
That's really all there is to it! Next you will have to play the waiting game because the Registry's Office is currently way behind on approving new applicants. Estimated wait times can be up to 6 months from when the Registry Office receives your application. The good news is you can use photo copies of all your documents as your temporary proof of registration until you receive your card in the mail.