Will Your Local Medical Dispensary Survive Colorado’s New Laws?
As the state of Colorado continues its crusade to “fix” and “legitimize” the medical marijuana industry, many dispensaries are scrambling to ensure compliance with the recently-passed laws. It’s currently estimated that about half of the 1,100 medical dispensaries currently operating in Colorado will be forced out of business because of the new legislation. Will your local medical dispensary survive?
The new laws lay out uniform guidelines for medical dispensaries and marijuana growers. Those who are unable to stay compliant will have to close their doors. The measure is designed to force out unscrupulous dispensaries who make it easy for unqualified patrons to receive medical marijuana, but many wonder if the new regulations go a bit too far.
A Checklist for Your Medical Dispensary
Here is a basic overview of the guidelines
governing medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado:
- Medical dispensary must be licensed at both the state and local level
- Your local government can decide to ban dispensaries in their communities
- You cannot operate a marijuana dispensary if you’ve been convicted of a recent felony or ever of a drug-related felony
- If you’ve lived in Colorado for less than two full years, you cannot operate a marijuana dispensary
- Your Colorado dispensary must grow at least 70% of the marijuana you sell—you can’t buy more than 30% of your marijuana from wholesale growers anymore
- Medical dispensary must have security cameras, good lighting, alarm, and safe
- On-site marijuana consumption is not allowed
- Dispensaries may not pay doctors that give out marijuana cards for writing recommendations
Cutting off Patient Access
The biggest concern about the new legislation is that it could cut off patient access to medicinal marijuana treatment due to so many dispensaries potentially shutting down. Remember, medical marijuana treatment is something that qualifying patients are legally entitled to. By making it more difficult for patients to get the care they need, there are questions about this law’s merit.
Additionally, the harder it is for patients to acquire medical marijuana, the higher the prices could go. It’s a simple issue of supply and demand. So, not only will it be more difficult for patients to find a medical dispensary, but when they do, they’ll likely have to spend more money to get their medicine.
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