Although many caregivers were operating lawful retail outlets, Amendment 20 did not expressly authorize or regulate the commercial distribution of medical marijuana. In June of 2010, the Colorado Legislature enacted the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code – the most comprehensive system of medical marijuana distribution and regulation in the world – through the passage of SB 10-109 and HB 10-1284. Without weighing in on the merits or the constitutionality of these bills, it is important to note that these bills not only license commercial businesses for the distribution and production of medical marijuana, but impose new restrictions on patients, caregivers, and doctors.
Senate Bill 109 regulates doctors who certify medical marijuana for their patients. House Bill 10- 1284 regulates and licenses: (1) Medical Marijuana Centers (Dispensaries); (2) Medical Marijuana Optional Premise Cultivation Facilities; and (3) Infused Products Manufactures (e.g. edibles, tinctures, lotions, oils). Pursuant to HB 10-1284, counties and cities may adopt their own rules and licensing procedures for medical marijuana centers or ban these businesses all together. Given this new statutory option for local bans, access to Medical Marijuana Centers will depend, in large part, on local politics and grassroots organizing. Regardless of a local ban on a Medical Marijuana Center, no local government has the authority to ban caregivers or patients.
SB 10-109 and HB 10-1284 require the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Department of Revenue (DOR,) respectively, to promulgate implementing regulations. These regulations can be found HERE and HERE. Below is a summary the new restrictions imposed on patients, caregivers, and doctors by the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code.