Proposal Would Bail Out State’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division

DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a plan to rescue the state’s new Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division. The funding has dried up and nearly half the staff had to be transferred.

4 On Your Side Investigator Rick Sallinger learned of the proposal to bail out the enforcement division.

There are some 90,000 people who have medical marijuana registry cards. They currently cost $35 apiece. But that goes to the state health department. The plan is to use that money for the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Their job is to enforce the state’s medical marijuana regulations. But after the lack of money a task force of state officials, legislators, enforcement agencies and industry representatives gathered to draft a bill to solve the problem.

“What the draft currently does is take $5 million from the medical marijuana cash fund in the Department of Public Health and move it to the Department of Revenue for medical marijuana enforcement,” said Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver.

There is concern by legislators that the division cutbacks make it unable to properly do its job policing medical marijuana centers.

“We’re hearing anecdotally that a number of centers are basically selling out the back door with no price controls, no quality controls and selling to people who don’t actually have medical marijuana registers,” said Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs.

The enforcement division gets its fees when it issues licenses to marijuana centers but it can’t issue the licenses until local authorities issue theirs. Therefore the money is not coming in.

Despite their money problems the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division is expected to hold onto its offices in an upscale office building. Their landlord is a law firm which does a small percentage of its business with the division. But it and the state see no conflict since an independent company chose the space.

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