Marijuana rules changing in Colo.

DENVER — Colorado has nation’s most detailed pot law, but state lawmakers are cracking open last year’s sweeping medical marijuana rules to make some changes.

Marijuana patients are already complaining. They say lawmakers aren’t considering changing some rules most hated by the industry — including increased surveillance of pot shops and a requirement that dispensaries grow 70 percent of the weed they sell.

The bill that went before the House Judiciary Committee today tweaks Colorado marijuana law after complaints from the industry, from doctors and from law enforcement. Among the changes, the bill:

— Extends a moratorium on new state licenses to sell medical pot by a year, from this summer to mid-2012;

— Relaxes the requirement that people working in pot shops must have lived in Colorado two years, requiring only the owners to meet residency requirements;

— Requires pot shops to behave more like medical clinics with patient privacy, to make sure patient records don’t end up in public trash cans;

— Clarifies that doctors with restricted licenses may recommend marijuana as long as the Colorado Medical Board clears them to do so;

— Sets a 500-plant limit for makers of products infused with cannabis, such as marijuana brownies.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Tom Massey, said that this year’s medical marijuana bill isn’t nearly as sweeping as last year’s. Many of those rules haven’t take effect yet, pending final rule-making by state agencies.

“What we are doing this year . is really more of a cleanup” of last year’s law, Massey said, indicating the changes were minor.


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