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Colo. Governor Signs Bills to Control Medical Marijuana

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A pair of bills intended to more closely regulate medical marijuana in Colorado has has been signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter, the Associated Press reported June 7.

Under the new law, physicians in good standing can recommend medical marijuana to patients, and marijuana dispensaries and manufacturers will now be subject to a new set of rules.

The new law also will allow local communities to ban dispensaries, require dispensary owners to undergo criminal background checks, and mandate that dispensaries grow 70 percent of their own marijuana. New fees also will be imposed to pay for the regulatory system.

Ritter said the bills “strike a delicate balance between protecting public safety and respecting the will of the voters,” but some medical-marijuana advocates said the new law is too restrictive. “On the one hand, we are pleased it legitimizes this health care industry; however, we are concerned it may be overly strict and could cut off patient access to medication as a result of the dwindling number of dispensaries,” said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado.

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