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Colo. Lawmakers Look to Rein In Medical Marijuana

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Legislators in Colorado are proposing a wide range of regulations to control medical-marijuana dispensaries, the Denver Post reported Nov. 8.

Bills under consideration include measures that would limit the number of patients a provider could service, require medical-marijuana clinics to provide other health services, prevent dispensaries from operating in certain areas, or even put the state in charge of distributing the drug to medical users.

Colorado now has more than 11,000 medical-marijuana users and more than 100 dispensaries, but regulation is seen as lax.

“To the law-enforcement people who want to put a cap [on the number of dispensaries], they really have to show me how that business model would work,” said state Sen. Chris Romer, sponsor of the bill that requires additional health services at dispensaries. “I'm focusing more on a robust and strict definition of 'caregiver.'”

A bill from state Sen. Al White would put the state in charge of marijuana distribution, with the drug grown by university researchers and sold through pharmacies. “We're taking the spot of unsavory underground drug culture,” he said. “We can ensure reasonable and reliable potencies.”

“We need to come up with a regulatory structure that isn't an invitation to lie and cheat and use the guise of a medical-marijuana patient,” said state Attorney General John Suthers.

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