Medical marijuana: 9 license rejections, 50 fines, says enforcement division's Dan Hartman

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Dan Hartman.
The medical marijuana licensing process has been underway for just shy of two weeks, and according to Dan Hartman, head of the state's Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (MMED), things have been running smoothly for most owners and staffers. Which isn't to say every business has sailed through. Thus far, nine applications have been denied, with another fifty outfits receiving fines of up to $5,000.

The names of fine targets can't be released at this point, because the licensing process is not yet complete. However, Hartman says, "the fines range between $1,000 and $5,000 depending on where they were in their 9-1 certification" -- a reference to a September 1, 2010 filing deadline for dispensaries and the like. "Some didn't complete the form, some were late and some didn't file at all. But we went out with an investigator and did an inspection of all the ones we had, to see if they were able to verify that they were meeting the 70 percent rule," which calls for centers to grow at least 70 percent of their own product; they can purchase up to 30 percent from other sources. "Then, to move them forward administratively in the licensing process, we came to a stipulated agreement based on where they were in the process."

And those that didn't pass muster? Here's the latest list:

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Click to enlarge.
July 1 marks the date for official implementation of HB 1284, the state's main MMJ regulatory measure. But that doesn't mean MMED is on the cusp of completing its checks for all 700-plus dispensaries statewide that are still in the pipeline.

"Right now, we're going through backgrounds," Hartman notes, "and once those are substantially done, we'll go back to the local authority they're in and ask them for their approval, to make sure they've met all the local standards. Then it's sent back approved or denied -- and if it's approved, we send out an investigator to do a substantial-compliance inspection prior to giving them a license. And if all those tests are met, we'll send them a letter saying they've reaching the point where we're now requesting their license fee for next year."

The number of dispensaries that have come up short thus far doesn't seem excessive to Hartman in comparison with operations in different industries.

"In any business, when you talk about startups and how many actually make it and how many fail the first year, I don't know that we'll see a high rate of failure" for medical marijuana establishments, he says. "But folks who are under-capitalized or in a bad location -- I would expect to see some of them fail, just as you'd expect to see in any other business.

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"The regulatory piece may be causing some people to rethink what they're doing," he concedes, "but I really think success is more about location, capitalization and being able to have all the pieces in the business you need. Because it's vertically integrated, you need to be a good grower, a good business person, and have some caregiver skills that may set you apart from other businesses. And the better businesses are going to be able to push forward -- and the business people who maybe rushed into it, thinking they could just make money without having to do all the things every business has to do, they may find it a harder."

Meanwhile, HB 1043, the latest piece of MMJ legislation, extends a moratorium on new centers until 2012 -- one reason attorney Rob Corry thinks Governor John Hickenlooper shouldn't sign the bill. But Hartman sees positives in the delay.

"We're okay with the moratorium," he acknowledges. "It helps us make sure that we do everything we need to do. We understand that the business of dispensaries and all the other stuff had quite a head start on state regulation, and this gives us a little bit of room to make sure all of our systems and people are up to speed."

As of now, MMED has 24 permanent employees and sixteen part-timers dealing with background checks and so on. Down the line, Hartman expects more of the former and fewer of the latter, with a focus on field investigators who'll be staffing four offices statewide -- the Denver headquarters, plus not-yet-opened branches in Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Fruita, on the Western Slope. From there, these staffers will keep close tabs on Colorado's unprecedented medical marijuana experiment.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana attorney Lauren Davis tells why lawyer group hasn't sued to stop HB 1284."

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Tired of being LIED to
Tired of being LIED to

Prohibition doesn't work....neither does lying to intelligent people........sad when it's more profitable to do what hurts us and our planet. STOP ignoring OBVIOUS medical benefits....Harry Jacob Anslinger lied to America for 32 yrs! Sad our government really doesn't care about our well being........REALITY CHECK!

Robert
Robert

Dan thinks "success is more about location, capitalization and being able to have all the pieces in the business you need"; I think it depends on whether the General Assembly was correct in legislating on the basis of the fantasy that the USDOI did not plan to enforce the Controlled Substances Act in Colorado.

Robert
Robert

Review and Comment hearing on Mason & Brian's Initiatives 29-36 tomorrow, 1:30-3pm in HCR0109 in the basement of the Capitol -- see you there.

Guest
Guest

"And if all those tests are met, we'll send them a letter saying they've reaching the point where we're now requesting their license fee for next year."

Yeee ha!!!---more money for the dor and mmed criminal enforcement. 

patients beware....if a center becomes licensed, you give up your constitutional rights to privacy when you walk through the doors and your affirmative defense... 

guest
guest

while you ask all these "what other industry" questions you might want ask yourself what other industry operates in direct violation of federal law?.

F
F

um easy one guest. the con gress and the presidency. all of them guilty of gross violations of human rights, not to mention the gutting of the constitution. need more to convince you? how about the illegal invasion of iraq, afghanistan, libya, yemen..etc....how about the so call "patriot" act. what a damn disgrace...aint a damn thing patriotic about it. how about violation of the commerce act? forcing people to buy insurance. oh man i could go on all day........crimes too numerous to list..how about illegal targeting and assasination of americans? without trial? im on a roll....

Guest
Guest

all mmj in every state.  your point?

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

"and the business people who maybe rushed into it, thinking they could just make money

without having to do all the things every business has to do,..."

What other business applicant in the COUNTRY is required to sign their power of attorney over to the state tax man?

What other business applicant in the COUNTRY has to 'give up' their constitutional rights? 

What other business in the COUNTRY has to video record it's customers (sick people) who are breaking federal law and send it directly to law enforcement, including the DEA at request, not court order? 

What other business in the COUNTRY is required to break federal law by state statute?

What other business in the COUNTRY is held responsible to manufacture and produce 70% of anything they sell? 

What other INDUSTRY in the COUNTRY doesn't fight for their right to exist in the free markets of the USA?? 

What other INDUSTRY celebrates the passage of a bill whose authors promised would close

The Tattered Cover Book Store WON the right to deny law enforcement access to their customers special order books.  The plutonium at Rocky Flats wasn't tracked as closely as the the state is hoping the safest therapeutic substance known to man will. 

"seed to sale to jail....." 

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

All that and more to come over a lousy weed, a God given herb found in the tombs of Pharohs. Try it, you'll like it.....

Guest
Guest

What other business is selling a Schedule 1 Illegal Drug, LEGALLY?  There is a process, Laura.  Sorry, you cannot understand that.  Moreover, if you want to be able to sell an illegal drug legally you are going to have to give up some rights.  If you do not want to give up those rights, you do not have to, but you cannot sell the drug.  Owning an MMJ business is not a right, it is a privilege.  Corey, maybe your online law class can explain that to you.  Kind of like driving, you give up some of your rights to hold a driver’s license.  It is a privilege not a right to be able to drive. The silliness from all of you CTIers is laughable: - CTI running around trying to raise $30,000 on blog for a lawsuit (how did that work out for you Laura?) - Corey threatening Dan Hartman at Cannabis Cup with a bull horn - Robert pontificating on anything and everything. Robert, you sound like Jim Carrey on a Saturday Night Live skit, the one about the stupid guy that uses big words in the wrong context.  You guys are just really the silly people in the industry and the newspapers quote you to sell papers.  You are the silly, uniformed people that the press likes to quote and use pictures of because it makes people laugh.  Kind of like the loud minority person dressed like a pimp. Raising money on a blog for your lawsuit and we are supposed to take you seriously?  The blog is your financial rolodex?  Then you jump all over the lawyer that dropped you as a client?  I think most lawyers would drop you if their only hope for payment were money raised on a blog.  Do you see how silly you sound? Obviously, CTI has no idea how to get anything done and they think their realm of 100 or 1000 is going to change things, well it is not. Especially if you are raising money for your lawsuit on a blog. What lawyer would take that job on?  Not a lawyer that commands any respect, kind of like CTI.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Guest you never give up your constitutional rights, ever that's why they are constitutional rights, even when your get a drivers license, you only give up your rights if you are a moron.

No bullhorn at the Cannabis Cup, the bullhorn is Roberts gig, and all I did to Dan Hartman was read the constitution, his rules and the supreme court decisions that make the "Medical Marijuana Codes" illegal.  So if standing up for my constitutional rights is a threat to you or Dan Hartman, you now know what it must of felt like to be Benedict Arnold because we are far beyond selling some Schedule 1 drug we are fighting for the constitution and we won't stop no matter what you the naysayers say. 

If we are uninformed, please explain how municipalities can ban a constitutional right?  Where in Colorado can municipalities ban gun shops, a women right to vote or to re-segregate schools?  If I am so uninformed please explain how a government body in violation of Amendment 20 of the Colorado constitution and Amendment 14 of the US constitution?

Please answer that question as you, guest, must know so much.

And It was cute how you, guest, came to the rescue of Dan Hartman at the Cannabis Cup hopefully he was gentle and considerate in his payment for you valor in protecting him from facing his violations of our constitutional rights.

And please answer my question where in Colorado can municipalities ban a constitutionally protected right?

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

And please answer my question where in Colorado can municipalities ban a constitutionally protected right? 

Robert
Robert

Ever and always you troll for the dumbest and least informed, because they're the only ones who could possibly buy what you're selling.

The situation is this:  dispensaries have been violating the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 since their inception.  Under our constitutional model, the People sanctioned caregivers providing cannabis to their patients as medicine.  The General Assembly's attempt to license dispensaries' commission of federal felonies constitutes a direct challenge to the federal government which is likely to result in federal action against dispensaries.  The State has put every person involved in medical cannabis other than seriously ill patients at much greater risk by its actions.  Under HB10-1284 and HB11-1043, every OPC operation and every caregiver is required to disclose where they grow cannabis and the DOR is empowered to provide this information to law enforcement officers upon request; the MMED has already granted at least one such request.  The General Assembly's extraconstitutional system for marijuana distribution was a terrible mistake for everyone involved.

Because of the reversal in federal policy towards medical cannabis, honest people who own dispensaries and who care about patients face a difficult choice -- the federal government is not interested in any pretences to or trappings of legitimacy; they are going to enforce the CSA.  Owners can still satisfy the State while supporting a return to the safer constitutional model of caregiving by helping the Patients and Caregivers' Rights Litigation Project, grassroots activism, and patient-education.  It is all our interests to defeat the unconstitutional laws before they precipitate federal action against you.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

First--why respond to me and then address Laura?  Second--Corey has no classes of any kind.Third--CTI is not the group trying to raise money for the lawsuit.  It's the PCRLP there is a website, not a blog.  PCRLP wouldn't accept any of Josh Stanley's 'black bags of cash from the mafia'...and you think your in command?  Forth--Corey never had a bullhorn and there is video from National Geo and others that proves that.

No one is interested in your attempts to fight with activists or groups because people can clearly see who the assholes are.

Lets talk about the FACTS as you seem to not comprehend them:

"Owning an MMJ business is not a right, it is a privilege."

Owning an MMC is a privilege.

It's a right for caregivers and Attorney General John Suthers stated in Nov 2009--if you want to sell mmj, get a retail sales tax license and pay the retail sales tax--just like ANY other business in Colorado.  The ONLY people legal to sell mmj in 2009 were caregivers and patients--1284 passed 6 months later...so Suthers acknowledges sales by caregivers and patients as legal under the constitution.  If hb1284 didn't affect the constitution (as it can't legally) ....caregivers and patients can still sell with a retail sales tax license. 

"Moreover, if you want to be able to sell an illegal drug legally you are going to have to give up some rights." 

Says who?  Did the voters decide that?  No the general assembly, fueled by industry and lobbyists.  Sorry but the people of Colorado will speak for themselves.  No MMC applicanthas the right to give up patients rights on their behalf.  Ask your patients if that cuts it? 

Silly applicant, don't you get it----NONE of you have CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION or a state issued license, today or since last year....please stop taking your frustrations out on your patients constitutional rights.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong post, Kathleen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

anonymouse
anonymouse

Yo Corey pick up a 6-pack on your way home and Robert you left the lid up on the shitter again jeez man get with it!

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

It called a news cycle and the internet alerts it's actually all pretty easy to set up.  So, inquire no further.  Mystery solved, you may now rest easy, I hope I have righted all that is wright in your world. As to wondering why people who are activists for a particular issue keep as up to date as possible on what the issues important to them I don't really know to tell you the truth I guess I should base my activism on the though that what is going on with our government on this issue is helping.  Or I could be as active as possible and actually do something, even if it's as insignificant as posting a comment when an article that interests me which may generate a debate about the specifics of an issue. 

Inquiring  Mind
Inquiring Mind

Am I the only one wondering if Corey, Robert and Co Patient all live in some basement, together? Why are they always the first to post on these stories?

Guest
Guest

EXACTLY! No one over there has a job and this is what they do all day.  No one takes any of them seriously.  They are the running joke of the MMJ business.  CTI and Kriho have never won a legislative battle, every elected official thinks they are joke and have asked the lawyers to keep CTI away from them.  Everyone at the Capitol has a "stupid story" to tell about them. 

They run around yelling about the sky falling and the MMJ industry moves ahead without them.

Westword, would you kindly stop giving them any quotes.  They are a joke.

Robert
Robert

More ignorant, BS disinformation!  If we are the joke, then why are you afraid to attach your name to this smeer campaign?  CTI and I have taken the side of patients and caregivers, and the State continues to violate their constitutional rights by passing unconstitutional laws, but you insinuate that Laura is somehow to blame for the depredations of those fascists in the General Assembly -- it's clear at least that you do not support patients or their caregivers (or the Colorado Constitution).

We argued against the irrational 5ng THC/ml of blood per se standard of intoxication while driving -- it was defeated.  Many of our arguments and the facts we have adduced in support of them have found sympathetic ears, even in the temple of depravity known as the Capitol, but before other bodies like the Board of Health as well.

Suppose for the sake of argument that we are right that Federal raids in Colorado are imminent -- what will you do when they occur (assuming that you yourself are not indicted or your property seized)?  Will you then admit that you were wrong, continue to provide medicine to patients, and start to support legal and political opposition to the counterrevolution against MMJ, or will you just liquidate your assets and skulk off?

inquring minds
inquring minds

@f633997ad9d5c38d0a9c4a5931b6c9fa:disqus Do you live off social security? Have you been diagnosed with a sociopathic, or psychopathic disease?

Be honest, or leave.

Robert
Robert

Yes.  We follow the issue more closely than the greedheads do.

Guest
Guest

poor attempt at 'linking people'.  why were you one of the first to post?  how much have you smoked?  do you suffer from delusional thoughts or paranoia?  what exact point are you trying to make? 

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Men with guns will now come and force their regulations on you, in violation of your rights, and all for the legitimization of an industry that is going to get shut down by the same men with guns enforcing the code this is something we can all be proud we did nothing about.  Still no licenses only fines.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

So it has been almost a YEAR and you are now getting to this?  What have you been doing this whole time with all those application fees you received LAST YEAR? They are on par with what the Department of Health was doing to patient licenses. 

PS.  Why does the badge still say "criminal" on it?  Are we all still criminals in the your eyes?

Emit Remmus
Emit Remmus

HAHAHA.  You dumb fucks go through all this bullshit and a month before HB-1284 comes in to play MMED has issued no licenses and nine fines.  Yeah this system is really set up to help you, to bad we don't have a constitutional Amendment that protects us.  Well I do, but you MMC's don't.  As I opened harshly let me share some wise words someone, who loved French whores, once said. "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."  That is what you have done and you deserve everything that's coming, enjoy the fines. 

observer
observer

Shut up, you pompus asshole. Did you expect this division to happen overnight, especially when Ritter raided the funds last year.

The mmc system does help many people who would struggle to find meds, otherwise. What are you doing to help sick people, people in pain or dying? Shut the fuck up.

Robert
Robert

You are not an observer, but a partisan for the greedheads or one of the prohibitionist parasite provocateurs.  MMCs that want respect from activists will help us overturn the unconstituional laws which prevent them from being patients' caregivers.

Guest
Guest

Why would Robert or any activist care about the people laughing at activists who are attempting to preserve the constitution and patient and caregiver privacy and rights?

Only 'industry' and sell outs of the constitution and patients are laughing.  Let them.  They are gonna need a good laugh before their good cry.......

Guest
Guest

Robert, NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE ACTIVISTS>  YOU GUYS ARE LAUGHED ABOUT IN EVERY CONVERSATION UNLESS YOU HAPPEN TO BE STANDING THERE.  EVERYONELAUGHS AT YOU!  EVERYONE!

Emit remmus
Emit remmus

Not giving away their constitutional rights!

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Sorry your sick or dying but we can't give you your medicine unless you get your red card and sign up with the department of revenue and get in their database and allow us to video tape your purchases of which the recording will be made available upon request to law enforcement in the MMED and DEA.  So if you get better the MMED and the DEA can make sure that you are in the database of known dopers.

So I will second Emit's post and say all you MMC's that signed over your constitutional rights and the rights of your patients deserve what's happening. Until you start fighting back and quit playing along with the states 3 card Monty they call the Medical Marijuana Code. And unless you gave up your constitutional rights, which you did to become an mmc, you can still help sick and dying people it's just the MMC won't be there under this scam but those of us who rely on the constitution for our protection will be ok and will still help sick and dying people.  Win one for sick and dying people and the constitution.

Robert
Robert

How about those MMC and OPC licenses -- when does the MMED plan to start issuing them?

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