Medical marijuana employees share tales of waiting (and waiting!) for MMED licensing

Categories: Marijuana

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As Michael Roberts reported earlier today, the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division announced it would be extending employee licensing deadlines because the office was being overwhelmed with applications.

We've also been hearing from the applicants themselves about the overwhelming waits and hundreds who've been turned away before the doors technically even opened.

Scott Reach, grower with Southwest Alternative Care in Denver, said he was twentieth in line this morning when the doors opened after arriving at the MMED office at 5:45 a.m. The first people in line showed up at 3:15 a.m. As of 12:30, Reach said he was still waiting for his background check to finish, so he could have his photo taken and walk out with his badge.

Liz Mellam, an employee at Kind Love in Glendale, said she spent five hours last Friday at the MMED getting badges. She outlined the process, noting the longest wait was for the IRS background check to come through. She said the majority of applicants were "dudes", and while everyone is annoyed at spending their day in line, people were generally in good moods.

The MMED has also announced that satellite offices in Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Fruita will be opening soon, so employees at dispensaries outside the metro area don't have to drive to Denver and possibly be turned away. That news came a little late for Buena Vista dispensary owner Clarice Hamme, who closed up Natural Mystic Wellness on Monday to make the trek with her co-owner husband and master grower. "If we could have [driven to Fruita instead of Denver], we would have," she said. "It's a pain to make you go all the way down to Denver. But, the bottom line is that you are going to do what you need to do to be compliant."

Southwest Alternative Care owner Truman Bradley said that despite the amount of work it's taken to meet state requirements, he feels "cautiously optimistic" that the regulations will have a positive impact on the industry. He also noted that it's nice to see the MMED facing pressure just like the dispensaries have. "It's a big task, and they are doing a good job," he said -- but "it's nice for them to feel how massive this has been for us, because it's been hard."

Not everyone shared such a positive take on the situation, though.

"It just feels like another way for the state to make it as hard as possible to run a [medical marijuana] business," an anonymous reader wrote to us this morning. "A lot of people in line work 10-14 hour days and have to stand in line for hours to only possibly get their badges. Also, lines of people standing outside at the dog race tracks is not nearly as fun as one might think. We are patient people but we also are humans and business people and would like to have at least one process where we aren't treated like lepers."

Been waiting in line at the MMED all day? We'd love to hear your story in the comments below.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division top cop Marco Vasquez once in narcotics bureau."

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9 comments
Natures Spirit
Natures Spirit

My employee and I faced the same situation when arriving at the dog tracks.  People standing in line were very patient and in relatively positive moods.  We decided not to stay as the person who was checking people in said we would have to come back anyways due to the fact that people were not able to finish in one day.  We had traveled two hours from the mountains to basically be turned away.  Still in a good mood I understood.  What did finally bother me was a remark the lady said when checking us in.  She commented very rudely that we all waited till the last minute to come down here and do all this and that is why it was such a disastrous situation.  Like we are obviously such slackers being in this type of business!!! I was shocked and so annoyed that she had the gall to make such a remark.  I kindly responded to her reminding her that they just posted these applications 2 weeks ago.  It takes time to not only get them to all your employees but for them to fill it out and also come up with the fees to apply which range from $75 to $250.  Anyone in any business would have a couple day lapse in such a process before having all your ducks in a row and to be able to arrange for time off as well as planning to travel such distances requiring everyone to apply in person.  I pray that one day if we all keep our chins up, and our heads held high we will be given the respect as any other business owner would.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Great post, Natures Spirit -- one we're going to make a Comment of the Day. Congrats, and thanks for sharing your experiences.

George Carl
George Carl

Any employee who applies to work at an MMC is a fool (sorry) because none of the MMCs has a LICENSE FROM THE STATE, so you all are potentially working for a CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE. And when the MMED comes to bust your unlicensed MMC, they will have your photo and fingerprints, allowing you to bypass the booking phase and GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL.

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

The DOR is so retarded in their process that they could qualify as state employees.  Oh wait....

All they would have to do is allow workers to mail their apps in as originally stated on the applications.  Once background cleared and IRS approvals were done, then they could call or mail you to come for prints and get your badge.

Millions of dollars shipped to them, and they don't have a single donk on staff smart enough to figure that out.

Arrived at 11:30 on Wednesday after driving 2 hours and was sent home.  Their stated hours were from 9 to 2. Talked to others from even further that were turned away.

Arrived at 7:15 on Thursday and at 4:00 left with 2 badges.

Arrived at 6:45am on Friday to get the last 2 girls badges and was sent home again.Glad our center spent 10k funding these rejects from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Seriously, I expected more.

Bedtender
Bedtender

We drove for two hours to get to the MMED over a week ago, and we sat for almost 8 hours and weren't even half-way through with the process before they sent us home. Now we still have to drive back to the MMED to finish! The state should have had their ducks in a row (and more pleasant employees) before proposing deadlines for Licensing.

guest
guest

I was there from 6:15am to after 5pm...i will give credit where its due. The employees that I encountered were great! They understood our frustrations amd did the best they could under the circumstances. It was much appreciated by all around. Its the process thats the problem. It takes up to 4 hours just to process the IRS background check, let alone making sure all of your packet (which was only provided recently) is comolete, to fingerprinting and badge making(they had four computers to create badges but of course only one worked and it barely did). They tried to make to process as painless as possible.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

The MMED is a failure so far.  Hopefully people are not arrested due to their negligence in processing this stuff.

Guest
Guest

And what will all of this accomplish?  The state has created this ridiculous circle jerk all around one of the safest substances known.  Really.  Humans are the stupidest creatures on the planet, and politicians and bureaucrats are in a special class of their own -- the stupidest of the stupidest.

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

They should at least serve coffee and doobies while in line.....

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