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Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division rules for moving MMJ extreme, says Wanda James

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Wanda James.
It's a crazy time for Wanda James, co-owner of Simply Pure Products, a medicated edibles company. Not only is she in the midst of introducing a bold new initiative -- Simply Home Cooking, for people who want to make their own edibles -- but she's readying for tomorrow, when Colorado's medical marijuana regulations officially go into effect. And she admits that many of them strike her as extreme.

James stresses that Simply Pure "has passed all the rules. All our products are compliant -- they're sold in opaque, childproof packaging -- and we've already gone through our final interview with MMED" -- the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, which is charged with making sure the regs are followed. "But getting there was extremely difficult. And then there's everything with the manifests..."

The manifests? "Every time you're moving marijuana, whether it's from a grow facility to a dispensary or our kitchen, or we're moving any of our infused products to a dispensary that's going to sell our products, there has to be what MMED is calling a manifest," she explains. "We have to e-mail MMED 24 hours in advance and let them know what the person's name is who'll be moving it and where they're going with x-amount of product. Everything has to be labeled and accounted for."

That may not seem onerous on the surface, but consider the complications. Simply Pure products are currently sold at 278 dispensaries in Colorado, and the firm typically employs between five and seven sales reps, each of whom is likely to make multiple deliveries per day. At this point, James thinks one e-mail will have to be sent for each rep, rather than for each of the rep's stops; if MMED insists on the later, it could bring the number of manifests from Simply Pure alone to thirty or more every day.

And even if the total winds up closer to five, James remains uncertain "that MMED is going to be able to handle the onslaught of paperwork on a daily basis," especially in light of the difficulties inherent in the ongoing employee licensing process. MMED had to push back its July 1 deadline for workers in Denver a month, and those elsewhere in Colorado even longer, because staffers were overwhelmed by applications, resulting in long lines and some people who'd driven for hours being turned away.

That's not all. What if dispensaries run out of a certain item and want more? Are they forced to wait a minimum of 24 hours for a manifest to be sent to MMED, even if it hurts business? James doesn't know. And there are also questions about reps taking samples they can use to promote Simply Pure products at dispensaries that aren't currently carrying them. "Can the rep go in with a box and show them what they've got and move the product there and then? MMED hasn't given us an answer on how they want us to handle that," she says. "So we've added another line on the manifest saying, 'Rep A has x-amount of extra edibles they may be using throughout the day.' And we hope they're going to be okay with that.

"In our conversations with Dan Hartman," the head of MMED, "we're doing our best to show good faith in how we're attempting to do this," she continues. "But there's got to be some give in these rules, because the cost they're putting on individual businesses is somewhat extreme. They have to purchase cameras, POS systems, the type of computer system that can download into the MMED system -- but they're not allowing outside investment, and we can't go to a bank. So that puts on a lot of pressure to hit the goals MMED needs us to hit and still be a successful business."

Not that James is planning to dial back the ambition. Look no further than Simply Home Cooking, a new line of sauces, spreads and oils. "First, we're releasing the marinara sauce, the green-chile sauce and the mango salsa," she says. "Our spreads are peanut butter, apple butter and strawberry jam. And coconut oil and olive oil will come out later in the month, along with a cookbook showing people how to infuse almost anything they want and do their own dosing at home."

Couldn't this potentially cut into Simply Pure's sales of pre-made edibles? James doesn't look at it that way. "What's important to us is for people to be able to cook at home," she says. "We want to make sure patients are always taken care of. We started working with a hospice program and people with young families, including one of the forty kids on the registry under the age of eighteen. His family said, 'We'd like to have the opportunity to have dinner together,' and this will let them do it."

On top of that, they'll be able to make sure the doses are consistent, just as Simply Pure does with its own edibles. Right now, Simply Pure is producing videos -- they should be available soon -- to show people how to do it.

At this point, James would love to focus entirely on such projects rather than worrying about the vagaries of the new regulations. But she understands why that's not possible quite yet.

"I think what a lot of the activists in the industry don't realize is that we've got years to go before all the rules will even be close to set," she maintains. "If they legalized marijuana next month, it would take years for the business world to totally adjust -- and the laws will keep changing. So we need to be responsible, be professional and be able to show people that we know we're asking to sell a Schedule I drug -- and we're going to do everything we can to show the patients and the people who live in Denver and surrounding cities that this is a safe business, a good business, a viable business that's bringing a good product to market."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana costs, fees, competition means few are getting rich, MMC staffer says."


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53 comments
Stacy
Stacy

Bravo Ms. James!  Well said, especially at the endabout legalization and the laws that keep changing, being responsible andprofessional, and safe.  These laws have done plenty of good.  It'stoo bad there are so many nay-sayers out there that just want to bitch abouteverything.  Westword seems to attract many of them for somereasons.  Maybe it's this anonymous forum.

I understand the importance of activists, but I also understand how damagingmisguided and ego-centric activists can be.  For example, I was at theLegalize 2012 event last week that was, frankly embarrassing.  It wasnothing more than a bunch of burnouts yelling "LEGALIZE, LEGALIZE,LEGALIZE!"  The hippie lady Laura from the Cannabis Therapy Institutewas a complete joke.  She said she doesn't care if its 2012, 2014, 2016 or20 years from now, that this regulation isn't working, shouldn't be tolerated(like she has a choice), and that she'll fight for full legalization until it'slegal.

You're selfish and ignorant Laura!  And while you're willing to throw mygrandfather, brother, and me (and all MMJ patients under the bus) for yourself-serving mission of full legalization which will NEVER happen in the firstplace, maybe you should start by explaining to my grandfather why he should gowithout legal access to his medicine which he desperately needs.  Andwhile you're at it, tell my brother, a veteran with PTSD why he should gowithout it legally as well.

My suggestion to CTI and the rest who will only settle for full legalization isto start with Alcohol, Tobacco or whatever.  When you get that legalized,then come back to marijuana and you'll have some momentum behind you becauseright now, you're distracting from the greater good and the REAL movement.

Regulation exists in every industry in any civilized country to help preventthe nutjobs from hurting everyone else.  I'm fine with it.  I realizeit's overly excessive for MMJ right now, but ya gotta work with it for me andmy family's sake.  I appreciate Simply Pure leading the way in Colorado.

Thanks,

Stacy Love

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

This is the Government of Colorado trying to put you out of business and take your property, the Whisky Rebellion happened for the same reasons.

"I think what a lot of the activists in the industry don't realize is that we've got years to go before all the rules will even be close to set,"

There are no activists in the industry. The "industry" was created by violating the people of Colorado's constitutional rights.  If you are in the "industry" that is violating the Coloradans Constitutional rights then you are an enemy to the people and for what a few dollars.  It's never a good idea to violate peoples constitutional rights and it's an even worse reason to sell these rights out for a couple bucks.  I even think there is a word for selling yourself and patients out for a few bucks but that word escapes me right now.  

Guest
Guest

Too bad no one has made Open Records request to see what is going on at the MMED.  Why hasn't the Westword made an open records request? Rather then print speculations about what's going on from someone who helped make the rules?  I think the word I am hoping the Westword would aspire to is investigative rather then tabloid journalism.

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time for some new activists. the old ones have failed. 

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

I find this funny actually.  Not about the rules, but the fact that it was Wanda James and CMMR(aka MMIG now) that hired the lobbyists that helped to start this whole mess.  They made their bed, and now they have to lie in it.  

I feel bad for the others who are getting screwed as a result.  What MMIG and other lobbyists have done have really hurt us patients as a whole.  Look at the caregivers now; you would be crazy to submit to the regulatory scheme as one.  Ask the MMCs how they like it or just read above.  

Patient access will decrease as more and more go back into the underground to stay away from the cameras, tracking, and police databases.  What a mess. 

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Good Luck to All and happy trails. Cheers to you regulation lover, we all get our fix somehow.

Good Luck to ALL
Good Luck to ALL

As a patient and previous employee in the industry, I applaud any and all MMC's and MIP's that are able to deal with the excessive regulation until it is adjusted.  I know this may not seem like progress, but it is.  And as a patient who doesn't want, nor trusts the underground illegal operations like High Country Caregiver is suggesting he'll be doing, I appreciate the laws that protect me from molds and chemicals on my bud or in my edibles.

Best of luck to you all - God Bless!

LarryQ5
LarryQ5

Big Brother is now considering a manifest from sale to s**t house....

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

You regulation lovers have a great July 1 while the rest of us ignore Dan Hartman and all his crap and just do it OG and have a great time!

DMG
DMG

Simply Pure edibles are yummy...and POTENT

Legalize
Legalize

Support REAL Legalization in 2012 and beyond -- don't let the nay-sayers tell you it can't be done. They are the enemy -- trying to get you to give up before the fight has even started. Register and get ready:http://www.Legalize2012.com

sojournerC
sojournerC

Your reasoning is quite flawed Corey as it too often is.

MMJ Centers provide patient access, they do not take it away.

You are the worst thing to have happened to the marijuana debate in Colorado.

You of all people will harm the movement most. I wish you would see reason.

2012 legalization is possible if the community can unify, but if you are persistent in pointing fingers and making outrageous claims, you will undermine everbody's effort whether that is your intention or not.  

David
David

Yeah - CMMR and the MMJ "royalty" really fucked things up.If they had been more concerned about the BIG PICTURE and PATIENTS instead of $$ and feathering their own nests we wouldn't have the problems and limits on access that we have now.David

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indeed.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

"I appreciate the laws that protect me from molds and chemicals on my bud or in my edibles." 

Which laws are those?  I don't know of any laws in Colorado that will protect you from molds and chemicals on your bud or edibles.  Is that just a well-kept secret?

Mark P.
Mark P.

Wanda James was one of the biggest funders behind HB 10-1284 and HB 11-1043, which resulted in these strangling regulations that she was whining about. She is a fake and a fraud.

David
David

BTW - it's the CRIMINAL Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division -And don't you forget it !!!David

Scooby
Scooby

Wanda Thanks for the thought but why on earth would you want to label your products with a label that says there has been no regulations/oversite that the products contained in your packaging may harm the patient no safety put into the making of the product. Before I eat anything I would like the FDA to make sure that it has been inspected for safety and labeled accordingly. The current labeling is telling me that it is risky to eat mmj edibles and I may die from somer unknown substance that has been instilled in your products. I dont know! Scooby

Scooby
Scooby

Sorry to disagree with you sojourneyC. The word that escapes Corey right now is TREASON, I was paying attention and he is correct in his thinking. I have seen what they are slowly doing (system) which is removing my constitutional rights by way of rule making, regs, taxation. If the people choose to allow recreational use of it 2012 they should first work on the feds reclassification so it is completely socially acceptable then you would have something. Until then I will continue to fight my war on rights removal and I appreciate what Corey's mission is also. I get it. Thanks, Scooby 

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

"MMJ Centers provide patient access, they do not take it away."  Maybe you missed the news about Obama's new direction on MMJ (see link below).  At one time, dispensaries (AKA MMCs) were one of three options for patient access.  The other two being grow your own, and have a caregiver grow for you. 

Thanks to the effective lobbying by the MMC "industry" caregivers have been effectively eliminated as a viable option.  So, if a patient can't grow his/her own then they are only left with MMCs and the black market.  Now that Obama has declared open season on the MMJ "industry" patients who can't grow their own may soon be left with the black market as their only option.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...

Scooby
Scooby

Matt how does the Food and Drug Administration protect you from harm. They are the entity that should protect you but are not. MMj clearly a food and a drug. Why or why not? Call and ask them. Support your rights not to be violated. Thanks, ScoobyFDA 1-888-463-6332

Educate Yourself PLEASE
Educate Yourself PLEASE

Chapter 14.1 - "Product Labeling, Substitution, Sampling and Analysis" of the MMED Rules.  It's not a secret, it's called being educated which many of you all need to do.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

Wanda fought HARD against a zero PPM limit of powdery mildew.

None of this regulation makes patients any safer or product any more pure. All of these regs are meant to track the money, the rest is just window dressing.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

....and Wanda here says that there will be a consistent dose.  What is the point of that, the variance in dose is what gets you high, a consistent dose defeats the purpose.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Yeah, Law Enforcement can end the war on drugs too, if only they could get a list of all known pot smokers it would make law enforcements job extremely easy.  But that won't happen that kind of government monitoring only happen in books like 1984 not in a free American society    

The Spleen
The Spleen

That label is state law, you fucking moron.

Scooby
Scooby

Before MMJ Centers were dispensaries that worked quite well for patient access. You could have a caregiver and have a dispensary relationship also. Now they have limited me to one or the other and created a business called Medical Marijuana Centers which distribute MMj without a license from the state, I am pretty sure it is fed law that says marijuana distribution is unlawful. Now you need to label your edibles to say that there is no oversite of safety and health may be compromised by consuming. To me they will just overtax just like cigarettes, gas, utilities and other necessities for activities of daily living. Please dont tell me the State Health Board is concerned with my safety or well-being at all as they keep approving unsafe methods. If they would only let me testify for 2 minutes or so I would tell them how it hurts. They thought they could hear me out but couldnt stand to hear the truth so had me removed, violating my civil rights. I will fight along side anyone who shares upholding civil and constitutional rights. Thanks, Scooby 

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

There are some GREAT MMCs. BUT, there should also be great caregivers available to patients. 

BTW - I stopped being a caregiver because of the ever changing assault on our privacy. There TRULY ARE (were) caregivers who were non-profit that cared for the indigent and gave meds to those who could not afford it. I never had more than 5 patients, and of my former patients - NONE want to sign up an MMC!? WHY? I haven't been bad mouthing them, but it's about privacy and changing rules with people's personal info. Patients are worried about their jobs and credit and insurance. People don't usually mind a security system at any business, but they do mind the idea of the DOR video feed. 1284 is what is killing your sales - NOT caregivers! 

Believe it or not - this lawsuit may be the best thing ever for your business.

And no, I don't care if I ever sell a single gram of herb. Y'all can have that for your industry. Please just leave us alone to care for our families.

The Spleen
The Spleen

Again, your "activisim" is pointless and uninformed. The FDA cannot change the scheduling of cannabis. They do not make or change the laws. You are calling and harassing people who can do nothing for you.

What is really sad about this is that you obviously have the energy and determination to work for legalization -- may I suggest joining the current CO Legalize initiative and using all that energy in a way that may actually create real change? Just please, leave the bullhorn at home. It doesn't help.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

Is this the language you are talking about? "The Director of the MMED may contract with a laboratory to conduct independent testing of medical marijuana products. Testing may be conducted for determining if samples of medical marijuana contain molds, pesticides or other substances that may be present. To ensure integrity such testing shall be conducted by a laboratory that does not process samples for any licensee."

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!  Out of a 72 page document, with 10 pages defining regulations for surveillance, there is ONE PARAGRAPH that says the MMED MAY test for mold, etc. 

I appreciate the "education" you provided but still stand by my original statement.  THERE ARE NO LAWS to protect patients from molds and chemicals on their buds/edibles.  Anybody who thinks the Medical Marijuana (Criminal) Enforcement Department has any interest in protecting patients from contaminants on their medicine is too high to read this comment...

Scooby
Scooby

I testified at that hearing and was shut down after 20 seconds of my testimony and removed. taking away my 1st am rights, Oh well

David
David

I go to some of the hearings.  I was at the Dept of Health hearing on June 15.  They NEVER talk about health.  I took my 3 minutes and asked why they don't talk about health and patients.  Why don't they show more concern about quality and safety instead of this constant focus on limiting access.  I told them that I am a patient and my HEALTH is important to me.  Colorado should be more concerned about helping patients get safe meds instead of conjuring up problems that don't exist.David

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

The safest, most convenient and affordable way for patients to access cannabis is to grow their own. Every patient who is capable and has the space to do it should be growing their own cannabis. No unknown contaminants, or sketchy people to deal with. No traveling to distant locales to access meds. No taxes (except for sales tax on your equip. and supplies) or excessive costs to pay for MMC licensing fees. And, most importantly, your medical records remain private.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

I've considered taking extra and donating it to homeless folks down town, but yea how to pull that off?

right now I compost more than I ever smoke. I smoke only the very top flowers, make bubble and edibles out of the rest of the top 1/3 (if I need bubble or butter at the time), and toss the rest. These's no sense in processing it or even dealing with it properly for consumption. It gets put in a bin, covered with a handfull of dirt, and when I'm done for that round, it goes outside, gets hit with water, and gets poked down to a corner for the hungry red wrigglers to have-at. While I DO feel good about dealing with unwanted weight/vegetable matter in this way, it would be really nice if I could spend some extra time and bother trimming A- and B+ buds or making bubble that I was sure would end up in the hands of an end of life cancer patient or help the  pains of a US Vet.I would REALLY LOVE to hear how I can become involved with an org that grows for or organizes excess for patients in need, that can't afford $20/gram to treat an ounce a week condition.I know it's hard to believe... but I don't sell cannabis at all. I love the plant and its potential, and I am disgusted by the games cannabis people are playing with each other and the MAN. We've created legislation which make compassionate, free care, illegal in order to protect enterprise. Our legislators have some REAL cleaning up of this legislation to do. The part where they recognize who is most important - the patients.  Right now, as far as the DOR is concerned, its ALL about the cash. Otherwise ALL of their efforts so far would be centered around health and safety and not product out the door, video, counts, and revenue. They should be helping these businesses do what they do better - not chasing every seed  that might slip though,  

Guest
Guest

I also wish I could donate medicine to those in need...but it is against the law. As it is now any excess medicine from my personal grow goes into the compost....yep, you read that correctly. Wish I could donate it to hospice or the cdphe so it could be redistributed to someone that needs it....for free.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

that's very sad. I hope you find a good, affordable supplier. I can't for the life of me figure out how those on the edge can afford medicine when they cannot supply your own. It's a shame they regulated it so much. I wish I could donate extras to those in need, but from what I can figure out, that's not legal. let me know if I'm wrong.

ReallyHurtin'Patient
ReallyHurtin'Patient

Do you realize that many of us are barely hanging on and there's no way of growing our own, especially when we live in state or federal housing, where we cannot grow our own without risking eviction or a raid?

Everything was working out pretty well, until the greedy paid off the greedy and sacked our Constitution and put patients in increased legal risk, under the guise of protecting patients.

We'll have to figure some way of connecting patients with their medicine, without having to be treated like we are getting arrested.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

every patient in Colorado needs to grow their own. The MOST legal grows in Colorado are patient grows! Ask the FEDs! 

If you grow your six plants you will have enough MJ to make all the edibles and smoke you will ever need. You'll never need to buy again! 

Patient growers are 100% protected by the Colorado Constitution - and you will have COMPLETE control over what you put in your body!

and THAT, Wanda, is all I care about. That CO people have access to cannabis. I could care less about the trouble you are having with the regs you BEGGED for!

To You Complainers
To You Complainers

HCC and BMC, honestly dudes, you're both idiots.  You remind me of those burnout hippies that pull random crap out of their arse to try to impress people.  LOL 

If you can't take the heat, take a hike.  Enjoy your underground illegal operation, and while you try to take a "dump on other people's parades" just know they are always the types that could really give a flying duck what you lowlifes think or complain about.  They're usually too busy being successful.

It's obviously the only thing you're both good at..... bitching and complaining.  Keep it up.  See where it got ya so far.  Pathetic.  I'll enjoy reading your reply when I have time for such weak entertainment - then again, I probably won't find the time. 

Have fun complaining on internet forums!!

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

I agree not full blown PM, and there should be no visible sign of PM, but there will me above zero ppm on most samples tested because it's natural and on everything in tiny amounts.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

you are correct, we are talking edibles. 

When we are talking plants though - there is PM and then there is PM. When a plant has full blown PM, white powder and obvious airborne particles, don't tell me that you would give that to a bro with HIV or cancer. to eat or smoke!

Really to be honest, I just think Wanda is so full of shit I'd love to take a dump on her parade any day. Remember her crusade against Butane extracted hash? She'll try to work the regs to take out competition any day she can get away with it. 

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Powdery mildew is not mold, and I thought we were talking about edibles.

Marijuana is not medicine, just an herb.  Since it is grown naturally, naturally it will have powdery mildew.  We've all been smoking it for years, and no one is getting hurt.

Show me one piece of evidence, post a link if you would that powdery mildew hurts humans in any form.

It's a farce, it's going to put all of the dispensaries out of business cause every bud you buy has pm on it.  No buds have zero ppm for Powder Mildew, that's impossible, especially if grown indoors.  You're smoking it whether you think you are or not, but don't worry it won't harm you. As your caregiver, I say no worries, keep smoking!

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

we don't inhale berries. PM = mildew = mold. 

what other medicine has acceptable levels of wild mold?

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Powdery Mildew is on everything, how do you get it off the weed?  It's in every pack of blueberries and strawberries everytime, and the USDA says it poses no significant threat to humans.  WTF?  on PM is in order here.  It's harmless.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Allow me to digress...

Many drugs, like Cocaine and Meth cause the user to build a tolerance, so more of the drug is needed.

With marijuana, the plant itself controls the levels of THC.  Here in the Westword comments for example it's been pointed out that testing of marijuana gives results all over the board.  Say you are harvesting a variety of Skunk, buds on top of the plant might have 21% THC, and buds on the bottom 11% THC.  Then you go an make edibles, and say it's a consistent dose, but the starting products are not consistent dosage.  How does it add up?

The point is, follow the plant and watch it.  Cannabis was brought here for man, possibly by aliens and it is a mystery plant.  I've been blazing tough for 20 years, some days I can eat an edible to feel groovy, other days I have to take 10 bong hits.  Why?  The plant controls the dose, not the baker the breeder or the lollipop maker.  Know the plant and know the use of her.  She has been here for eon and helped millions, by adapting and varying her dose.  No consistency in law, dosage, testing, or blog posts will ever contain the plant.  Cannabis will always win and keep you high and crazy.  Jah Bless the High Country!

The Spleen
The Spleen

"A consistent dose defeats the purpose" of medicated edibles?? Really? I must have fucking missed that one, genius. I pity any patients you may serve.

You clowns will do or say anything to smear those you resent. It's pathetic.

The Spleen
The Spleen

Please attempt coherence and intelligence in posting: it makes communication easier. I am glad you were not allowed to testify to the CDPHE for long. You do not seem to understand the law and regulations at all, either on the state or federal level.

Wanda did not choose the label and that label certainly has NOT ruined Simply Pure's sales by any means. The FDA cannot inspect kitchens or edibles because MMJ is still illegal on a federal level. That label is CORRECT and probably a very good thing, by the way, because there really is no official oversight of ingredients or process in the industry (and I don't just mean the infused aspect either, NO aspect of production is really monitored for safety) and consumers deserve to know that.

Do YOU really think consumers do not have the right to know their edible products were manufactured without oversight or protection? That there is no regulation of ingredients and dosage?

For you to say "Wanda [sic] Thanks for the thought but why on earth would you want to label your products with a label that says there has been no regulations/oversite that the products contained in your packaging may harm the patient no safety put into the making of the product..." only proves you have no clue what you are talking about: Wanda did not choose or select that label, it is the law.

Scooby
Scooby

Ruined her business by virtue of state labeling that lies about the products. Get your ass out of your Spleen.

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