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Medical marijuana registry drops by 26,000 patients in 3 months, says health department

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New data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that as of September 30, there were 102,592 patients active in the medical marijuana registry.

That's 26,000 fewer patients than the registry's peak enrollment of 128,698 back in June -- a decline of more than 20 percent.

The registry doesn't make note of renewals, though it does say that a total of 157,392 new patient applications have been received since June 2001.

Critics of the system have been predicting a mass exodus from the state registry system for some time, noting what they see as overbearing regulations that invade patient privacy, like allowing law enforcement easier access to the patient database, as well as state-mandated video surveillance in the shops. Others have cited the wide availability of cheap ganja through other less legal sources as a reason to avoid paying for a doctor's visit and $90 (for now) to get a card from the state.

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But could the dip in patients also be due to a delay in getting cards processed and putting people back in the system? As I mentioned last week, it was about a year ago when the Great Patient Rush of 2010 (as I will now call it) created an applicant bubble that backed up the registry for months. Department spokesman Mark Salley couldn't be reached today due to the Veterans Day holiday, but he assured us earlier this week that bubble I speak of posed no problems and renewal wait times are still under 35 days.

But here at Mile Highs and Lows, we've heard directly from people in our comments section who have already seen two-month wait times for their renewals. And we've heard rumors from other sources that the registry is backing up to as long as four months now -- claims Salley describes as unfounded.

I've been waiting about three weeks now, myself.

Whatever the cause for the numbers drop, I'm sure our ever-vigilant commenters will hash it out in the forum below before we can get some more official word.


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64 comments
Guest
Guest

Is being legal the only reason anyone gets their red card? I got mine so I could go into a store and get medicine that specifically addresses my pain and spasms. To have options. I don't know many dealers, so for many years I have just received whatever buds were for sale at the moment. Usually great smoke, but not always what my body needed. Now I can walk into a place, get really good advice on different strains by other patients who have tried it, and buy what I need. I'll pay the fees. It's well worth it to me.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

26,000 x $90 = $2,340,000 LESS revenue for the unnecessary, superfluous blood-sucking parasites at CO Dept. of Health.

Mission Accomplished !

Stay the Course !!

Jim G.
Jim G.

MM is beginning replaced with simple marijuana, public opinion and public finanes both demanding change.

LEVI
LEVI

i would renew BUT I'M FUCKING BROKE!!! hopefully MDARX can help me out with that one of these days.

krazy katy
krazy katy

As a patient who let her card expire, I thought the card would provide me with a level of protection. That did not happen. I'd rather be under the radar. Plus, who can afford to drop that kind of money with no promise of real protection? Not I.

DenverLiberal
DenverLiberal

Wait times are increasing, despite what the CDPHE is claiming.  We have many patients who have delayed renewing for financial reasons as well.  Many patients and caregivers have recently harvested and the Cali crop is flooding the black market. 

Most of the patients who object to the cameras and other regulations around MMCs probably stopped actively shopping at them months ago.  Why wait to exercise your freedom to choose until the day an unnecessary piece of paper expires? 

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

Well, this will be one measure of what's going on.

My renewal app was signed for on Aug 12th; I haven't received a thing from the Registry since. I called today, at 11:40, to inquire. I'm waiting for a call back, will update as I get info

Despite the typical bureaucratic phone tree I was able to get my query into the system very quickly. There's a weird moment when the MMR line switches you to a generic Dept of Health info line that makes it sound as if your're going to have to listen to a long-winded spiel about Listeria or West Nile, but when I punched the MMJ button I quickly started talking with a rep.

NOTE: Not a rep of the Registry, I don't think, just a general-purpose phone entry person (?Charmaine? - sorry I didn't find out) I think, from her comment that she'd entered the info and sent it to the Registry and they would call me.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

The overbearing, overpriced and privacy invading regulations governing Retail Dispensaries have driven 1000s of patients back to the original Patient-Private Caregiver model that functioned just fine from 2000 - 2008.

Belltravels
Belltravels

The way I see it is that it costs $90 for the card + $75 for the doc visit = $165/365days = $0.45/day for the piece of mind that you can legally grow, possess, shop at a dispensary and use medical marijuana.  Not sure about the rest of you but $0.45 is a pretty good price for that and something I can easily make room for in my limited budget.

anonymouse
anonymouse

With an adult lifetime prevalence of getting busted for marijuana, all things considered, at around 5%, perhaps mmj patients are just engaging in a little simple economic common sense.  A $100 ticket once in 20 lifetimes vs. a $300 ordeal, 100% of the time, to get your card, for a year?  Especially with weed being so plentiful in areas that banned their only regulated outlets.

Most people who enjoy MJ never get busted.  If there aren't any convenient shops around and you aren't growing your own, why bother.

Scott Greene
Scott Greene

Good its none of their damn business why i smoke cannabis! And if the state didnt steal the money more of us would give it im sure

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

 what course, your course....money in your pockets, right? i guess we can label you as a superfluous blood sucking parasite as well.

do you grow and give meds away free? then why bash the dispensaries and the state? their merely doing what you are trying to do make a buck, your own words.

must be that mountain air messing with your hat holder.donkey, how appropriate of a name.

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

that kind of money? cheaper than paying fines and going to jail. elaborate on how it didn't provide protection if you would.

more propaganda for the quasi caregivers.......as an outsider to the state i would never get medicine w/o the dispensaries because i have seen first hand how the natives here do not want outsiders coming into "their" state..lol!

i fought for this country and i will live anywhere i damn please...got a problem with it, take care of it! may the dispensaries last, and the thugs who want them banned be thrown overboard with the trash!

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

They make it impossible for most people to find their way through their phone system.  Not only are we paying taxes for that consumer abuse, it's way beyond wrong.

How to bitch at a LIVE person at CDPHE:

DIAL 1-303-692-2184

PRESS 9

PRESS 1 for English

ENTER zip code when asked

LISTEN.. then when you are offered options #3 is Medical Marijuana ...a real live person will answer the phone.

Dudesgirls80
Dudesgirls80

These young kids are so gullable,"I want a red card,I want a red card,me me.I want a security blanket! in the long run you will wish you never got one like a bad tattoo sure you thought it was a good idea at 20 but when your 30 your like why did I ever get this! Cannabis was here thousands of years ago way before a red card! Young people now a days so ready to sign up for anything! No more privacy with a red card since they sent them away to every agency in the book! They will control all redcard holders like puppets! Me me me me

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

The Registration Card is NOT required to be covered by the protections of Amendment 20.

Registration is entirely optional.

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

Possession is a petty offense.  If you are only possessing that makes sense.  Growing is a whole different game.  Not a petty offense by any means.

Dave
Dave

Most people who drive cars do not wreck them. But the smart ones get INSURANCE

spl1
spl1

Red cards do not protect you from the feds ever! 1 plant growing in the feds eyes if they really wanted to hose you is the same as 100 plants in the feds time line. 

Red card is a false peace of mine for people to say they are protected. Only Dispensary like the whole MMJ thing and they lobbed to get 1284 and limit care givers passed to boost their bottom line. To bad all the dispensary are them selves in a  price war and are screwing there market up. Most of the dispensaries I have been in (over 100 this year building grow rooms) most ask the same thing over and over how fast after harvest can I sell this. I now see the marketing of fresh semi wet bud as the new improved way to say I am cutting corners and selling a semi wet inferior prodcut to my customers. I have also seen product sprayed with smokable incense that increases the heart rate and give the person stronger head high.

Since a few counties have posted grow sites for resisted care givers on the internet for the public to see, I would never put my self or my family in that lime light.   

Bottom line the feds are the ones that will and do control the market in the end no matter what card you hold or what money you spent to get that card.

Just a thought.

Dudedsgirls80
Dudedsgirls80

Ha ha..I worked for warehouses you know what they do..spray pesticides all over your mmj. Um feel them up with *phosphoload*chemicals causing cancer like gravity,bushmaster,bud blood google it!!the warehouses use all this junk and sell it to you!!ha ha have fun!!

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

 redundancy...not very smart! getting your red card, priceless!

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

This is exactly what I did - but the person I talked to could only enter info in a contact database, not access the MMR and see where my app is.

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

1205 Mon, no reply from MMR. Guess that counts as one day in governmental accounting, even tho the Registry is open on weekends I think.

Didn't really expect a reply yet - not much gets done on a Friday afternoon/Monday morning in a bureaucracy, is my experience.

I'll wait until Wednesday afternoon to call again.

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

 i guess you prove old people can be gullible as well. you throw out comments, with no substance to back it up. what agency did they send them to? luv the quote...."cannabis was here thousands of years ago way before a red card"!

your honor that is my defense! well thousands of years ago we didn't have mandated red cards, now we do. would you like to rethink your defense..... non- red cardholder?

the younger kids just seem a little more savvy in the field of protecting themselves than the older supposedly wiser crowd;)))))

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

Funny how growers loved the system when they had the ability to sell "overage" to dispensaries.  Once that practice was banned, suddenly dispensaries are all evil and the system is violating everybody's rights at every turn.

Your remarks regarding privacy are a lie.  Nobody is releasing data from the Registry.  Please cite one instance where this has happened if you can.

Belltravels
Belltravels

"Sent them away to every agency in the book"  where are you getting that from? Why would they do that when it would be in direct violation of HIPPA rules? 

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

 it is not required to have a water insurance on a house built on floodplain, but common sense tells you it would be smart too get insurance.

and w/o the red card you don't get into dispensaries. that is what you want though...right drugstore cowboy?

Belltravels
Belltravels

I am not going to get into a legal debate with a cop over what is and what is not covered by Amendment 20.  I am going to sit in my house with my redcard and medicate knowing that I am not going to get my balls busted for it.  Money well spent

Dave
Dave

Yes, that's all I see it as. Get it for the exact same reason I get Car insurance, health insurance, and homeowner insurance. I don't want to be caught with my pants down if shit ever hits the fan.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

How many would get insurance if it were not mandatory by law ?

Dudesgirls80
Dudesgirls80

Ha ha..I worked for warehouses you know what they do..spray pesticides all over your mmj when in bud!! Fill the plants with*phosphoload* chemicals that are giving people cancer-bushmaster,gravity,bud blood, all outlawed years ago but since returned under different names,lots of articles out about this junk google it..your dispensary mmj is trash all synthetic flavors of salt and wet powdery mildew.I know a lot of mmc owners and warehouse owners they don't care about patients behind the scenes they laughing at you "patients"...have fun with that!!!!!

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

D'ohhh,  never mind. Delay due to expired ID on my part, comedy of errors trying to return paperwork. I was treated well - beyond what you would expect - by Registry employees, and I appreciate it.

I'll be taking my red face to the DMV posthaste.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

English isn't your primary language, is it Chief?

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

because your growing more than required more than likely. dodging taxes....what an american!

Belltravels
Belltravels

I am my own caregiver, use a great dispensary b/t harvests for meds or when I feel the need to change things up.  I am very happy to have my redcard if it ever comes to the point where I might need it is all I am trying to say.  Enjoy your weekend and hug a Vet

Pete
Pete

As a caregiver I'm not about to give information to the Department of Revenue regarding where my grow site is.  Money well saved.  

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

It's now 2 ounces, decriminalized possession, per recent Statute change.

No MMJ excuse needed, any adult possession.

Monkey
Monkey

update yourself.

Dave
Dave

Have fun with your court date.

Some of us have more important things to do with our time

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Possession of 2 oz or less of marijuana is not a crime in Colorado -- even without a MMJ card, even for recreational use.

Boycott the State's $$ Grab !!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Or a poor white trailer-trash driving under a suspended license for DUI

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