Marijuana: Health department no longer supporting increased plant counts

Categories: Marijuana

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Medical marijuana patients whose physicians have recommended increased plant counts beyond the legally allotted six are on their own in court, since state officials said last week that they will no longer defend the practice.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a notice to physicians and patients alike on April 30 letting them know that the state will no longer be able to officially register increased plant counts. Because there is no scientific data on effective medical marijuana dosing, the notice states, the state can't stand behind doctors who recommend increased plant counts for patients who often use the larger amounts to make concentrates or edibles.

Despite this rule change, the CDPHE is asking patients and doctors who continue using or recommending increased plant counts to submit any information on the efficacy of the treatment to the department for tracking purposes.

"As the department currently has no regulatory framework to assess and verify medical necessity for increased plant/ounce counts, the Registry will not report plant/ounce counts to law enforcement," the notice states. "Patients with plant counts higher than the standard of six plants and two ounces are encouraged to keep a copy of their applications, physician certifications and other documentation submitted to the Registry."

And if you're busted with more than two ounces or six plants? Don't look to the state for help. Fortunately, increased amounts are covered in Amendment 20, which legalized medical cannabis in the state: According to that law, patients with increased counts, as well as their caregivers, "may raise as an affirmative defense to charges of violation of state law that such greater amounts were medically necessary to address the patient's debilitating medical condition."

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Rob Corry as seen at a 2012 rally.
According to marijuana attorney Rob Corry, the health department's policy is not really much of a departure from the previous status quo. If CDPHE staffers were called to testify for a patient or caregiver, he says, they'd merely show which documents they have on file, and the actual defense of the plant count would remain up to the patient and the physician making the recommendation.

While increased plant counts are necessary for some patients, the state auditor's office singled out this policy last year as one that could easily be abused, thereby leaving large amounts of medical marijuana unaccounted for. And so patients and doctors are no longer required to submit increased plant count recommendations -- because the CDPHE won't be approving them. In fact, CDPHE director and chief medical officer Larry Wolk recently told 7News that the number of increased plant counts he sees on the registry are "insulting," and that the doctors writing them could be committing malpractice.

Interestingly, retail marijuana dispensaries relied on the documented increased plant counts from patients to boost the amount of cannabis the shops could grow and sell. The CDPHE says it will still issue such forms to medical marijuana centers, though it is unclear what information they will actually contain.

Read the CDPHE letter below:

Medical Necessity Physician Letter

More from our Marijuana archive: "Colorado Cannabis Summit latest pot confab coming to Denver -- and it won't be the last" and "Costilla County hopes hemp can help improve struggling economy."

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64 comments
myfab9rides
myfab9rides

as screwed up as these law people think, i wouldn't have been surprised if the law makers legalized cocain before marijuana, and claimed it's medicinal properties soley on the numbing effects. and allowed 2 ounces for personal consumption. imagine half the usa on cocain. now there's a way they could get things stirred up...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter


Carpetbagging Pot Clowns now shifting to Stock Fraud



Trading in shares of Denver-based FusionPharm was temporarily suspended on Friday, the fifth pot-related company to have sales of its stock halted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this year.


The SEC also issued an alert warning investors away from investing in marijuana-related microcap and penny stocks because of rising numbers of complaints.


Like three of the other suspended stocks, the SEC is concerned about the accuracy of publicly disseminated information about FusionPharm, including its assets, revenues, business transactions and financial condition.


Shares in the company, which recycles shipping containers into hydroponics greenhouses marketed to cannabis growers in the U.S. and Canada, on the over-the-counter bulletin board. The stop-trade order is set to expire May 30.

On Friday, the company reported a quarterly loss of $47,795 on revenue of $305,000. The company said it has $674,000 on hand to fund ongoing operations and signed contracts for $482,000 related to the construction of 20 PharmPods.


Trading in Colorado Springs-based Advanced Cannabis Solutions Inc. was halted for two weeks earlier this year while the SEC investigated whether shares that were restricted from sale had been traded by company insiders. The stop-trade order was lifted on April 10.


Hours later, trading in GrowLife Inc., a Woodland Hills, Calif. hydroponics company, was halted while the SEC investigated "potentially manipulative transactions" and questions about the accuracy of public information. Trading resumed on April 25.


The SEC issued stop-trade orders for shares of Irvine, Calif.-based CannaBusiness Group earlier this month, and in March, for Petrotech Oil and Gas, a Bedford, Texas, company that created a marijuana grow operation management division, both because of questions about public information.

In its investor alert, the SEC warned that microcap stocks are especially particularly high-risk investments because the companies often are new, have no assets or have untested products that still are in development.


"Fraudsters often exploit the latest innovation, technology, product, or growth industry — in this case, marijuana — to lure investors with the promise of high returns," the SEC wrote.



Jason Breault
Jason Breault

People have short memories big dispensaries trying to take peoples meds so they can profit from your pain seems fair

Joshua Stender
Joshua Stender

Walmart is behing this as well as Monsanto. Just so happens Monsanto is gonna grow a GMO weed in Uraguay now.

Joshua Stender
Joshua Stender

Laws against hash making and all these other regulations about growing at home are to take the power out of our hands and put it right back in theirs.

Joshua Stender
Joshua Stender

"We'll let you medicate, but we really dont want you to grow ur own medicine cause then we dont make any money off it."

Tavis Fong
Tavis Fong

Because they want to synthesize cbd and have it made commercially for pharmaceutical use.

John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin

The biggest trick they pulled is convincing people they ever had the right to tell us what we can or cannot put in our bodies in the first place.

John Anthony Gadd
John Anthony Gadd

part B of ammendment 20 states that if a DOCTOR deems you need to have more, then you are allowed to have it. Well, until now anyway

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

Simple: They don't want to be in conflict with the Amendment 20 that states six plants only.

Mo Colin
Mo Colin

Because they make less money when we can grow our medicine !

Bret Kantola
Bret Kantola

Ignorance is their only excuse. I grow 10 gram plants. Some grow 400 gram plants. Plant count is the dumbest way to "regulate".

Peace Will Win
Peace Will Win

lets drink more beer in colorado and kill people on the roads!

Mark Moss
Mark Moss

More Bureaucratic bullshit ... Thats all this is.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

"Despite this rule change, the CDPHE is asking patients and doctors who continue using or recommending increased plant counts to submit any information on the efficacy of the treatment to the department for tracking purposes" 

So again the CDPHE has made a rule change w/o EVER having a lawfully required rule change hearing or public announcement of one. 


And--the CDPHE has NO authority to act as 'primary care physician' for over 100,000 voluntarily registered patients or even comment on plant counts.  

The CDPHE ONLY has authority to process the optional card--and can ONLY deny a card IF the application is incomplete.  


Dr. Wolk can FUCK HIMSELF with no lubrication.  

Oh his 'work' history is for Correction Health--a company who works for two clients (their website says so) INMATES and the prison industry.  

WillieStortz
WillieStortz topcommenter

Hopefully this will be a blow to the massive black market and the crime it is spread throiugh our state. 


It's time to start reporting the grow operations going on in our neighborhoods. Maybe now the cops will actually do something to put an end to them. 

Chloe' Raine Seligmann
Chloe' Raine Seligmann

yeah where is a source proving what you state? facts over opinions always help. . .

Chad Renick
Chad Renick

Hate to be the grammar freak but...really? "Does the health department's move justified?" Who works in Westword's social media department that lets questions like this become headlines in my Facebook feed?

Richard Scott Taylor
Richard Scott Taylor

I am low income tax exempt patient with a high count. I use my higher count to get access to a monthly stipend for a lower cost. The higher the count, the more meds I am allowed on this program. Denial of higher count for me means less pain relief, and less ability to work.

Rob Payne
Rob Payne

Great news, I have been down and out the past couple weeks, can you gimme a link that explains that please?

Burnzwell Denver
Burnzwell Denver

The law has always been aaffirmative defence for.higher.plant counts. Which means in court.you must.prove the necessity of the higher plant count. I did this as a caregiver by taking only seriously sick patients and documentation of certain treatments that require a lot of medicine. It works in court and really helps some very sick friends.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"... there is no scientific data on effective medical marijuana dosing,"


There is also no scientific data showing that only 6 pathetic plants is sufficient to provide for effective dosing.





Moonie Kim
Moonie Kim

Jessica Skye Nelson, do you have a link to articles that say that? I'm not asking because I don't believe you, but I would like to read about that, and there's probably a lot of other people browsing the comments who are, too!

Peace Will Win
Peace Will Win

All of this is emotional porn for the masses, people are going to do what is right, and this is just the beginning.......

Justin Stoner
Justin Stoner

read something different then...it needs to be like this its like frontier to fight communism ...

Justin Stoner
Justin Stoner

O ....it is starting....that asshole Dr. from the health dept. is a pharmaceutical whore...and works for the police...that guy on the news has no ideal of the pain and suffering some people have and 6 plants anit shit ..even if you can get them to grow properly..people with back pain etc...live a horrible life...but this Dr. wants every one on synthetic heroin...what is a SLAP IN THE FACE IS that asshole lives off my and your tax dollars ...we should have no regulations or taxes or monitoring by the communists government....leave the American public a lone you assholes....you all ready got paid..... their are thousands and thousands addicted to pharmies/heroin and this government does not want that to change....i have lost 3 close friends in the past 22 months to pharmies...more people die from that than any thing...and the fuck at the health department do care about nothing but a profit ...if so many people are dying from pharmies wont that be a health issue...O fuck no because this sorry ass government is making a profit....we live in a sick society ..and all politicians are filthy communist traitors to this country....just remember America this government hates you.....!

Bret Kantola
Bret Kantola

Criminals to patients and back to criminals. Quality governing right there.

Che Weller
Che Weller

Why do bars have parking lots when drunk driving is illegal?

Casey Wilkinson
Casey Wilkinson

Good Lord when will this nonsense end? Will my children's children be beyond this silly prohibition we live in? Sweet Jesus stop the madness and legalize

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi  "The CDPHE ONLY has authority to process the optional card--and can ONLY deny a card IF the application is incomplete. "


Exactly!

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@WillieStortzso fuck the state Constitution, passed by the voters in 2000?  How about you stuff it Willie? 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Wastedword allows employees to get stoned during work hours.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... the CDPHE is not an elective office.


hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... sounds like ignorant stoners need to learn which government positions are elected, and which are appointed.



coreymillia1
coreymillia1

So no one gives a shit about your opinion then. Go eat pills and die already.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@KathleenChippi @WillieStortz  


The Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels, and their paid liar-lobbyists McShysters like Vicente - Sederberg are doing everything they can to gut and eliminate the Rights of Private Patients and their Private Caregivers to be able to produce a sustainable, affordable, tax free supply of medicine for themselves.


Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels!


Support your Local Private Grower / Caregiver!


Better Bud, Better Prices, Better People ... and NO TAXES!

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@WillieStortz @KathleenChippilol--

"must have missed the part in the constitutional amendment that OK massive black market sales... "  

maybe because it's not in there because the POINT of A20 was to legalize cannabis access via patients and caregivers, not HB10-1284 businesses.  If legitimate patients and caregivers exchange cannabis for money it is not a black market sale--ask John Suthers--it's a service fee for providing a service--like a massage therapist or a hair dresser would be paid.    


Pay attention--the caregivers and patients got state tax licenses in 2009-2010 and PAID sales taxes--it was the General Assembly paid off by the MMJ 'industry' groups who banned patients and caregivers from making sales/tax payments in HB10-1284--a statute, not the constitution. 


"through fraudulent medical claims."--and where is your proof to that statement?  The average age for the optional registry is 41-42 and has been for all 14 years.  And you can not show a single example of a patient being found guilty of lying because there is NONE.

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