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CO Gov Bill Ritter Signs Regs for Medical Marijuana Use

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By Kamika Dunlap on June 10, 2010 12:50 PM

Medical marijuana is legal in Colorado. Now what?

That's the question Gov. Bill Ritter is looking to answer by signing new statewide regulations for medical marijuana use, the Associated Press reports.

The bills take effect immediately and Colorado's medical marijuana industry will be required to follow the regulations.

The companion measures are aimed at finding the right balance for medical marijuana use considering both "...public safety and respecting the will of the voters," Gov. Bill Ritter said in a statement.

One requires that only doctors in good standing be able to recommend medical marijuana use for patients. The law also prevents doctors from getting paid by dispensaries to write recommendations.

The other law sets up a uniform set of rules for marijuana dispensaries and growers statewide and requires dispensaries be licensed at both the state and local levels.

Another provision of the new law prohibits people convicted recently of a felony -- or ever if of a drug-related felony -- from operating a dispensary.

So far, state regulated marijuana programs are already in place in New Mexico and similar programs will be operating soon in Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

According to city and corporate records, as dispensaries pop up, Denver may quickly be turning into the nation's pot capital.

So far, more than 300 sales-tax licenses for dispensaries have been issued.

On a per capita basis, there are now slightly more medical marijuana dispensaries with a sales-tax license in Denver than there are dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, the Denver Post reports.

Colorado lawmakers say they believe marijuana laws will begin to ease nationwide as the state recently hosted Colorado Cannabis Convention.


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