New Regulations Tighten Medical Marijuana Access For Teens, Put More Responsibility on Doctors
Colorado House Bill 1317 impacts medical marijuana users in Colorado in a variety of ways. Signed into law on June 25, 2021, this bill adds a lot of new medical marijuana regulations in Colorado, affecting many patients, particularly teens who use medical marijuana in the state.
Understanding The Regulations Included In Colorado House Bill 1317
The primary provision included in Colorado House Bill 1317 is that adult medical marijuana users are limited to purchasing 8 grams of cannabis per day, reduced from the previous limit of 40 grams. In addition, a statewide “seed-to-sale” tracking system will ensure users do not exceed this limit.
However, not all users are affected equally:
- Under 18 – Current medical cannabis users under the age of 18 will not be affected by this legislation, and will be exempt when they enter the 18-20 age group, too.
- 18-20 – This bill makes it harder for 18-20 year olds to qualify for a medical card, requiring in-person visits to two physicians at two different practices, and 6-month (rather than annual) evaluations of the need for a medical card.
- Adult users over 21 – Adult users are not affected by this bill, and may buy up to 40 grams of marijuana per day. Being adults, they are also fully able to purchase recreational marijuana in Colorado without a medical card.
Beyond the under-18 exemption, other exemptions are available with a physician’s authorization, a “significant geographical or physical hardship,” such as living in a remote area or being unable to visit dispensaries regularly for disability-related reasons, and for “homebound” patients.