The State of Colorado is introducing (or rather enforcing) a regulation that will help keep member prices low and ensure the correct plant counts for medical marijuana care centers state-wide. The rule: You can only have one designated caregiver. This means patients may only designate one dispensary or person to grow their cannabis plants. As a reminder, if a patient designates a care center as their grower, they only grow 6 plants. The remainder of the plants the patient’s physician recommends for them may be grown by the patient personally but nobody else. Patients that are signed up at additional facilities push member pricing higher as patient discounts become less and less exclusive. Thus, as this regulation is enforced, and when the dust settles, care centers will be ensured that patients remain exclusive members of their center and they can take the utmost care of specific physical and financial needs of those patients. Membership is designed for exclusivity, both for growing rights and patient care.
This regulation goes into effect October 1, 2014. If patients wish to continue to be a member at Green Dream, they must terminate their membership at all other care centers before that date. Administrators at every dispensary are able to verify the amount of additional facilities patients are registered as a member. As of September 3, Green Dream Health Services has a large number patients still registered as members at multiple dispensaries, some at 4 other facilities! The unfortunate glitch in this system is administrators at Green Dream Health Services and all other care centers are unable to pinpoint specific facilities these members are signed up at. According to Industry-Wide Bulletin 14-07, issued August 5, “It will be the the responsibility of the patient to notify all of the other Medical Marijuana Centers that they have designated one particular Medical Marijuana Center as their Primary Center.”
The reason this regulation is being enforced is twofold. First, it has always been a responsibility of medical patients to designate just one care center and this bulletin simply reminds patients of that rule. Patients are still able to switch caregivers after 30 days of designated membership. However, the reason this regulation is being enforced now is because the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is trying to increase sales to recreational cannabis dispensaries. When a member changes caregivers or is removed from the member list, the former care center is obligated by law to destroy the plants being grown for that patient and adjust their total plant count respectively. Thus with less overall medicine, the government figures we won’t be able to supply everybody and those patients will have to become recreational customers.
It is widely supposed in the State government that the continued and increasing success of the Medical Marijuana market is due to the avoidance of recreational marijuana’s high tax rate. Thus, the State government assumes Colorado residents have found it more convenient to apply and renew their red-cards than shop at recreational stores. To combat the alleged flow into medical marijuana centers and away from recreational dispensaries, the MED is advertising their revised statutes to patients and medical dispensaries state-wide and is now strictly enforcing them. The latest industry-wide bulletin also advertised “MED will be inspecting Centers to ensure that they are in compliance with this regulation.”
Effective October 1, Green Dream will be obligated by law to terminate the membership of any patients that are discovered to be signed up at additional facilities. It will be illegal to renew membership or sign-up as a new member any patient thereafter that has additional facilities registered to their patient ID.
There are a few helpful tips that the staff at Green Dream is happy to help patients with achieving this goal of exclusive membership. If you are unsure of the amount of care centers you have, just contact Green Dream and be ready to give your Patient ID number when prompted. The staff will then be able to access the number of additional facilities you may be signed up at (though they do not have access to the names of those facilities). Then, it is recommended to think of all other dispensaries you have ever visited. Contact those dispensaries or ask a staff member at Green Dream to send a letter explaining your exclusive membership at Green Dream. For the latter, you need to supply Green Dream Health Services with the name and location of the other facilities.
The staff at Green Dream Health Services understands the inconvenience associated with such tenuous communication required for a seemingly minute task. However, it is very important that care centers remain in compliance of all state laws to ensure consistent quality and service provided to all members and guests.