By Joseph Boven | Published in The Colorado Independent
A bill that might have outlawed edible marijuana in Colorado was pulled for revisions Thursday before it came before committee. HB 1250′s very presence on the docket spurred an immediate backlash from the medical marijuana community.
The Medical Marijuana Industry Group (MMIG) said last night that well before emails scorched a trail of fear across the internet Thursday, bill sponsor Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, had already indicated her bill was not a pot brownie killer. Instead, Edible medical marijuana is safe in Colorado according to lobbyists who say they were working with the legislator early Thursday morning before HB 1250, titled “concerning a prohibition on ingestible marijuana-infused products,” had the chance to get to committee.
An email blast went out Thursday morning from the Cannabis Therapy Institute that stated:
“Denver — House Bill 11-1250 was introduced on Wed., Feb. 9, 2011. This bill will outlaw all medicinal cannabis edible products in the state, overturning the licensing scheme for Infused Products Manufacturers that was created by the state legislature last year.”
According to Kara Miller, an independent lobbyist contracted with MMIG, both she and Acree worked to ensure the bill better suited Acree’s intention, which never was to eliminate consumable medical-marijuana products in the state. Miller said Acree simply wanted to ensure medical marijuana was treated as a medicine to avoid children thinking it to be a candy.
For example, she said that Acree wanted to nip marijuana infused soda pops, like one in California, from entering the state.
“What she is trying to get after is a California beverage coming in,” Miller said. “If something looks like soda pop [kids] are likely to drink it. It needs to look like medicine. She wants that amendment.”
While draft amendments have not been written, Miller said that Acree had so far agreed to three conceptual changes.
“She is okay with edibles, because she doesn’t like people smoking either,” according to Miller. “They have to all be manufactured in Colorado to keep us out of interstate commerce problems, they have to be marketed as medicine, they have to be marked with the patients ID number so that if kid gets a hold of it, it is the patient’s problem.”
She said that fines and loss of medical marijuana cards were being discussed as possible penalties for non-compliance.
Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, the Senate sponsor of HB 1250, did not immediately respond to phone calls.
Prior to the bill being pulled for revision, Shan Moore, the father of a teenager who uses medical marijuana to control seizures, told The Colorado Independent that his son relies on ingestible medical marijuana to control his condition. Due to other health issue and also due to the fact that his son does not want to get high, smoking is out of the question for him.
The bill is now expected to return to committee in March.