Colorado Pushes Back Decision on ‘Preferred Vendor’ Medical Marijuana Proposal

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Lawmakers in Colorado will wait a bit longer to decide the fate of a proposal that would bring more legitimacy – and some leniency – to the medical marijuana industry by encouraging cannabis dispensaries and other MMJ businesses to bolster worker training.

A Senate committee was set to vote on the legislation Wednesday but ended up delaying a decision for the time being.

Senate Bill 12-154 calls for the state to grant “preferred vendor” status to medical marijuana businesses that provide additional training to their workers.

In order to receive the preferred vendor designation, businesses would have to develop a state-approved program that includes at least two hours of training provided in a classroom setting. The classes would cover everything from license requirements and records maintenance to privacy issues and MMJ laws. Every employee that sells or handles medical cannabis, as well as each manager and on-site owner, would have to complete the program.

The preferred vendor designation would last for two years from the date of issuance.

The program is being pitched as a way to bolster legitimacy for dispensaries and MMJ businesses, which is something the medical cannabis industry struggles with on a daily basis.

Just as importantly, the state would be more lenient with penalties if a preferred vendor ran into compliance or regulatory issues.

“If a licensing authority brings an administrative action against a business that has received the designation, the licensing authority shall consider the designation as mitigation,” the bill says.