The medical marijuana landscape in Colorado is as mixed and varied as the state’s terrain.
In cities like Denver and Colorado Springs, many patients get their cannabis from registered, regulated marijuana dispensaries.
But in other areas – such as Fort Collins and several mountain towns – local officials have banned medical marijuana centers, meaning patients must either grow their own medicine or turn to caregivers who provide cannabis on a limited basis. That opens up a whole can of worms, as these individuals – rather than a dispensary – take on all the legal risks.
Numerous patients and caregivers growing in their homes have found police at their front door, often because a neighbor or passerby saw – or smelled – something .
There’s nothing to fear, as long as they are following the rules. But those rules can be quite tricky, and plenty of growers have been led away in handcuffs because of some small oversight.
Ann Toney, who heads a law firm in Denver focusing on medical marijuana business law and marijuana defense, wrote a piece for Culture Magazine about how patients and caregivers growing cannabis in Colorado can stay legit.
Here are her five tips to avoid legal troubles:
#1. Adhere strictly to the limit of six plants per patient.
#2. Keep copies of registry cards and doctor recommendations for all patients you are currently serving.
#3. Growers with elevated plant counts should ensure recommendations include the number of plants suggested by the physician.
#4. Continuously review patient registry cards to make sure they are still valid, have been renewed when necessary and name you as the caregiver.
#5. Pay particularly close attention to the amount of dried medicine on hand, including excess leaves and stalks, because it can be “hard to justify that excess weight.”