35 Day Rule: Selling to New Patients

As some of you may know, Mr. Matt Cook, on the advice of the attorney general, pronounced that MMCs cannot sell MMJ to new patients until the expiration of 35 days after the application is sent to the Department of Health.

The apparent basis is Amendment 20 which states, in part, that the state must issue the MMJ registry cards within 35 days after the application is received.

Accordingly, Mr. Cook believes that 35 days must pass before the patient is “legal.”

I disagree.

Participation in the MMJ registry program is not required. A patient is entitled to the affirmative defense to criminal prosecution upon the recommendation for use of MMJ by a licensed physician. The Amendment requires that the card must then be issued no later than 35 days after submission of the application. As we all know, this hasn’t occurred for over a year.

However, Mr. Cook requires that the MMC not sell MMJ to any new patients until 35 days after submission of the application have passed. I anticipate that the state will be verifying this information at some point in the future and will look back to 7/1/10 for compliance. Accordingly, please comply with this rule immediately.

Finally, the state is still woefully behind in issuing MMJ patient registry cards. The Amendment states that when the card is not issued within 35 days, the patient “shall provide a copy of the application” and “written documentation and proof of the date of mailing.” I understand that this is not included in the application or the state’s application instructions. Nonetheless, it is the law and must be followed by the MMJ businesses.