I just completed my meeting with Mr. Matt Cook, the current head of the Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Business Division. I clarified several points that concern MMJ businesses:
1. All MMJ Centers must be locally approved for both the cultivation and retail sale of medical marijuana by 7/1. I understand this presents many logistical problems, but it is true nonetheless;
2. There is no state moratorium on new MMJ businesses (that was just in the bill summary) but local approval and state approval is required BEFORE any operation of that business.
3. Hash is likely to be considered an infused product and its creation is likely to be limited to Infused Product Manufacturer. He stated that MMC’s are going to be able to create “raw product” only and that is likely to include clones.
4. The no felony within five years of the completion of sentence and no felony drug convictions ever is going to apply to employees, managers, investors, etc., as well as owners.
5. The two year residency requirement is likely to apply to employees and managers, not just owners/licensees.
6. The corporate structure for a MMC is simplistic: one business handling both the grow and cultivation, which is locally approved for both activities. This means no corporations owning corporations. While this is permitted as a matter of corporate law and may evolve in the future, I suggest you give the state what it expects to see.
6. Growers may not be “employed” by more than one MMC and, under no circumstances, can exist as a separate business.
7. Owners of MMCs can still be a primary caregiver for 5 patients, but all activities must be separate from the MMC (no selling excess from your patient grow!).
8. In examining your MMC/MIP application, the state will refer back to 7/1/10 to establish your compliance with HB1284.
10. Service business will be allowed, like a grow consultant, but be careful not to blur the lines between consultant and grower.
11. The rules will be created over a six month process and will be binding. That means what Mr. Cook says today may or may not be established by rule in the future. Anticipate the most conservative view of HB1284 and expand beyond that when the rule permits such expansion.
I hope this helps guide your efforts to comply with the new regulations.