The new cannabis bill HB21-1317, which went into effect on January 1, 2022, controls access to high-potency THC products for all customers. THC is basically the primary active component in cannabis.
Physicians will be encouraged to use this certification when diagnosing patients and dispensaries will have to follow it as well. The principal sponsors of HB21-1317, which regulates marijuana concentrates, are Rep. Yadira Caraveo, Rep. Alec Garnett, Sen. Paul Lunden and Sen. Chris Hansen.
What the process entails
In accordance with the new law, doctors must consider patients’ mental health histories. A physician must review all of the patient’s data with them and make a proper diagnosis as well.
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To make an appropriate diagnosis, medical marijuana doctors must confer with their primary care physician and evaluate the patient’s mental health records. Patients must now go through two physicians in order to receive a consistent certification, which is different from before.
Patients must attend follow-up appointments every six months following the initial visit with one of the physicians after obtaining this certificate.
Enacted research and education
This measure mandates the establishment of a scientific review committee in Colorado to collect data and other information on the use and impact of high-potency THC marijuana, as well as how THC consumption affects mental health. With this knowledge, the Colorado School of Public Health is mandated to launch a public awareness campaign about THC use and its effects.
This act is primarily concerned with regulating the use of THC products by those aged 18 to 20. Advertisers are not allowed to target this age range and must include disclaimers about the dangers of marijuana use.
Another feature of HB21-1317 is the restriction on purchasing more than two grams in a single day if you are between the ages of 18 and 20 (with few exceptions), compared to the former limit of 40 grams.
Some consider two grams to be a realistic daily limit for patients, although there is a debate because some patients have restricted access to dispensaries and medical supplies. As a result, some patients make many journeys to dispensaries per week or even run out of what they require.
Why some aren’t happy
Although these laws appear to put more safeguards in place for patients when it comes to cannabis use, many people are opposed to the bill’s purpose. Cannabis Clinicians Colorado, a Colorado non-profit dedicated to assisting people who deal with Colorado cannabis patients, is currently sponsoring a lawsuit to overturn HB21-1317 and others, believing the law to be unconstitutional.
One of them is “forcing doctors to break federal DEA law and the Colorado Medical Practices Act by writing a full cannabis prescription that a dispensary must fill like a pharmacy,” according to the report.
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Opponents of the law say that it is forcing doctors to write prescriptions in both circumstances. Because cannabis is not officially recognized as a legitimate medication, these prescriptions may be regarded in violation of federal law due to the limitations imposed by the legislation.
“I can’t think of any diagnosis or condition where I would need a second opinion to treat my patient,” board member Raymond Estacio said at a Colorado Board of Health Emergency Rulemaking session in opposition to the measure.
Another audience member commented on the inequity of requiring earlier recordings.
“As we in Colorado strive to continue to establish and refine the regulatory structure for supervising legal cannabis, it is vital that we do so in a manner that safeguards youth,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser in support of the bill. I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who worked so hard to find a solution.”
Overall, HB21-1317 controls cannabis users in Colorado and takes additional care. Despite the fact that this law took effect on January 1, 2022, some litigation is still pending, leaving some aspects of it unclear.