Medical Marijuana: Board Of Health To Hold Special Meeting After AG's Advice

Wednesday, July 18th 2018, 12:38 pm
By: News On 6

The state attorney general has released a letter advising the state board of health to amend medical marijuana rules. 

Attorney General Mike Hunter advised the board to convene for a special meeting to amend the rules passed to regulate medical marijuana. In response, Board of Health President Starkey said he plans to call a special meeting "as soon as possible."

“The current rules contain provisions that are inconsistent with the plain language of State Question 788 and the State Board of Health acted outside of its authority when it voted to implement them,” Attorney General Mike Hunter said. “Although I didn’t support State Question 788, the people of the state have spoken and I have a legal duty to honor the decision made by the electorate. My advice today is made pursuant to that responsibility as attorney general.

“Moving forward, I encourage all stakeholders to engage with the legislative working group looking at medical marijuana to ensure they have their concerns and recommendations heard and addressed by the legislature.”

In the letter, Hunter said the boar's role in limiting forms of marijuana products is confined to food and safety standards  that are in line with food preparation guidelines, not prohibiting the sale of smokable, vapable, edible or other forms of marijuana. 

In the letter, Hunter also took issue with the board’s action to require dispensaries to hire a pharmacist, writing, “the board has not been given any express or implied statutory authority to impose additional requirements on licensees. Thus, the board rules improperly require every licensed dispensary to have “a current licensed pharmacist” present “on-site at least 40 hours per week.” Nothing in the text of State Question 788 expressly or impliedly authorizes this rule.”  

Other concerns outlined in the letter include:

  • Restricting dispensaries to limited locations; 
  • Prohibiting dispensaries from co-locating with other businesses; 
  • Requiring medical marijuana be grown, processed and dispensed in enclosed structures; 
  • Requiring a surety bond for licensing; 
  • Setting hours of operation; 
  • Limiting the amount of THC in flower, leaf or concentrate for sale or distribution. 

Click here to view the full letter.