Model Medical Marijuana Bill

Click here for a PDF version of the model medical marijuana bill. For a summary of the model bill, click here, and for an explanation of the bill, click here.

 

Section 1. Title.

Sections 1 to 25 of this chapter shall be known as the _____ Medical Cannabis Act.


Section 2. Findings.

(a) Cannabis’s recorded use as a medicine goes back nearly 5,000 years. Modern medical research has confirmed the beneficial uses for cannabis — which is also called marijuana — in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, as found by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in March 1999.

(b) Studies published since the 1999 Institute of Medicine report continue to show the therapeutic value of cannabis in treating a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. These include relief of the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses and injuries that often fails to respond to conventional treatments, and relief of nausea, vomiting, and other side effects of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, thereby increasing the chances of patients continuing on life-saving treatment regimens.

(c) Cannabis has many accepted medical uses in the United States, having been recommended by thousands of licensed physicians to more than one million patients in states with medical cannabis laws. A wide range of medical and public health organizations, including the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Epilepsy Foundation, and many others, have recognized cannabis’s medical utility.

(d) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 cannabis arrests in the U.S. are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill patients who have a medical need to use cannabis.

(e) Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use and cultivation of cannabis. _____ joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.

(f) States are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. Therefore, compliance with this act does not put the state of _____ in violation of federal law.

Section 3. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Allowable amount of cannabis” means:

(1)  2.5 ounces of cannabis;

(2)  the quantity of cannabis products as established by department regulation;

(3)  if the cardholder has a registry identification card allowing cultivation, six cannabis plants; and

(4)  if the cardholder has a registry identification card allowing cultivation, the amount of cannabis and cannabis products that were produced from the cardholder’s allowable plants, if the cannabis and cannabis products are possessed at the same property where the plants were cultivated.

 (b) “Bona fide practitioner-patient relationship” means:

(1) a practitioner and patient have a treatment or consulting relationship, during the course of which the practitioner has completed an assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including an appropriate in-person physical examination;

(2) the practitioner has consulted with the patient with respect to the patient's debilitating medical condition; and

(3) the practitioner is available to or offers to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient, including, but not limited to, patient examinations.

(c) “Cannabis products” means concentrated cannabis, cannabis extracts, and products that are infused with cannabis or an extract thereof, and are intended for use or consumption by humans. The term includes, without limitation, edible cannabis products, beverages, topical products, ointments, oils, and tinctures.

(d) “Cannabis product manufacturing facility” means an entity registered with the department pursuant to this act that acquires, possesses, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies, or sells cannabis products to medical cannabis dispensaries.

(e) “Cannabis testing facility” or “testing facility” means an independent entity registered with the department pursuant to this act to analyze the safety and potency of cannabis.

(f) "Cardholder" means a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver who has been issued and possesses a valid registry identification card.

(g) “Cultivation facility” means an entity registered with the department pursuant to this act that acquires, possesses, cultivates, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies, or sells cannabis and related supplies to medical cannabis establishments.

(h) "Debilitating medical condition" means:

(1) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or the treatment of these conditions;

(2) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or

(3) any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department, as provided for in section 7.

(i) "Department" means the _____ Department of Health or its successor agency.

(j) "Designated caregiver" means a person who:

(1) is at least 21 years of age;

(2) has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's medical use of cannabis;

(3) has not been convicted of a disqualifying felony offense; and

(4) assists no more than five qualifying patients with their medical use of cannabis, unless the designated caregiver’s qualifying patients each reside in or are admitted to a health care facility or residential care facility where the designated caregiver is employed.

(k) "Disqualifying felony offense" means:

(1) a violent crime defined in section ____ that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted; or

(2) a violation of a state or federal controlled substances law that was classified as a felony in the jurisdiction where the person was convicted, not including:

(A) an offense for which the sentence, including any term of probation, incarceration, or supervised release, was completed 10 or more years earlier; or

(B) an offense that consisted of conduct for which this chapter would likely have prevented a conviction, but the conduct either occurred prior to the enactment of this chapter or was prosecuted by an authority other than the state of ________ .

(l) “Edible cannabis products” means products that:

(1) contain or are infused with cannabis or an extract thereof;

(2) are intended for human consumption by oral ingestion; and

(3) are presented in the form of foodstuffs, beverages, extracts, oils, tinctures, and other similar products.

(m) "Enclosed, locked facility" means a closet, room, greenhouse, building, or other enclosed area that is equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by the cardholder or cardholders allowed to cultivate the plants. Two or more cardholders who reside in the same dwelling may share one enclosed, locked facility for cultivation.

(n) "Medical cannabis” or “cannabis" has the meaning given to the term “marijuana” in _____.

(o) “Medical cannabis dispensary” or “dispensary” means an entity registered with the department pursuant to this act that acquires, possesses, stores, delivers, transfers, transports, sells, supplies, or dispenses cannabis, cannabis products, paraphernalia, or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders.

(p) “Medical cannabis establishment” means a cultivation facility, a cannabis testing facility, a cannabis product manufacturing facility, or a dispensary.

(q) “Medical cannabis establishment agent” means an owner, officer, board member, employee, or volunteer at a medical cannabis establishment.

(r) "Medical use" includes the acquisition, administration, cultivation, manufacture, delivery, harvest, possession, preparation, transfer, transportation, or use of cannabis or paraphernalia relating to the administration of cannabis to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the patient's debilitating medical condition. The term does not include:

(1)  the cultivation of cannabis by a nonresident cardholder;

(2)  the cultivation of cannabis by a cardholder who is not designated as being allowed to cultivate on his or her registry identification card; or

(3)  the extraction of resin from cannabis by solvent extraction unless the extraction is done by a cannabis product manufacturing facility.

(s) “Nonresident cardholder" means a person who:

(1)  has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, or is the parent, guardian, conservator, or other person with authority to consent to the medical treatment of a person who has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition;

(2)   is not a resident of ____ or who has been a resident of ____ for less than 45 days;

(3)  was issued a currently valid registry identification card or its equivalent by another state, district, territory, commonwealth, insular possession of the United States, or country recognized by the United States that allows the person to use cannabis for medical purposes in the jurisdiction of issuance; and

(4) has submitted any documentation required by the department, and has received confirmation of registration.

(t) "Practitioner" means a person who is licensed with authority to prescribe drugs to humans under section _____ except as otherwise provided in this subsection. In relation to a nonresident cardholder, “practitioner” means a person who is licensed with authority to prescribe drugs to humans in the state of the patient’s residence.

(u) "Qualifying patient" means a person who has been diagnosed by a practitioner as having a debilitating medical condition.

(v) "Registry identification card" means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver, or documentation that is deemed a registry identification card pursuant to section 9.

(w) "Written certification" means a document dated and signed by a practitioner, stating that in the practitioner's professional opinion the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition. A written certification shall affirm that it is made in the course of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship and shall specify the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition.

Section 4. Protections for the Medical Use of Cannabis.

(a) A cardholder who possesses a valid registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau for:

(1) the medical use of cannabis pursuant to this chapter, if the cardholder does not possess more than the allowable amount of cannabis, and if any cannabis plants are either cultivated in an enclosed, locked facility or are being transported;

(2) reimbursement by a registered qualifying patient to the patient’s registered designated caregiver for direct costs incurred by the registered designated caregiver for assisting with the registered qualifying patient’s medical use of cannabis;

(3) transferring cannabis to a testing facility for testing;

(4) compensating a dispensary or a testing facility for goods or services provided;

(5) selling, transferring, or delivering cannabis seeds produced by the cardholder to a cultivation facility or dispensary; or

(6)  offering or providing cannabis to a cardholder for a registered qualifying patient’s medical use, to a nonresident cardholder, or to a dispensary if nothing of value is transferred in return and the person giving the cannabis does not knowingly cause the recipient to possess more than the allowable amount of cannabis.

(b) A nonresident cardholder shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or entity, for the transporting, purchasing, possessing, or using medical cannabis pursuant to this chapter if the nonresident cardholder does not possess more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis and the quantity of cannabis products established by department regulation.

(c) There is a presumption that a qualifying patient or designated caregiver is engaged in the medical use of cannabis pursuant to this chapter if the cardholder is in possession of a registry identification card and an amount of cannabis that does not exceed the allowable amount of cannabis. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to cannabis was not for the purpose of treating or alleviating a qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition pursuant to this chapter.

(d) A practitioner shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by the ______ Medical Board or by any other occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the practitioner's professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the serious or debilitating medical condition, provided that nothing in this chapter shall prevent a practitioner from being sanctioned for:

(1) issuing a written certification to a patient with whom the practitioner does not have a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship; or

(2) failing to properly evaluate a patient's medical condition.

(e) An attorney may not be subject to disciplinary action by the state bar association or other professional licensing association for providing legal assistance to prospective or registered medical cannabis establishments or others related to activity that is no longer subject to criminal penalties under state law pursuant to this chapter.

(f) No person may be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including any civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for:

(1) providing or selling cannabis paraphernalia to a cardholder, nonresident cardholder, or to a medical cannabis establishment;

(2)  being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of cannabis that are exempt from criminal penalties by this chapter;

(3) allowing the person’s property to be used for activities that are exempt from criminal penalties by this chapter; or

(4) assisting a registered qualifying patient with the act of using or administering cannabis.

(g) A dispensary or a dispensary agent is not subject to prosecution,, search, or inspection, except by the department pursuant to section 16, seizure, or penalty in any manner;, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

(1) possess, transport, and store cannabis and cannabis products;

(2)  deliver, transfer, and transport cannabis to testing facilities and compensate testing facilities for services provided;

(3)  accept cannabis offered by a cardholder or nonresident cardholder if nothing of value is exchanged in return;

(4)  purchase or otherwise acquire cannabis from cultivation facilities or dispensaries, and cannabis products from cannabis product manufacturing facilities or dispensaries; and

(5) deliver, sell, supply, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis products, and cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and dispensaries.

(h) A cultivation facility or a cultivation facility agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, except by the department pursuant to section 16, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

(1) possess, plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, produce, process, manufacture, compound, convert, prepare, pack, repack, or store cannabis;

(2) deliver, transfer, or transport cannabis to testing facilities and compensate testing facilities for services provided;

(3) accept cannabis offered by a cardholder or nonresident cardholder if nothing of value is exchanged in return;

(4) purchase or otherwise acquire cannabis from cultivation facilities;

(5) purchase cannabis seeds from cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and the equivalent of a medical cannabis establishment that is registered in another jurisdiction; and

(6) deliver, sell, supply, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to cultivation facilities and dispensaries.

(i) A cannabis product manufacturing facility or a cannabis product manufacturing facility agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, except by the department pursuant to section 16, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

(1)  purchase or otherwise acquire cannabis from cultivation facilities, and cannabis products or cannabis from cannabis product manufacturing facilities;

(2)  possess, produce, process, manufacture, compound, convert, prepare, pack, repack, and store cannabis and cannabis products;

(3)  deliver, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to dispensaries and cannabis product manufacturing facilities;

(4)  deliver, transfer, or transport cannabis to testing facilities and compensate testing facilities for services provided;

(5)  deliver, sell, supply, transfer, or transport cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis paraphernalia, and related supplies and educational materials to cannabis product manufacturing facilities or dispensaries.

(j) A testing facility or testing facility agent is not subject to prosecution, search, or inspection, except by the department pursuant to section 16, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity, for acting pursuant to this chapter and rules authorized by this chapter to:

(1) acquire, possess, transport, and store cannabis and cannabis products obtained from cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and medical cannabis establishments;

(2) return the cannabis and cannabis products to the cardholders, nonresident cardholders, and medical cannabis establishment from whom it was obtained;

(3) test cannabis, including for potency, pesticides, mold, or contaminants; and

(4) receive compensation for those services.

(k) A cardholder, nonresident cardholder, or the equivalent of a medical cannabis establishment that is registered in another jurisdiction may sell or donate cannabis seeds to cultivation facilities.

(l) Any cannabis, cannabis product, cannabis paraphernalia, or other interest in or right to property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of cannabis as allowed under this chapter, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited. This chapter shall not prevent the seizure or forfeiture of cannabis exceeding the amounts allowed under this chapter, nor shall it prevent seizure or forfeiture if the basis for the action is unrelated to the cannabis that is possessed, manufactured, transferred, or used pursuant to this chapter.

(m) Possession of, or application for, a registry identification card does not constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion, nor shall it be used to support a search of the person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registry identification card, or otherwise subject the person or property of the person to inspection by any governmental agency.

(n) For the purposes of ______ state law, activities related to medical cannabis shall be considered lawful as long as they are in accordance with this chapter.

(o) No law enforcement officer employed by an agency which receives state or local government funds shall expend any state or local resources, including the officer’s time, to effect any arrest or seizure of cannabis, or conduct any investigation, on the sole basis of activity the officer believes to constitute a violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act if the officer has reason to believe that such activity is in compliance with state medical cannabis laws, nor shall any such officer expend any state or local resources, including the officer’s time, to provide any information or logistical support related to such activity to any federal law enforcement authority or prosecuting entity.

(p) It is the public policy of the state of _____ that contracts related to medical cannabis that are entered into by cardholders, medical cannabis establishments, or medical cannabis establishment agents, and those who allow property to be used by those persons, should be enforceable. It is the public policy of the state of _____ that no contract entered into by a cardholder, a medical cannabis establishment, or medical cannabis establishment agent, or by a person who allows property to be used for activities that are exempt from state criminal penalties by this chapter, shall be unenforceable on the basis that activities related to cannabis are prohibited by federal law.

Section 5. Limitations.

(a) This chapter does not authorize any person to engage in, and does not prevent the imposition of any civil, criminal, or other penalties for engaging in, the following conduct:

(1) undertaking any task under the influence of cannabis, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.

(2) possessing cannabis or otherwise engaging in the medical use of cannabis in any correctional facility.

(3) smoking cannabis:

(A) on any form of public transportation; or

(B) in any public place or any place that is open to the public.

(4) operating, navigating, or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or motorboat while under the influence of cannabis, except that a registered qualifying patient or nonresident cardholder shall not be considered to be under the influence of cannabis solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.

Section 6. Discrimination Prohibited.

(a) No school or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for the person's status as a cardholder, unless failing to do so would violate federal law or regulations or cause the school or landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

(b) For the purposes of medical care, including organ and tissue transplants, a registered qualifying patient's use of cannabis according to this chapter is considered the equivalent of the authorized use of any other medication used at the discretion of a practitioner and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a qualifying patient from needed medical care.

(c) A person shall not be denied custody of or visitation rights or parenting time with a minor solely for the person's status as a cardholder, and there shall be no presumption of neglect or child endangerment for conduct allowed under this chapter, unless the person's behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor as established by clear and convincing evidence.

(d) Except as provided in this chapter, a registered qualifying patient who uses cannabis for medical purposes shall be afforded all the same rights under state and local law, including those guaranteed under ______ [the state’s disability rights law], as the individual would be afforded if he or she were solely prescribed pharmaceutical medications, as it pertains to:

(1) any interaction with a person's employer;

(2) drug testing by a person's employer; or

(3) drug testing required by any state or local law, agency, or government official.

(e) The rights provided by this section do not apply to the extent that they conflict with an employer’s obligations under federal law or regulations or to the extent that they would disqualify an employer from a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

(f) No employer is required to allow the ingestion of cannabis in any workplace or to allow any employee to work while under the influence of cannabis. A registered qualifying patient shall not be considered to be under the influence of cannabis solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.

(g) No school, landlord, or employer may be penalized or denied any benefit under state law for enrolling, leasing to, or employing a cardholder.

Section 7. Addition of Debilitating Medical Conditions.

Any resident of _________[the state] may petition the department to add serious medical conditions or their treatments to the list of debilitating medical conditions listed in section 3(h). The department shall consider petitions in the manner required by department regulation, including public notice and hearing. The department shall approve or deny a petition within 180 days of its submission. The approval or denial of any petition is a final decision of the department, subject to judicial review. Jurisdiction and venue are vested in the _____ Court.

Section 8. Acts Not Required, Acts Not Prohibited.

(a) Nothing in this chapter requires:

(1) a government medical assistance program or private insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis;

(2) any person or establishment in lawful possession of property to allow a guest, client, customer, or other visitor to smoke cannabis on or in that property; or

(3) a landlord to allow the cultivation of cannabis on the rental property.

(b) Nothing in this chapter prohibits an employer from disciplining an employee for ingesting cannabis in the workplace or for working while under the influence of cannabis.

Section 9. Issuance and Denial of Registry Identification Cards.

(a) No later than 140 days after the effective date of this act, the department shall begin issuing registry identification cards to qualifying patients who submit the following, in accordance with the department's regulations:

(1) a written certification issued by a practitioner within 90 days immediately preceding the date of an application;

(2) the application or renewal fee;

(3) the name, address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient, except that if the applicant is homeless, no address is required;

(4) the name, address, and telephone number of the qualifying patient's practitioner;

(5) the name, address, and date of birth of the designated caregiver, or designated caregivers, chosen by the qualifying patient;

(6) if more than one designated caregiver is designated at any given time, documentation demonstrating that a greater number of designated caregivers are needed due to the patient’s age or medical condition;

(7) the name of no more than two dispensaries that the qualifying patient designates, if any; and

(8) if the qualifying patient designates a designated caregiver, a designation as to whether the qualifying patient or designated caregiver will be allowed under state law to possess and cultivate cannabis plants for the qualifying patient's medical use.

(b) If the qualifying patient is unable to submit the information required by subsection (a) due to the persons’ age or medical condition, the person responsible for making medical decisions for the qualifying patient may do so on behalf of the qualifying patient.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d), the department shall:

(1) verify the information contained in an application or renewal submitted pursuant to this chapter and approve or deny an application or renewal within 15 days of receiving a completed application or renewal application;

(2) issue registry identification cards to a qualifying patient and his or her designated caregivers, if any, within five days of approving the application or renewal. A designated caregiver must have a registry identification card for each of his qualifying patients; and

(3) enter the registry identification number of the dispensary or dispensaries the patient designates into the verification system.

(d) The department may conduct a background check of the prospective designated caregiver in order to carry out this provision.

(e) The department shall not issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient who is younger than 18 years of age unless:

(1) the qualifying patient's practitioner has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of cannabis to the custodial parent or legal guardian with responsibility for health care decisions for the qualifying patient; and

(2) the custodial parent or legal guardian with responsibility for health care decisions for the qualifying patient consents in writing to:

(A) allow the qualifying patient's medical use of cannabis;

(B) serve as the qualifying patient's designated caregiver; and

(C) control the acquisition of the cannabis, the dosage, and the frequency of the medical use of cannabis by the qualifying patient.

(f) The department may deny an application or renewal of a qualifying patient’s registry identification card only if the applicant:

(1) did not provide the required information, fee, or materials;

(2) previously had a registry identification card revoked; or

(3) provided false information.

(g) The department may deny an application or renewal for a designated caregiver chosen by a qualifying patient whose registry identification card was granted only if:

(1) the designated caregiver does not meet the requirements of section 3(j);

(2) the applicant did not provide the information required;

(3) the designated caregiver previously had a registry identification card revoked; or

(4) the applicant or the designated caregiver provided false information.

(h) The department shall give written notice to the qualifying patient of the reason for denying a registry identification card to the qualifying patient or to the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver.

(i) Denial of an application or renewal is considered a final department action, subject to judicial review. Jurisdiction and venue for judicial review are vested in the _____ Court.

(j) Until a qualifying patient who has submitted an application and the required fee to the department receives a registry identification card or a rejection, a copy of the individual’s application, written certification, and proof that the application was submitted to the department shall be deemed a registry identification card.

(k) Until a designated caregiver whose qualifying patient has submitted an application and the required fee receives a registry identification card or a rejection, a copy of the a qualifying patient’s application, written certification, and proof that the application was submitted to the department shall be deemed a registry identification card.

(l) Until 25 days after the department makes applications available, a valid, written certification issued within the previous year shall be deemed a registry identification card for a qualifying patient.

(m) Until 25 days after the department makes applications available, the following shall be deemed a designated caregiver registry identification card:

(1) a copy of a qualifying patient’s valid written certification issued within the previous year; and

(2) a signed affidavit attesting that the person has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of the patient and that the person has been chosen to assist the qualifying patient.

Section 10. Contents of Registry Identification Cards.

(a) Registry identification cards must contain all of the following:

(1) the name of the cardholder;

(2) a designation of whether the cardholder is a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver;

(3) the date of issuance and expiration date of the registry identification card;

(4) a random 10-digit alphanumeric identification number, containing at least four numbers and at least four letters, that is unique to the cardholder;

(5) if the cardholder is a designated caregiver, the random identification number of the qualifying patient the designated caregiver will assist;

(6) a clear indication of whether the cardholder has been designated to cultivate cannabis plants for the qualifying patient’s medical use;

(7) a photograph of the cardholder, if the department’s regulations require one; and

(8) the phone number or web address where the card can be verified.

(b) Except as provided in this subsection, the expiration date shall be one year after the date of issuance.

(c) If the practitioner stated in the written certification that the qualifying patient would benefit from cannabis until a specified earlier date, then the registry identification card shall expire on that date.

Section 11. Verification System.

(a) The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom the department has issued registry identification cards and their addresses, phone numbers, and registry identification numbers. This confidential list shall not be combined or linked in any manner with any other list or database, nor shall it be used for any purpose not provided for in this chapter.

(b) Within 120 days of the effective date of this chapter, the department shall establish a secure phone or web-based verification system. The verification system must allow law enforcement personnel and medical cannabis establishments to enter a registry identification number and determine whether or not the number corresponds with a current, valid registry identification card. The system may disclose only:

(1)  whether the identification card is valid;

(2)  the name of the cardholder;

(3)  whether the cardholder is a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver;

(4)  whether the cardholder is permitted to cultivate cannabis plants;

(5)  the registry identification number of any affiliated registered qualifying patient; and

(6)  the registry identification of the qualifying patient’s dispensary or dispensaries, if any.

Section 12. Notifications to Department and Responses; Civil Penalty.

(a) The following notifications and department responses are required:

(1) A registered qualifying patient shall notify the department of any change in his or her name or address, or if the registered qualifying patient ceases to have his or her debilitating medical condition, within 10 days of the change.

(2) A registered designated caregiver shall notify the department of any change in his or her name or address, or if the designated caregiver becomes aware the qualifying patient passed away, within 10 days of the change.

(3) Before a registered qualifying patient changes his or her designated caregiver, the qualifying patient must notify the department.

(4) When a registered qualifying patient changes his or her preference as to who may cultivate cannabis for the qualifying patient, the qualifying patient must notify the department.

(5) If a cardholder loses his or her registry identification card, he or she shall notify the department within 10 days of becoming aware the card has been lost.

(6) Before a registered qualifying patient changes his or her designated dispensary or dispensaries, the qualifying patient must notify the department.

(b) Each notification a registered qualifying patient is required to make shall instead by made by the patient’s designated caregiver if the qualifying patient is unable to make the notification due to his or her age or medical condition.

(c) When a cardholder notifies the department of items listed in subsection (a), but remains eligible under this chapter, the department shall issue the cardholder a new registry identification card with a new random 10-digit alphanumeric identification number within 10 days of receiving the updated information and a $20 fee. If the person notifying the department is a registered qualifying patient, the department shall also issue his or her registered designated caregiver, if any, a new registry identification card within 10 days of receiving the updated information.

(d) If the registered qualifying patient's certifying practitioner notifies the department in writing that either the registered qualifying patient has ceased to suffer from a debilitating medical condition or that the practitioner no longer believes the patient would receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis, the card shall become null and void. However, the registered qualifying patient shall have 15 days to dispose of or give away his or her cannabis.

(e) A medical cannabis establishment shall notify the department within one business day of any theft or significant loss of cannabis.

Section 13. Affirmative Defense and Dismissal for Medical Cannabis.

(a) Except as provided in section 5 and this section, a person may assert the medical purpose for using cannabis as a defense to any prosecution involving cannabis, and such defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows that:

(1) a practitioner has stated that, in the practitioner's professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the person's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship, the patient has a debilitating medical condition and the potential benefits of using cannabis for medical purposes would likely outweigh the health risks for the person;

(2) the person was in possession of no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis, the amount of cannabis products allowed by department regulation, six cannabis plants, and the cannabis produced by those plants;

(3) the person was engaged in the acquisition, possession, use, manufacture, cultivation, or transportation of cannabis, paraphernalia, or both, relating to the administration of cannabis to treat or alleviate the individual's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the individual's debilitating medical condition; and

(4) any cultivation of cannabis and storage of more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis occurred in a secure location that only the person asserting the defense could access.

(b) The defense and motion to dismiss shall not prevail if the prosecution proves that:

(1) the person had a registry identification card revoked for misconduct; or

(2) the purposes for the possession or cultivation of cannabis were not solely for palliative or therapeutic use by the individual with a debilitating medical condition who raised the defense.

(c) An individual is not required to possess a registry identification card to raise the affirmative defense set forth in this section.

(d) If an individual demonstrates the individual's medical purpose for using cannabis pursuant to this section, except as provided in section 5, the individual shall not be subject to the following for the individual's use of cannabis for medical purposes:

(1) disciplinary action by an occupational or professional licensing board or bureau; or

(2) forfeiture of any interest in or right to any property other than cannabis.

Section 14. Registration of Medical Cannabis Establishments.

(a) Not later than 90 days after receiving an application for a medical cannabis establishment, the department shall register the prospective medical cannabis establishment and issue a registration certificate and a random 10-digit alphanumeric identification number if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the prospective medical cannabis establishment has submitted all of the following:

(A) the application fee.

(B) an application, including:

(i) the legal name of the prospective medical cannabis establishment;

(ii) the physical address of the prospective medical cannabis establishment that is not within 1,000 feet of a public or private school existing before the date of the medical cannabis establishment application;

(iii) the name and date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the proposed medical cannabis establishment; and

(iv) any additional information requested by the department.

(C) operating procedures consistent with rules for oversight of the proposed medical cannabis establishment, including procedures to ensure accurate recordkeeping and adequate security measures.

(D) if the city or county where the proposed medical cannabis establishment would be located has enacted zoning restrictions, a sworn statement certifying that the proposed medical cannabis establishment is in compliance with the restrictions.

(E) if the city or county where the proposed medical cannabis establishment requires a local registration, license, or permit, a copy of the registration, license, or permit.

(2) none of the principal officers or board members has served as a principal officer or board member for a medical cannabis establishment that has had its registration certificate revoked.

(3) none of the principal officers or board members is under 21 years of age.

(4) at least one principal officer is a resident of [state].

(e) If a local government has enacted a numerical limit on the number of medical cannabis establishments in the locality and a greater number of applicants seek registrations, the department shall solicit and consider input from the local government as to its preference or preferences for registration.

(f) The department shall issue a renewal registration certificate within 10 days of receipt of the prescribed renewal application and renewal fee from a medical cannabis establishment if its registration certificate is not under suspension and has not been revoked.

Section 15. Local Ordinances.

(a) A local government may enact ordinances or regulations not in conflict with this chapter, or with regulations enacted pursuant to this chapter, governing the time, place, manner, and number of medical cannabis establishment operations in the locality. A local government may establish civil penalties for violation of an ordinance or regulations governing the time, place, and manner of a medical cannabis establishment that may operate in such locality.

(b) No local government may prohibit dispensaries, either expressly or through the enactment of ordinances or regulations which make their operation impracticable in the jurisdiction.

(c) A local government may require medical cannabis establishments to obtain a local license, permit, or registration to operate, and may charge a reasonable fee for the local license, permit, or registration.

Section 16. Requirements, Prohibitions, Penalties.

(a) Medical cannabis establishments shall conduct a background check into the criminal history of every person seeking to become a principal officer, board member, agent, volunteer, or employee before the person begins working at the medical cannabis establishment.

(b) A medical cannabis establishment may not employ any person who:

(1) was convicted of a disqualifying felony offense; or

(2) is under 21 years of age.

(c) The operating documents of a medical cannabis establishment must include procedures for the oversight of the medical cannabis establishment and procedures to ensure accurate recordkeeping.

(d) A medical cannabis establishment shall implement appropriate security measures designed to deter and prevent the theft of cannabis and unauthorized entrance into areas containing cannabis.

(e) All cultivation, harvesting, manufacture, and packaging of cannabis must take place in a secure facility at a physical address provided to the department during the registration process. The secure facility may only be accessed by agents of the medical cannabis establishment, emergency personnel, and adults who are 21 years and older and who are accompanied by medical cannabis establishment agents.

(f) No medical cannabis establishment other than a cannabis product manufacturer may produce cannabis concentrates, cannabis extractions, or other cannabis products.

(g) A medical cannabis establishment may not share office space with or refer patients to a practitioner.

(h) A medical cannabis establishment may not permit any person to consume cannabis on the property of a medical cannabis establishment.

(i) Medical cannabis establishments are subject to inspection by the department during business hours.

(j) Before cannabis may be dispensed to a cardholder or nonresident cardholder, a dispensary agent must:

(1) make a diligent effort to verify that the registry identification card or registration presented to the dispensary is valid;

(2) make a diligent effort to verify that the person presenting the documentation is the person identified on the document presented to the dispensary agent;

(3) not believe that the amount dispensed would cause the person to possess more than the allowable amount of cannabis; and

(4) make a diligent effort to verify that the dispensary is the current dispensary that was designated by the cardholder or nonresident cardholder.

(k) A dispensary may not dispense more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis to a nonresident cardholder or a registered qualifying patient, directly or via a designated caregiver, in any 14-day period. Dispensaries shall ensure compliance with this limitation by maintaining internal, confidential records that include records specifying how much cannabis is being dispensed to the nonresident cardholder or registered qualifying patient and whether it was dispensed directly to a registered qualifying patient or to the designated caregiver.

Section 17. Department to Issue Regulations.

Not later than 120 days after the effective date of this chapter, the department shall promulgate regulations:

(1) governing the manner in which the department shall consider petitions from the public to add debilitating medical conditions or treatments to the list of debilitating medical conditions set forth in section 3(e) of this chapter, including public notice of and an opportunity to comment in public hearings on the petitions;

(2) establishing the form and content of registration and renewal applications submitted under this chapter;

(3) establishing a system to numerically score competing medical cannabis establishment applicants, in cases where more applicants apply than are allowed by the local government, that must include analysis of:

(A) the preference of the local government;

(B)  in the case of dispensaries, the suitability of the proposed location and its accessibility for patients;

(C) the character, veracity, background, qualifications, and relevant experience of principal officers and board members; and

(D) the business plan proposed by the applicant, which in the case of cultivation facilities and dispensaries shall include the ability to maintain an adequate supply of cannabis, plans to ensure safety and security of patrons and the community, procedures to be used to prevent diversion, and any plan for making cannabis available to low-income registered qualifying patients.

(4) governing the manner in which it shall consider applications for and renewals of registry identification cards, which may include creating a standardized written certification form;

(5) governing medical cannabis establishments with the goals of ensuring the health and safety of qualifying patients and preventing diversion and theft without imposing an undue burden or compromising the confidentiality of cardholders, including:

(A) oversight requirements;

(B) recordkeeping requirements;

(C) security requirements, including lighting, physical security, and alarm requirements;

(D) health and safety regulations, including restrictions on the use of pesticides that are injurious to human health;

(E) standards for the manufacture of cannabis products and both the indoor and outdoor cultivation of cannabis by cultivation facilities;

(F) requirements for the transportation and storage of cannabis by medical cannabis establishments;

(G) employment and training requirements, including requiring that each medical cannabis establishment create an identification badge for each agent;

(H) standards for the safe manufacture of cannabis products, including extracts and concentrates;

(I) restrictions on the advertising, signage, and display of medical cannabis, provided that the restrictions may not prevent appropriate signs on the property of a dispensary, listings in business directories including phone books, listings in marijuana-related or medical publications, or the sponsorship of health or not-for-profit charity or advocacy events;

(J) requirements and procedures for the safe and accurate packaging and labeling of medical cannabis; and

(K) certification standards for testing facilities, including requirements for equipment and qualifications for personnel.

(6) establishing procedures for suspending or terminating the registration certificates or registry identification cards of cardholders and medical cannabis establishments that commit multiple or serious violations of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations promulgated pursuant to this section;

(7) establishing labeling requirements for cannabis and cannabis products, including requiring cannabis products’ labels to include the following:

(A) the length of time it typically takes for a product to take effect;

(B) disclosing ingredients and possible allergens;

(C) a nutritional fact panel; and

(D) requiring that edible cannabis products be clearly identifiable, when practicable, with a standard symbol indicating that it contains cannabis.

(8) procedures for the registration of nonresident cardholders and their designation of no more than two dispensaries, which must require the submission of:

(A) a practitioner’s statement confirming that the patient has a debilitating medical condition; and

(B)  documentation demonstrating that the nonresident cardholder is allowed to possess cannabis or cannabis preparations in the jurisdiction where he or she resides.

(9) establishing the amount of cannabis products, including the amount of concentrated cannabis, each cardholder and nonresident cardholder can possess.

(10) establishing reasonable application and renewal fees for registry identification cards and registration certificates, according to the following:

(A) application fees for medical cannabis establishments shall not exceed $5,000, with this upper limit adjusted annually for inflation;

(B) the total fees collected must generate revenues sufficient to offset all expenses of implementing and administering this chapter;

(C) the department may establish a sliding scale of patient application and renewal fees based upon a qualifying patient's household income;

(D) the fees charged to qualifying patients, nonresident cardholders, and caregivers must be no greater than the costs of processing their applications and issuing a registry identification card or registration; and

(E) the department may accept donations from private sources to reduce application and renewal fees.

Section 18. Violations.

(a) A cardholder or medical cannabis establishment who willfully fails to provide a notice required by section 12 is guilty of a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of no more than $150.

(b) In addition to any other penalty applicable in law, a medical cannabis establishment or an agent of a medical cannabis establishment who intentionally sells or otherwise transfers cannabis in exchange for anything of value to a person other than a cardholder, a nonresident cardholder, or to a medical cannabis establishment or its agent is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years or by payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both. A person convicted under this subdivision may not continue to be affiliated with the medical cannabis establishment and is disqualified from further participation under this chapter.

(c) In addition to any other penalty applicable in law, a cardholder or nonresident cardholder who intentionally sells or otherwise transfers cannabis in exchange for anything of value to a person other than a cardholder, a nonresident cardholder, or to a medical cannabis establishment or its agent is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years or by payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

(d) A person who intentionally makes a false statement to a law enforcement official about any fact or circumstance relating to the medical use of cannabis to avoid arrest or prosecution is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or by payment of a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. This penalty is in addition to any other penalties that may apply for making a false statement or for the possession, cultivation, or sale of cannabis not protected by this chapter. If a person convicted of violating this section is a cardholder, the person is disqualified from further participation under this chapter.

(e) A person who knowingly submits false records or documentation required by the department to certify a medical cannabis establishment under this chapter is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or by payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

(f) A practitioner who knowingly refers patients to a medical cannabis establishment or to a designated caregiver, who advertises in a medical cannabis establishment, or who issues written certifications while holding a financial interest in a medical cannabis establishment shall be fined up to $1,000.

(g) It shall be a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for any person, including an employee or official of the department or another state agency or local government, to breach the confidentiality of information obtained pursuant to this chapter.

(h) A medical cannabis establishment shall be fined up to $1,000 for any violation of this chapter, or the regulations issued pursuant to them where no penalty has been specified. This penalty is in addition to any other penalties applicable in law.

Section 19. Suspension and Revocation.

(a) The department may on its own motion or on complaint, after investigation and opportunity for a public hearing at which the medical cannabis establishment has been afforded an opportunity to be heard, suspend or revoke a registration certificate for multiple negligent or knowing violations or for a serious and knowing violation by the registrant or any of its agents of this chapter or any rules promulgated pursuant to section 17.

(b) The department shall provide notice of suspension, revocation, fine, or other sanction, as well as the required notice of the hearing, by mailing the same in writing to the medical cannabis establishment at the address on the registration certificate. A suspension shall not be for a longer period than six months.

(c) A medical cannabis establishment may continue to possess cannabis during a suspension, but it may not dispense, transfer, or sell cannabis. A cultivation facility may continue to cultivate and possess cannabis plants during a suspension, but it may not dispense, transfer, or sell cannabis.

(d) The department shall immediately revoke the registry identification card of any cardholder who sells cannabis to a person who is not allowed to possess cannabis for medical purposes under this chapter, and the cardholder is disqualified from further participation under this chapter.

(e) The department may revoke the registry identification card of any cardholder who knowingly commits multiple unintentional violations or a serious knowing violation of this chapter.

(f) Revocation is a final decision of the department subject to judicial review.

Section 20. Confidentiality.

(a) Data in registration applications and supporting data submitted by qualifying patients, designated caregivers, nonresident cardholders, and medical cannabis establishments, including data on designated caregivers and practitioners, are private data on individuals that is confidential and exempt from the ____ Freedom of Information Act.

(b) Data kept or maintained by the department may not be used for any purpose not provided for in this chapter and may not be combined or linked in any manner with any other list or database.

(c) Data kept or maintained by the department may be disclosed as necessary for:

(1) the verification of registration certificates and registry identification cards pursuant to section 11;

(2) submission of the annual report required by section 23;

(3) notification of state or local law enforcement of apparent criminal violations of this chapter;

(4) notification of state and local law enforcement about falsified or fraudulent information submitted for purposes of obtaining or renewing a registry identification card; or

(5) notification of the _______ Medical Board if there is reason to believe that a practitioner provided a written certification, if the department has reason to believe the practitioner otherwise violated the standard of care for evaluating medical conditions.

(d) Any information kept or maintained by medical cannabis establishments must identify cardholders by their registry identification numbers and must not contain names or other personally identifying information.

(e) At the cardholder’s request, the department may confirm the cardholder’s status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver to a third party, such as a landlord, school, medical professional, or court.

(f) Any department hard drives or other data-recording media that are no longer in use and that contain cardholder information must be destroyed.

Section 21. Business Expenses Deductions.

Notwithstanding any federal tax law to the contrary, in computing net income for medical cannabis establishments, there shall be allowed as a deduction from state taxes all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on a trade or business as a medical cannabis establishment, including reasonable allowance for salaries or other compensation for personal services actually rendered.

Section 22. Advisory Committee.

(a) The legislature shall appoint a nine-member oversight committee comprised of: one member of the House of Representatives; one representative of the department; one member of the Senate; one practitioner with experience in medical cannabis issues; one nurse; one board member or principal officer of a cannabis testing facility; one individual with experience in policy development or implementation in the field of medical cannabis; and three qualifying patients.

(b) The oversight committee shall meet at least two times per year for the purpose of evaluating and making recommendations to the legislature and the department regarding:

(1) the ability of qualifying patients in all areas of the state to obtain timely access to high-quality medical cannabis;

(2) the effectiveness of the dispensaries and cultivation facilities, individually and together, in serving the needs of qualifying patients, including the provision of educational and support services by dispensaries, the reasonableness of their prices, whether they are generating any complaints or security problems, and the sufficiency of the number operating to serve the state’s registered qualifying patients;

(3) the effectiveness of the cannabis testing facilities, including whether a sufficient number are operating;

(4) the sufficiency of the regulatory and security safeguards contained in this chapter and adopted by the department to ensure that access to and use of cannabis cultivated is provided only to cardholders;

(5) any recommended additions or revisions to the department regulations or this chapter, including relating to security, safe handling, labeling, and nomenclature; and

(6) any research studies regarding health effects of medical cannabis for patients.

Section 23. Annual Report.

(a) The department shall report annually to the legislature on the findings and recommendations of the advisory committee, the number of applications for registry identification cards received, the number of qualifying patients and designated caregivers approved, the number of registry identification cards revoked, the number of each type of medical cannabis establishment that are registered, and the expenses incurred and revenues generated from the medical cannabis program.

(b) The department must not include identifying information on qualifying patients, designated caregivers, or practitioners in the report.

Section 24. Severability.

Any section of this chapter being held invalid as to any person or circumstance shall not affect the application of any other section of this chapter that can be given full effect without the invalid section or application.

Section 25. Date of Effect.                                                                        

This chapter shall take effect upon its approval.

[In addition, drafters should consider whether to reschedule cannabis under state law to the lowest schedule. They should also consider whether changes should be made to the provisions of state law with penalties for cannabis offenses.]

 

 

 

 

 

 



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