NEW: Q. Now that the Department has released its regulations, can I apply to be a producer or dispensary?
A. No. The regulations that were released are still a working draft. The regulations will not become effective until approved by the Legislatureís Regulation Review Committee and filed with the Secretary of State.
NEW: Q. I have some comments or ideas about the draft regulations. Who should I send my comments to?
A. Before the regulations become final, there will be an opportunity for the public to provide testimony or offer written comments. The public hearing date has not been set, but will be at some point in the spring of 2013. The Department will give at least 30 days advance public notice of the hearing date, location and time as well as instructions for providing written comments.
Q. Will every pharmacy in the state dispense medical marijuana?
A. No, pharmacies will not be licensed to dispense marijuana; only licensed pharmacists will be able to apply for and obtain a dispensary license from the Department of Consumer Protection.
Q. Who will grow the marijuana?
A. Only producers licensed by the Department of Consumer Protection will be authorized to cultivate marijuana. At any one time, the number of licensed producers shall be at least three and not more than 10. The Department will establish regulations setting out the qualifications for licensed producers. Among other things, any person seeking to be licensed as a producer will have to demonstrate they have the financial capacity to build and operate a secure indoor facility that could grow pharmaceutical-grade marijuana and the ability to maintain adequate controls to prevent the diversion, theft or loss of the marijuana in their facility.
Q. Can I use the application form currently available from the Department of Consumer Protection for a Manufacturer or Wholesaler of Drugs, Cosmetics or Medical Devices to apply to be a producer or dispensary of medical marijuana?
A. No. The appropriate application forms are not available at this time.
Q. I have been contacted by, or saw an advertisement for, someone offering to help me set up a medical marijuana dispensary or production facility. Is there a way for me to find out if this company is associated with the Department of Consumer Protection?
A. Currently, the Department is not working with anyone outside the Agency on the development of these regulations. Anyone who claims to have insight into what will or will not be acceptable under the Departmentís regulations is engaged in pure speculation. Please be aware that if you choose to work with them, you will be doing so at your own risk. With that in mind, as with any other time when you may consider hiring a consultant, contractor or vendor, we strongly encourage you to do your homework first. You should research the business you will be dealing with, ask for references and then contact those references. If you are asked to sign a contract, read that contract, or have your lawyer read that contract, carefully before you sign it.