Welcome to our latest issue of ReLeaf, the essential guide to medical marijuana in the Pikes Peak region. Inside, we're offering information on each of the MMJ centers in town, plus those in outlying areas like Divide, Cascade and Pueblo, as well as a series of stories that touch on various facets of the industry.
And changes in that industry, quite simply, keep on coming. For instance, Jan. 1 kicked off the new fee structure at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: $35 for a red card instead of $90, and nothing if you and your family qualify under a sliding income scale that starts at $20,147 for a family of one.
You can certainly count that as a victory for the patient, but of course all the news isn't good. Not even close.
In 2011, CDPHE rejected applications with medical recommendations from physician's assistants or nurse practitioners (as opposed to doctors), which left thousands of people in the lurch. On the business side, uncertainty has continued with the lack of firm banking options for MMJ centers. There's word that state lawmakers will consider legislation to enable folks to start a cannabis credit union, but it's a fluid idea that may get pushed into 2013. In the meantime, center owners run cash-only businesses, making them obvious magnets for crime.
So it's definitely interesting. Keep an eye on our coverage as things develop, and thanks for reading.