Charles Schneider(Photo: Special to the Register)
This week I introduced a bill that could provide relief to people who suffer from debilitating medical conditions. Senate File 506, named the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, has received bipartisan support so far.
The bill identifies several debilitating medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis treatment, including conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and PTSD. The list of conditions can be expanded if a medical advisory board makes a recommendation to the Department of Public Health and the department approves the recommendation. The bill also allows for medical cannabis to be produced and dispensed within the state so that people don’t have to travel to other states to get it.
There are also safeguards to make sure the law can’t be used by people who seek medical cannabis for purely recreational use. For example, a person needs to have a doctor’s certification that the person does in fact have a debilitating medical condition. The certification needs to be updated annually. The person would then need to apply to the Department of Public Health for a registration card. The card would include the person’s photo, full name and address and dates of issuance and expiration. The card would expire after one year if not renewed. The person needs to show the card at a dispensary.
Dispensaries are required to adhere to strict requirements. There can’t be more than twelve dispensaries spread geographically throughout the state. DPH will regulate the form and quantity of what can be sold. Smoking is not allowed. Dispensaries must implement specific security measures. They must prove that they have verified the person’s card and must assign a tracking number to every product they dispense. They must adhere to packaging and labeling requirements similar to those