Colorado Springs

Colorado’s effort to limit high-potency marijuana is stoking privacy concerns – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-06-03 05:40:00 –

Legislature members and advocates of medical marijuana patients are concerned that a bill regulating cannabis concentrate at the Colorado State Capitol could compromise patient privacy, in part by tracking purchases. I will.

Colorado Use “Seed to Sale” software Known as METRC, it tracks cannabis production from the moment the seeds are planted, harvested, converted into products, and sold to recreational or medical consumers. House Bill 1317 expands the use of software to track daily purchases by medical marijuana patients and ensure that they do not exceed limits.

Other states that use METRC suffer from software outages and other delays.Proponents of the bill say Colorado hasn’t reported any security issues with METRC since the Florida-based company. Franwell signed We plan to develop the system in 2011, but some people are nervous just to collect the data.

“No one knows what the data will be used for in the future,” said Eddie Houton, a Boulder Democrat and one of the three Democrats who voted against the bill in the House of Representatives. Told.

Medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, but the use of pots still violates federal law. Lawmakers have expressed concern that leaks of data on the purchase of medical marijuana could lead to people losing their jobs and facing other consequences.

However, supporters say that tracking cannabis concentrate purchases enforces restrictions and prevents people, especially teens, from visiting multiple stores a day to circumvent the daily restrictions. Entertainment marijuana is limited to people over the age of 21, but people of all ages can get a medical card.

“It’s difficult to set a daily limit unless no one is tracking what they’re buying for each transaction,” said Alec Garnett, Speaker of the Democratic Party of Denver.

Speaker of the House Alec Garnett spoke at a news conference about the Democratic Party’s plans to spend $ 3.8 billion on coronavirus control. (Jesse Paul, Colorado Sun)

Parliamentarians then added wording to the bill, and the data collected under this bill Existing language Protect the privacy of medical marijuana patients.

“The patient community wants peace of mind to ensure the confidentiality of this reported data,” said Chris Holbert, a Republican in Douglas County, Senate Minority Secretary of State.

Based on how the system was designed or implemented, METRC’s Director of Program Management, David Eagleson, said the company does not have digital security issues in all 15 state and District of Columbia contracts.

“One of the things we’re very proud of is that there were no known security breaches,” says Eagleson.

House building 1317 Backed by a bipartisan coalition of Colorado state legislators, by adding new barriers for people under the age of 21 to obtain medical marijuana cards and lowering the daily purchase limit for medical marijuana concentrates. Aims to limit illegal access to powerful teenage marijuana products. Track your patient’s medical marijuana purchases to ensure that purchase restrictions are in place.

Specifically, the law reduces the purchase limit for marijuana concentrates for patients aged 18 to 20 years to 2 grams per day and for patients 21 years and older to 8 grams per day. There are exceptions for people whose doctors guarantee they need more medical care, those who are at home, or those who have other barriers to access.

Currently, patients can purchase up to 40 grams of marijuana concentrate daily. Proponents of the bill claim that people can easily impose skirt restrictions from store to store, as sales are not tracked.

“The THC potency of these products is 50-99.9%,” Garnett quotes from a study on increased use of cannabis concentrates in teens.

Background: Colorado lawmakers aim to enact strict new regulations on marijuana concentrate, medical cannabis

Under the bill, pharmacy staff should check the METRC to make sure people haven’t reached the daily purchase limit before selling. This tracking applies only to medical marijuana and the bill Proponents say that medical cards are available to individuals under the age of 21 and are causing teenage abuse. The minimum age for individuals under the age of 21 to purchase recreational pots. Parents say medical marijuana patients under the age of 21 buy large amounts of cannabis and distribute it to their friends.

Ashley Weber, executive director of the cannabis decriminalization advocacy group Colorado NORML, said the bill unfairly targeted medical cannabis patients. She is also concerned that problems and human error in entering purchase data into the system could prevent patients from legally gaining access to medical marijuana.

“It is irresponsible to follow the patient further and have the patient pay for the follow-up,” Weber said.

Weber also urged lawmakers to consider excluding medical marijuana patients over the age of 21 who focused on youth misuse from the bill.

“If you say this comes from a patient over the age of 21, you’re fooling yourself to think it’s not from the entertainment side,” Webber told the Senate Finance Committee last week. “I think there are many other ways to find out where the distractions come from.”

The bill had widespread bipartisan support in the House, but passed the House 55-8. Five Republicans and three Democrats “no” because of various concerns, including data privacy. Voted for.

According to the Revenue Department, which maintains the METRC system, Colorado does not currently link sales data to specific people, but clinics can enter information about specific patients in any field. Only “selected staff in the marijuana executive department” have access to that arbitrary data, said Shannon Gray, a spokesman for the revenue division.

METRC records information such as product quantity, weight, price, and patient identification number. According to Gray, it does not contain name, date of birth, or other identifiable personal information and is stored separately at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Medical Marijuana Registry.

More states are considering tracking sales to medical marijuana patients, Eagleson said. According to Eagleson, at least six jurisdictions use the software to limit the use of medical marijuana by patients.

In states where sales to patients are being tracked, the only identification information stored in METRC is the patient’s ID number.

Regarding the company’s existing software, Eagleson said: “For programs with a 30-day period, the battender can only see the patient number, the patient number if you have a valid card, and the amount available for purchase.”

If requested, the company can customize the software to collect more information, Eagleson said.

Congressman Tim Geitner, a Republican in Colorado Spring who supports House Bill 1317, said the State Constitution already protects information gathered from medical marijuana patients. He also points out that access to METRC data is restricted.

Shannon Bird, Congressman (Thy Vo, San, Colorado) speaking with Tim Guitner, Republican Colorado Minority Leader, June 2, 2021

Geithner quotes that state or local law enforcement agencies are only allowed access to the registry to verify that a person has a medical card legally. Existing language in state law..

As a doctor, Congressman Yadira Caraveo, a Democrat of Thornton and a key supporter of the bill, said on prescriptions for patients with controlled drugs such as opioids. Prescription drug monitoring programThis year’s MPs are under consideration Another step to expand the program For all prescriptions.

“Like that data, the METRC system is confidential and very secure,” says Caraveo.

However, supporters and opponents point out the fact that store battenders across the state have access to the data, saying that if the purchase history is retained altogether, it creates a new privacy vulnerability.

Highland Ranch Republican Rep. Kevin Van Winkle introduced several amendments to regularly remove METRC patient purchase data, but failed.

“We can find the right balance between not overdoing marijuana in a day or a week and keeping all the transactions of the rest of our lives permanently recorded. “It was,” said Van Winkle.

Seventeen states, two US territories, and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to legalize the use of adult recreational marijuana. National Conference of State LegislatorsThere are laws permitting medical use in 36 states and 4 US territories.

In Maryland, where the state uses METRC to track sales of medical marijuana and enforce purchase restrictions, Pharmacy complains about software bugs This is due to the large capacity that caused the system to freeze or take several hours to load. Some patients said they waited hours to complete the transaction. According to slate..

California cannabis companies had similar complaints about shutting down METRC software earlier this year. Trade magazine MJBizDaily report.

Eagleson says METRC has since made improvements to improve the efficiency of these systems.

Washington And Pennsylvania report using another cannabis tracking software from a Denver-based company called MJ Freeway. Extensive issues When the system was first booted, a hacker stole it from a software glitch that messed up the order. Posted company source code Online in 2017.

Industry groups know that implementing the new system will take time, said Truman Bradley, executive director of the marijuana industry group, which represents the cannabis business.

“Whenever I switch to immediate reporting, I’m concerned about the effectiveness of the system, whether it’s going to stop working,” Bradley said. “Some (software) development is needed and it is widely accepted.”

House Bill 1317 requires an additional vote from the State Senate. The bill is then returned to the House of Representatives for final approval.

Colorado Sun does not have paywalls. This means readers don’t have to pay to access the article. We believe that affected people need to see important information, such as public health crises, investigative journalism, and parliamentary accountability.

This report Dependent About support from readers like you. Invest in an informed community for just $ 5 a month.

Colorado’s effort to limit high-potency marijuana is stoking privacy concerns Source link Colorado’s effort to limit high-potency marijuana is stoking privacy concerns

Back to top button