In case you have not seen it, here is the New York Times feature article on the medical marijuana market in Colorado.
I have just started reading the new Colorado statute, since I have been focusing on events here in the Northeast, but from what I have seen so far it is a fascinating mix of approaches. It’s a four-way split: (a) it divides authority over the market between the taxing authority and the health department and (b) it splits jurisdiction between the state and local governments.
First, the statute creates a “state licensing authority” within the Colorado Department of Revenue, not the health department. This tax authority body regulates the dispensaries, i.e. the supply side. (Anyone with a long-enough memory will remember that federal drug control was originally based on the Constitutional taxing authority before the Controlled Substances Act hung it on the Interstate Commerce Clause.) The health department retains authority over patients and caregivers, i.e. the demand side.
It also splits authority between the state and local government.
Further comments to follow, time permitting.