COLORADO: State auditors say that only a dozen Colorado doctors issued half of the medical marijuana patient recommendations in the state — a sign that the state is not providing enough oversight of the medical marijuana industry.
The audit reveals that in 2009 there were only 6,000 medical marijuana patients in Colorado — as of March 2013, there are 108,000 patients. And as of 2012, 903 Colorado doctors recommended medical marijuana “red cards” for those 108,000 patients, but only 12 of those doctors issued 50 percent of those recommendations, AP reporter Ivan Moreno points out.
The 102-page report released Monday is a sharp criticism of the job that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been doing as regulators. It’s the second criticism of the state’s job of regulating the medical marijuana industry this year — in March, another audit accused the Department of Revenue of spending its budget on cars and furniture rather than enforcing marijuana rules, The Denver Post reports.
This new audit accuses the health department of not sufficiently overseeing doctors who give out the recommendations to patients — the way way a patient can get medical marijuana.
Some Colorado doctors also appear to have recommended what seems to be excessive amounts of marijuana to some patients — one patient received a recommendation for 501 marijuana plants while another patient got a referral for 75 ounces of pot.