Marijuana: Why Is The State Trying So Hard To Shut Down Private Caregivers?

COLORADO:  Medical marijuana patient numbers in Colorado have flattened out over the past few months, settling at around 116,000 people despite the submission of more than 2,700 new-patient applications during the past few months. In September, there were 115,710 patients on the registry; in October, the number was 117,239 — but enrollment for November was back at 116,216.

Also clear from the stats are the small number of people who use private caregivers — a big focus of the state’s enforcement efforts.

The high-water mark came in June 2011, when the registry had 128,698 patients. But new rules and regulations that went into effect the following month resulted in the number of patients dropping to just 88,872 by that October. The total has been slowly climbing back since then.

Newly released statistics from the state also show that the number of medical patients who designate either a private caregiver or a medical marijuana dispensary as their primary grower has dropped as well — from 46 percent in October to just 44 percent in November, a decline of nearly 2,800 people. Since there’s no further breakdown in the figures, it’s hard to tell if the drop is due to patients increasingly growing their own and avoiding signing on with a dispensary, or if the recent crackdown on state-legal caregivers by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has caused caregivers and patients to shy away from registering.

Read full article @ Denver Westword