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CTI Petition to Protect Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Privacy Denied

Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI) Petition to Protect Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Privacy was Denied January 19th, 2011.  Still some silver lining remains for Colorado MMJ Patients. 

For immediate release: Jan. 19, 2011 by Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI)

{Denver} -- The Colorado Board of Health denied the Cannabis Therapy Institute's Petition for Emergency Rules to Protect Patient Privacy on Wednesday, January 19th 2011 on the grounds that the issue did not constitute an emergency as defined by the state Administrative Procedure Act. Regardless of the Colorado Board of Health's decision to deny CTI's petition to institute rules that would help secure medical marijuana patient privacy, some good news for Colorado medical marijuana patients did emerge from the for the Board of Health expressed great concern for the patient privacy issues brought up by CTI and agreed to hold an informational meeting on the topic at the next Board of Health meeting on February 16th, 2011.

Cannabis Therapy Institute's proposed emergency rules prohibit the CDPHE from sharing the CDPHE Confidential Registry with any outside agencies. The rules also contain procedures to ensure confidentiality and generate "incident reports" if the Registry is ever breached.  CTI's petition came as a result of plans by the CDPHE to allow the Colorado Department of Revenue to "replace" the current CDPHE Confidential Registry with a non-confidential database and surveillance system run by the DoR and accessible to law enforcement and other state agencies on demand. Check out the video below.

The Board of Health took up CTI's emergency rules as the first agenda item at the meeting on Wed. Glenn Schlabs, President of the Board of Health, stated that he didn't think the rules needed to be passed as an emergency. He also argued that he wasn't sure if the Board of Health had the authority to pass the rules. He said that he realized that in HB 10-1284, which was enacted last year by the Colorado state legislature, some "information-sharing (among agencies) was contemplated." However he did not believe that it could be classified as an emergency situation.

Prominent figures representing the Cannabis Therapy Institute argued that the situation was an emergency do, in part, to the fact that the Colorado Department of Revenue was promulgating rules at a public hearing held January 27th through January 28th of 2011, and after that they would have given themselves the authority to start collecting patient information.

Ron Hyman from the CDPHE Center for Health and Environmental Information and Statistics (CHEIS) Vital Records Division, who has served as Director of the Medical Marijuana Registry since 2001, gave a brief description of the Registry security system that is currently in place. Hyman said the Registry is only accessible over a secure network from a computer housed in the state of Colorado's main IT computer room, which is restricted to everyone except CDPHE employees who have undergone background checks and signed confidentiality agreements. When asked by the Board of Health if there had been any security breaches of the Registry already, Hyman replied that a few instances had taken place "where mistakes have been made, but that there had been no intentional leak of information".

Director Hyman stated that he was in the process of working with law enforcement through the Colorado Department of Public Safety to set up a system for law enforcement to have greater access to the Registry. He said they were "exploring an electronic mechanism" for law enforcement to scan the bar code on the Registry ID card and get immediate feedback directly from the CDPHE Confidential Registry.

Outside the hearing, Medical Marijuana Registry employee Debra Tuenge stated that they were in the process of integrating the CDPHE Confidential Registry with information from the Department of Revenue on Medical
Marijuana Center applicants.

Photos from: Colorado Board of Health Meeting
Jan. 19, 2011
CDPHE, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO
Permissiin to reprint granted.
Credit to

Tuenge said they were "cleaning up" the Registry database and adding Medical Marijuana Center applicant information to each patient's Registry information. This is also of great concern to patients. There is no reason the CDPHE should be storing a list of MMC's associated with various patients, since MMC's aren't even mentioned in the Constitution. The Constitution only gives the CDPHE the authority to issue and track patient
Registry ID cards, not any other information.

Cannabis Therapy Institute officials pointed out at the hearing that these new innovations in the administration of the Registry constituted a substantial change from the current system and should be subject to procedures for making new regulations, including proper public notice and comment opportunities.

In the end, the Board of Health voted not to adopt CTI's proposed emergency rules and, adding insult to injury, even refused to set the rules over for a formal rule-making hearing. They agreed to hold an informational meeting for Colorado medical marijuana patients on February 16th, 2011.  During the informal meeting for MMJ patients in Colorado, the Colorado Board of Health as agreed to consider the CTI Petition for Emergency Rules to be set over for a formal rule-making hearing, leaving some silver lining for medical marijuana patients and good reason to keep their hopes up and spirits high (no pun intended).

In other medical marijuana business, at their meeting on Wednesday, the Board of Health added to the list of qualifying conditions for the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes by enacting a new petition process for adding debilitating medical conditions to the list of approved conditions, and without any comment passed a request from CDPHE attorney Ann Hause, the Director of the Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, to set over new rules on restrictions on physicians for a formal rulemaking hearing.

For more information on the Colorado Board of Health rules, recent developments and upcoming meetings with the Board visit

To find more information on Colorado Medical Marijuana, including local Cannabis Clinic or Dispensary Listings, Colorado Cannabis Seed Suppliers, Hydroponic Grow Shops and Gardening Stores, Medical Marijuana Delivery Services, Head Shops and many more resources for Colorado MMJ patients, medical marijuana dispensary or business owners and everyone else involved in the legal Colorado medical marijuana industry click the link below!


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