The word 'and' in Colorado bill marks major mistake for marijuana research

MGN

DENVER (KKTV) - Gov. John Hickenlooper has sent a bill to the secretary of state without his signature, pointing out that one accidental word in the bill negatively impacts its original purpose.

HB 17-1367 has to do with marijuana research authorization in Colorado. In a letter addressed to the Colorado House of Representatives, the governor says he is neither signing nor vetoing the bill. The bill will become law even without his signature.

The letter goes on to say during the bill's consideration, multiple amendments were added in the final days of the session. As part of one amendment, the word "and" was inserted to replace the word "or." The governor states in his letter the change has significant implications. Due to the the change, no state or local agency may use or employ test results from a lab not certified by the Department of Revenue and accredited to the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission.

Currently there are only two testing facilities in the state that meet both of the above requirements. Originally, the bill was supposed to allow testing facilities to meet one or the other.

The governor says the bill was intended to create a new license type for entities using marijuana for research purposes, provide the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) rule making authority, and make changes to medical and recreational marijuana testing.

The governor says he confirmed with the bill's sponsors the change of the word "or" to "and" was unintended.

The section with the mistake is below:

(I) (G) A STATE, LOCAL, OR MUNICIPAL AGENCY SHALL NOT EMPLOY OR USE THE RESULTS OF ANY TEST OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA OR MEDICAL MARIJUANA-INFUSED PRODUCTS CONDUCTED BY AN ANALYTICAL LABORATORY THAT IS NOT CERTIFIED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION (2.5)(a)(I) FOR THE PARTICULAR TESTING CATEGORY AND ACCREDITED TO THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION/INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION 17025:2005 STANDARD, OR ANY SUBSEQUENT SUPERSEDING STANDARD, IN THAT FIELD OF TESTING.

The governor wrote:

During the period between the effective date of Jan. 1, 2018 and the initial days of the 2018 Regular Session, when corrective action may be enacted, licensees will remain subject to all potency and contaminants testing requirements. Additionally, the state pesticide and random testing programs will remain in operation. However, MED will be unable to initiate enforcement actions triggered by failed testing unless the law is changed. ... Therefore, a correction enacted by the General Assembly in the early weeks of session is critical.

If the correction is not issued in time, the state's testing program could be compromised.