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h_jud_2016a_2016-02-25t13:33:18z0 Hearing Summary

Date: 02/25/2016



Final

BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1214



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The amendmen

Postpone House Bill 16-1214 indefinitely. The moti

Refer House Bill 16-1214 to the Committee on Appro


PASS

FAIL







01:34 PM -- HB16-1214



The committee was called to order. A quorum was present. Representative Conti, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 16-1214, concerning measures related to marijuana. Representative Conti discussed the genesis of the legislation, and explained the bill's effect. Discussion ensued regarding the broadness of the bill's title, and the potential for narrowing the scope of the bill. Representative Conti explained the effect of amendment L.001 (Attachment A). Discussion followed regarding the declaratory and injunctive relief allowed under L.001, and governmental immunity implications of the amendment.



16HouseJud0225AttachA.pdf16HouseJud0225AttachA.pdf



01:53 PM



Discussion ensued regarding court rulings on law enforcement destruction of legally grown marijuana, and provisions in the bill limiting the number of marijuana plants allowed per medical caregiver. The following persons testified regarding HB 16-1214:



02:04 PM --
Mr. Eric Bergman, representing Colorado Counties, Inc., testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a fact sheet supporting the bill, prepared by Colorado Counties, Inc. (Attachment B). Mr. Bergman discussed problems associated with illegal marijuana grow operations, and read the first page of Attachment B. Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding the provisions in HB 16-1214 that address his concerns. Mr. Bergman responded to questions regarding the ability of local governments to pass ordinances concerning odors associated with marijuana cultivation operations.



16HouseJud0225AttachB.pdf16HouseJud0225AttachB.pdf



02:16 PM --
Mr. Ron Carl, Arapahoe County Attorney, testified in support of HB 16-1214. Mr. Carl discussed problems at the local level with illegal marijuana grows. Mr. Carl responded to questions regarding approvals by local governments associated with local marijuana grows. Discussion returned to a provision in the bill limiting the number marijuana plants a caregiver may cultivate.



02:24 PM --
Ms. Teri Robnett, representing the Cannabis Patients Alliance, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Robnett raised potential constitutional concerns with the bill, and discussed the effective date originally established for the provisions currently in law limiting caregiver cultivation. Ms. Robnett responded to questions regarding how to address the issue of illegal marijuana grows, and prohibitions against law enforcement keeping legally grown marijuana that it has seized. Discussion ensued regarding the constitutionality of portions of HB 16-1214.



02:37 PM --
Mr. Michael Dohr, Office of Legislative Legal Services, clarified the effect of a portion of HB 16-1214, and a potentially unconstitutional provision in the bill.



02:43 PM --
Mr. Shawn Coleman, representing 36 Solutions, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Coleman listed some concerns with the bill, and addressed some questions raised during earlier testimony. Mr. Coleman responded to questions regarding the number of legal marijuana grows that have been disrupted by law enforcement in Colorado.



02:50 PM --
Mr. Robert Chase, representing the Colorado Coalition of Patients and Caregivers, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Chase discussed government opposition to the legal use of marijuana, and the constitutionality of the bill, as well as the constitutionality of other cannabis-related legislation passed by the General Assembly. Discussion ensued regarding the role of the Office of Legislative Legal Services.



02:58 PM --
Ms. Jessica LeRoux, representing patients in Park County, testified regarding the bill. Ms. LeRoux discussed property rights abridgements that may be facilitated by the bill, and cited such abridgements taking place under current law. Ms. LeRoux addressed questions raised earlier about how to address the problem of illegal marijuana grows.





03:08 PM



Ms. LeRoux continued to question the constitutionality of the bill. Discussion ensued regarding potential law enforcement corruption associated with illegal marijuana grows.



03:15 PM --
Ms. Janet Huffor, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Huffor commented on earlier allegations, and discussed the merits of the bill in addressing illegal marijuana grows. Ms. Huffor provided her position on amendments L.001 and L.002 (Attachment C). Discussion ensued regarding the seizure of legally grown marijuana by law enforcement. Ms. Huffor responded to questions regarding the potential effect of amendment L.001 on legal marijuana growers who have their property seized. Discussion followed regarding the El Paso County Sheriff's Office's policies with regard to marijuana seizures, as well as other seizures of live property.



16HouseJud0225AttachC.pdf16HouseJud0225AttachC.pdf



03:28 PM --
Deputy Jeff Schulz, representing the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a packet of information concerning the office's activities in the area of marijuana regulation (Attachment D). Deputy Schulz explained his office's activities in this area, and provided narration for the materials in Attachment D. Deputy Schulz responded to questions regarding the impact of marijuana cultivation on neighbors. Deputy Schulz responded to questions regarding how his office handles investigations and policing of potentially illegal marijuana operations.



16HouseJud0225AttachD.pdf16HouseJud0225AttachD.pdf



03:44 PM



Deputy Schulz responded to questions regarding how his office initiates an investigation of a potentially illegal marijuana grow, and how the office determines whether a given producer is legal. Discussion ensued regarding the determination of probable cause in such instances, and options available to the office once probable cause has been determined. Deputy Schulz responded to questions regarding when his office might seize marijuana from an illegal grow.





03:57 PM



Deputy Schulz responded to questions regarding how the provisions of HB 16-1214 would help his office address the issues it is facing with respect to illegal marijuana grows.



03:59 PM --
Mr. Richard Orf, representing the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Orf discussed the fiscal ramifications of illegal grows at the local level, and how the bill may impact this issue.



04:02 PM --
Ms. Karin McGowan, representing the Department of Public Health and Environment, testified in support of the provision in the bill that moves forward the effective date associated with plant limits for medical marijuana care providers. Ms. McGowan responded to questions regarding the reasons why the initial effective date was chosen. Discussion ensued on this point. Ms. McGowan responded to questions regarding the number of caregivers that would be affected by the plant limit provisions. Discussion followed regarding how plant limits for medical marijuana caregivers will be tracked, and the implementation of the electronic marijuana registry in conjunction with the plant limits. Ms. McGowan responded to questions regarding how marijuana caregiver cultivation is currently tracked. Ms. McGowan responded to a question regarding how the effective date provision was incorporated into HB 16-1214.



04:13 PM --
Mr. Todd Reeves, representing the Colorado Drug Investigators Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Reeves addressed earlier testimony about the North Metro Drug Task Force, and discussed policing of marijuana grows and black market activity associated with medical marijuana cultivation. Mr. Reeves discussed attempts by law enforcement to maintain the viability of seized marijuana plants. Mr. Reeves responded to questions regarding evidence of illegal marijuana cultivation based on the number of plants found, and the handling of evidence in such cases.





04:25 PM



Discussion ensued regarding the constitutionality of amendment L.001.





04:28 PM



The committee recessed.





04:45 PM



The committee returned to order.

BILL: HB16-1214
TIME: 04:26:10 PM
MOVED: Court
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment A). The amendment was withdrawn.
SECONDED: Melton
VOTE
Carver
Excused
Court
Dore
Foote
Lawrence
Lundeen
Melton
Salazar
Willett
Lee
Kagan
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION:





04:45 PM



Representative Conti provided closing remarks in support of HB 16-1214. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill.

BILL: HB16-1214
TIME: 04:46:24 PM
MOVED: Lawrence
MOTION: Refer House Bill 16-1214 to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion failed on a vote of 4-7.
SECONDED: Lundeen
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
No
Dore
No
Foote
No
Lawrence
Yes
Lundeen
Yes
Melton
No
Salazar
No
Willett
Yes
Lee
No
Kagan
No
YES: 4 NO: 7 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL





04:57 PM

BILL: HB16-1214
TIME: 04:57:43 PM
MOVED: Lee
MOTION: Postpone House Bill 16-1214 indefinitely. The motion passed on a vote of 8-3.
SECONDED: Salazar
VOTE
Carver
Yes
Court
Yes
Dore
Yes
Foote
Yes
Lawrence
No
Lundeen
No
Melton
Yes
Salazar
Yes
Willett
No
Lee
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Final YES: 8 NO: 3 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS







04:58 PM



The committee adjourned.


Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned until 10:00 a.m., Monday, March 30, 2020. 

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