Clarification regarding requirements of HB 21-1317

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Clarification regarding requirements of HB 21-1317

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Regulatory Agencies (DORA) are sharing this information to provide clarification about new requirements established by HB 21-1317.

HB 21-1317 requires providers to include additional information on medical marijuana recommendations. Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and recommendations for medical marijuana made in accordance with Colorado law are not prescriptions.  Prescribing providers who submit this additional required information when recommending medical marijuana for their patients are not at risk of losing their medical license solely due to the provision of this additional information.

Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution and section 25-1.5-106 of the Colorado Revised Statutes authorize qualified physicians and advanced practice practitioners with prescriptive authority to recommend medical marijuana if they determine that the patient suffers from a debilitating or disabling medical condition and might benefit from such use.  The recommendation is submitted to the Medical Marijuana Registry (MMR) with the rest of the patient's application. If all other application information is complete and correct, the patient will be issued a registry identification  card. The physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana cannot be “filled” as a prescription at a pharmacy.

Medical Marijuana Recommendation

To meet the Colorado statutory requirements for a recommendation, a physician or advanced practice practitioner with prescriptive authority fulfills state requirements by providing  the following information to MMR administered by CDPHE:

  • The date of issue and the effective date of the recommendation;

  • The patient’s name and address;

  • The authorizing physician’s name, address, and federal Drug Enforcement Agency number;

  • The diagnosed debilitating or disabling medical condition;

  • A recommendation that the patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana;

  • The maximum THC potency level of medical marijuana being recommended;

  • The recommended product, if any;

  • The patient’s daily authorized quantity if such quantity exceeds the statutorily allowed amount for the patient’s age;

  • Directions for use; and

  • The authorizing physician’s signature.


In contrast to a medical marijuana recommendation, the issuance of a prescription for drugs authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), must be in accordance with Sections 12-280-103(31) and 18-18-414(1), C.R.S. Prescribing providers must include all of the following in their prescriptions: 

  • Date; 

  • Patient name; 

  • Drug name; 

  • Strength;

  • Directions; and 

  • Signature.



Medical Marijuana Registry, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment &
Division of Professions and Occupations, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies


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