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Colorado lawmakers’ effort to curb illegal use of high-potency marijuana by teens is stoking privacy concerns

State lawmakers and medical marijuana patient advocates are concerned that a bill at the Colorado state Capitol to regulate cannabis concentrates, in part by tracking purchases, could compromise patient privacy.

Colorado uses “seed-to-sale” software known as METRC to track cannabis production from the moment a seed is planted to when it’s harvested, turned into a product and sold to a recreational or medical consumer. House Bill 1317 would expand use of the software to track daily purchases by medical marijuana patients to prevent them from exceeding limits.

Other states that use METRC have been plagued by software outages and other delays. Sponsors of the bill say Colorado hasn’t reported security problems with METRC since the Florida-based company Franwell was contracted to develop the system in 2011, but the mere collection of the data makes some people nervous.

“Who knows what that data can be used for in the future,” said Rep. Edie Hooton, a Boulder Democrat and one of three Democrats who voted against the measure in the House.

Although medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Colorado, using pot is still against federal law. Lawmakers raised concerns that people could lose jobs or face other ramifications if data about their medical marijuana purchases is leaked. [Read more at The Colorado Sun]

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