The debate over the Green's proposal is in part a debate over whether it is better to have a separate agency running cannabis, or go through the existing department structure and merely force the bureaucrats & politicians to honour the will of the people.

Here is what the rest of the world is doing. Green means separate agency, black is within the existing government structure (mostly Health, some Human Services and one Tax Department, which at least is honest).

  • Washington (Rec & MC) The Washington State Medical Marijuana Authorization Agency
  • Colorado (Rec & MC): Medical Marijuana Registration process operated by the Colorado Dept of Public Health although they do have a Marijuana Enforcement Division in their Tax Office
  • Oregon (Rec & MC): Oregon Medical Cannabis Program administered by the Oregon Health Authority
  • California (Rec & MC): Bureau of Cannabis Control
  • Nevada (RC & MC): The Medical Marijuana Establishment Program, including certification of establishments and initial application and renewal of agent cards, has been transferred to the Department of Taxation.
  • Arizona (MC): Medical Marijuana Program run by Public Health Licensing Services of the Arizona Department of Public Health. They use a card system for approved conditions.
  • Montana (MC): Montana Medical Marijuana Program administered by the Department of Public Health and Human Services
  • New Mexico (MC): Medical Cannabis Program administered by the New Mexico Department of Health
  • North Dakota (MC): New jurisdiction, no seperate name, currently anything medical cannabis is run by the North Dakota Health Department
  • Minnesota (MC): No name for the program, just part of the Minnesota Department of Health
  • Arkansas (MC): All medical cannabis matters run by the Arkansas Department of Health
  • Illinois (MC & D-Rec): Medical Cannabis Patient Registration Program run by the Illinois Department of Public Health division of Medical Cannabis
  • Michigan (MC): Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (with a H so that's a hint) and so far only 9 grow licenses and zero retail licenses, so a seperate body has actually prevented uptake
  • Ohio (MC & Decriminalised Rec): Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program which is a cross-agency initiative of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, State Medical Board of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Commerce.
  • Pennsylvania (MC): Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program administered by the Department of Health
  • New York State (MC): New York Medical Marijuana Program administered by the New York State Department of Health
  • Maryland (MC & D-Rec): Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
  • Florida (MC): Office of Medical Marijuana administered by the Florida Department of Health
  • Vermont (MC): Vermont Medical Cannabis Registry administered by the Department of Public Safety
  • Maine (MC): Maine Medical Use of Marijuana program administered by the Department of Public Health Systems

This list is to a degree useless without knowing how effective each state's approach actually is. Certainly the Michigan Agency is considered an abject failure in the same way our TGA has been - seeing it;s job as blocking cannabis not allowing it. So this list is offered for what use you choose to make of it.

I will return to this issue as time allows, and look at other countries.



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