Montana Administrative Register Notice 37-483 No. 16   08/27/2009    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.107.107 pertaining to fee reduction for medical marijuana patients











TO:  All Concerned Persons


1.  On September 28, 2009, the Department of Public Health and Human Services proposes to amend the above-stated rule.


2.  The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice.  If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 21, 2009, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need.  Please contact Rhonda Lesofski, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena MT 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-1970; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov.


3.  The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


            37.107.107  FEES  (1)  The application fee is $50 $25.

            (2)  The annual renewal fee is $50 $10.

            (3) through (3)(c) remain the same.


AUTH:  50-46-210, MCA

IMP:  50-46-103, 50-46-210, MCA


            4.  The Department of Public Health and Human Services (department) is proposing an amendment to ARM 37.107.107 pertaining to fee reductions for the Medical Marijuana Program.  The rule describes the fees to be charged for initial application and annual renewal to the registry, the payment methods accepted, and refund information.


The proposed rule decreases the original application fee from $50 to $25 and the renewal fee from $50 to $10.  The decrease is proposed because the revenue received by the program is no longer cost neutral due to the continued increase in qualified patients and to deflect the economic hardship which current fees are placing on patients and care givers.  The department estimates that approximately 3,000 individuals currently on the registry will be impacted by the annual renewal decrease.


The department considered several options and combinations in fee reductions.  Using the current trend of an average of approximately 200 new applications per month and the likelihood that approximately 3,000 patients would renew, determined that by reducing the application fee to $25 and the renewal fee to $10 the program would generate revenue sufficient to operate the program while offsetting program costs.


            5.  The department intends the rule amendments to be applied effective October 1, 2009.  In the event the rules are amended retroactively no negative impact is anticipated.


6.  Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action in writing to: Rhonda Lesofski, Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, P.O. Box 4210, Helena MT 59604-4210, no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 28, 2009.  Comments may also be faxed to (406) 444-1970 or e-mailed to dphhslegal@mt.gov.


7.  If persons who are directly affected by the proposed action wish to express their data, views, or arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments to Rhonda Lesofski at the above address no later than 5:00 p.m., September 28, 2009.


8.  If the agency receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from either 10% or 25, whichever is less, of the persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a hearing will be held at a later date.  Notice of the hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register.  Ten percent of those directly affected has been determined to be 300 persons based on 3,000.


9.  The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 6 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


10.  An electronic copy of this Proposal Notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register. The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of this Notice conform to the official version of the Notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the Notice and the electronic version of the Notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


11.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.




/s/  Lisa Swanson                                          /s/  Anna Whiting Sorrell                              

Rule Reviewer                                               Anna Whiting Sorrell, Director

                                                                        Public Health and Human Services


Certified to the Secretary of State August 17, 2009.


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