Marijuana news from contributing authors and staff writers on the latest in marijuana and medical marijuana
Late last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5052 into law, making numerous changes to and giving the state control over Washington’s medical marijuana program. The governor did veto certain sections of this legislation, including provisions that would have created several new felonies for growing and selling medical marijuana outside the state-regulated structure. For more details on vetoed sections, please read Gov. Inslee’s veto letter.
Under the terms of the new law, medical marijuana dispensaries operating under local authority will be phased out. Patients will instead access their medicine from retail shops that hold a medical endorsement and are licensed by the state’s Liquor Control Board. The new law also creates a voluntary patient registry. Patients who sign up with the registry will be allowed to purchase more marijuana per transaction, receive a modest tax break, and are protected from arrest if in possession of their registration card.
Patients retain the ability to grow their own medicine, both individually and collectively. Patients who join the registry are allowed to cultivate six plants, while those who are not registered will be allowed four plants. Collective membership has been reduced from 10 patients to four and a registration requirement has been added. However, the law increased the number of plants a collective may cultivate from 45 to 60.
While these changes are upsetting to some and not enough for others, we hope the Liquor Control Board takes seriously the need for safe and effective medicine and moves forward with a patient-centered focus.
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