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Lifetime Medical Marijuana Recommendations Are Legal In Washington


medical marijuana washingtonIn Washington State, physicians that specialize in medical cannabis often offer 1-year and 2-year recommendations to qualifying individuals, though don’t offer ones that last indefinitely (‘lifetime recommendations”). Many dispensaries throughout the state, in fact, will deny patients who have lifetime recommendations, claiming that it’s required for a recommendations to be renewed either yearly, or biyearly. This, however, just isn’t true. Lifetime recommendations are entirely legal in Washington State, which we confirmed through the state’s Department of Health.

An example of a location denying patients who have lifetime recommendations is the Northwest Cannabis Market, which operates two medical cannabis farmers markets in Seattle. We contacted their Rainier Ave. location to ask why they deny lifetime recommendations that are signed after 2011, and were told that the law requires it. When we corrected them, we were then told its their policy, “simply as that” (they wouldn’t comment further on the issue).

We then contacted the 16th Ave SW location to confirm this policy, which they did. When we asked why this was the case despite it not being the law, we were told that the reason is not disclosed to the public or media. When we asked why they would require patients to pay for additional recommendations that they aren’t legally required to obtain, we were hung up on.

Unfortunately this is commonplace throughout the state. We urge patients to stand up against this, and to point out that there’s nothing in the law that requires medical cannabis recommendations to be renewed. Those who tell you otherwise are either uninformed, or have an ulterior motive.

Washington State’s full medical cannabis law – which doesn’t require recommendations to be renewed – can be found by clicking here.

Source: The Joint Blog


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Johnny Green


  1. Fair enough, I agree that’s reasonable. You’ve got to protect yourself before you can protect anyone else! Long live The Market! I see you guys getting picked on simply because you are the biggest Medical collaboration, and the Recreational Tax Hounds have you in their sights. Good luck my friends!

  2. Mary Jane Supporter No Big Bro on

    I would recommend that we inundate the department of health’s phone lines with complaints.

  3. Mary Jane Supporter No Big Bro on

    Look at how many Naturopathic Physicians the DOH of WA has already suspended!, BUT how many M.D.’s ? NONE!!! All of this even while recreational pot is legal!!! They do it for money, charging the doctors thousands of dollars in fines, to keep their WAR ON DRUGS going.

  4. Mary Jane Supporter No Big Bro on

    The department of health is so hypocritical, suspending the licenses of naturopaths that recommended cannabis for lifetime, so the patients that were obviously not going to get better would not have to be wheeled back into the office and pay more money!

  5. Michael W keysor on

    I have kept patients safe on over 1 million patient visits since I opened. I am NOT ASHAMED of any policy. Making policy with only gray areas to work with is not easy.
    Michael Keysor
    CEO Northwest Cannabis Market

  6. The Northwest Cannabis Market in White Center is and always has been open since 2011. The Market saw over 330,000 patient visits last year with only a handful of authorization issues. The issue has been overblown by the author of this article.
    Michael W Keysor
    CEO Northwest Cannabis Market

  7. Michael W Keysor on

    The Northwest Cannabis Market services the largest patient base in the state. We choose policies that serve as many patients as possible. We see more authorizations than any dispensary and have chosen not to take chances with marginal or potential fraudulent authorizations because the safe access of over 50,000 patients is at stake. Authorizations that don’t fit minimum qualifications will not be accepted. Authorization clinics and any doctor at this stage of the game knows the scrutiny and potential problems of writing authorizations. Some are very casual in their approach. We do not call in verifications. You must present an ORIGINAL Tamper Resistant Authorization with original signatures and a Washington ID to enter the Market. That is our policy. This policy is very reasonable. That is the Market’s responsibility to the Patient Providers and Employees that work in our buildings. Dispensaries have the right to choose policies that keep their owners, employees and patients safe. The issue should be about the antiquated laws and the standardization of forms rather than anyone picking apart an organization that provides safe access to so many patients.
    Michael Keysor
    CEO Northwest Cannabis Market

  8. I know talk is cheap, but if I lived there I’d think about picketing! Embarrass them publicly.

  9. It makes you wonder what they receive from someone if they hold that stance. Do these same establishments have a renewal program at their facilities they want people to use? Do they have retail establishments that are going to see less business if more folks garner lifetime recommendations?
    There is something afoot here and they should be ashamed of their policy regardless of the reason.

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