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Washington Legislature Needs To Pass Medical Marijuana Industry Regulations


washington state marijuana regulationsWashington’s medical marijuana industry needs regulations to be passed by the Washington Legislature. Right now there is currently a crackdown in Seattle and the rest of the state on medical marijuana businesses due to hazy rules at best, or no regulations at worst. This public policy limbo is having a negative affect on safe access in Washington State, especially in Seattle, where an effort to close medical marijuana businesses has been underway for some time now. Per KUOW.Org:

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said city officials hope the state legislature will resolve this tension by passing regulations for medical marijuana. Earlier this year, the Seattle City Council extended deadlines for medical marijuana providers to come into some form of compliance. But Holmes said some businesses took that as a “green light” to expand.

Last month, the city sent warning letters to more than 300 medical marijuana organizations. The letter said businesses that opened later than November 2013 could be subject to enforcement.

“We are sending a clear message that those businesses are operating outside even the compassionate city of Seattle’s guidelines,” Holmes said. “That is not welcome.”

Seattle’s City Attorney Pete Holmes’ office has filed civil complaints against five medical marijuana businesses who are in violation of city code. There are many more civil complaint filings that will be pursued in coming weeks. The Seattle Police Department is executing search warrants, and this issue is not going to go away until there are sensible regulations in place at the state level. Hopefully the next legislative session in Washington sees that happen. Many from inside the industry have fought regulations, but a lack of regulations could doom the entire industry, and the patients that rely on it.


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Johnny Green


  1. $51.42 per gram. Not $20. Still interested? Oh, by the way….they don’t have “hundreds” of strains available either. Just move to Oregon. At least until they fuck that up too :-(

  2. Timothy Leary Byrnes on

    Full legalization? Really? Where do U see full legalization of marijuana in this nation sir?? I contend U do not!!! Until marijuana is readily accessible 2 all of the age of legality it will not be fully legal!

  3. Screw the Liquor Control Board. You guys are a bunch of dicks trying to monopolize the industry so you can line your pockets. Nobody should have trusted you guys after what you did to the deregulation of alcohol in this state. I know I didn’t. The bill CLEARLY, I’ll say it again, CLEARLY, said that the medical marijuana bill was not to be interfered with. NOT INTERFERED WITH. The voters in confidence voted for the bill with this in mind. ( I actually voted against because I as afraid of this abuse, but I still resent being proven correct.) You are corrupting its purpose and showing your greedy colors. F you. I hope each and every one of these great, customer abiding dispensaries stay in business. You are doing us a great disservice. I saw a comment about paying $20 a gram. INSANITY, I rarely pay more than $10, and that is high compared to BC. This is pathetic.

  4. I’m with tou on an ounce purchase, although it’s a nice way to compare prices I like buying eighth’s so I have variety. I live in one of the first States to legalize too. Although I’d have preferred being 6th or seventh after the kinks have been ironed out. The tortoise and the hare come to mind

  5. If this is a “marriage of medical of medical with 502″….it’s certainly looking like a shotgun wedding! I think Nick Licata underestimates our resolve and our willingness to get a Supreme Court injunction stopping his illegal preemption of state law.

  6. I don’t mind paying 20 a gram for what is available.. I rather it be 15.00 but I’m patient. I’m more thankful that we were one of the fist states in the Union to pass full legalization.
    Note: I wouldn’t even consider buying an ounce at one time. I don’t do it that often and why limit myself to one strain when there are hundreds available?

  7. Steve, brilliant! The Department of Agriculture. That’s is the most logical information I’ve read all day. I’ll send you my contact information via e-mail tomorrow. I’m retired and have plenty of time.

  8. Thanks Ray, like you I’m sorry it’s turned out this way too. When I first learned Washington’s Liquor Control Board (LCB) was administering the 502’s I knew we were in trouble. I think they still had the Red-ass over the 2012 vote which shuttered the state run liquor stores (that’s turned out well hasn’t it) The Lemoncello, which I enjoy as an after dinner aperitif, used to be $25. After the state stores closed the same bottle now costs $60. I told my friends to vote against privatization but they wouldn’t listen, when they complain about the price of their drinks I can only shake my head in dismay. Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. Ray, yeah me to. I wish I’d listened as well. I really wanted 502 to work or I’d not voted for it. I don’t believe the legislature will address the Seattle’s medical dispensary issue before they adjourn. Doing so will green-light Seattle authorities seeming desire to close them all, which I now believe was the cities plan from the beginning, if 502 passed. To make matters worse, I actually heard Seattle city council member Nick Licata say that he plan’s to close every Seattle medical dispensary if the legislature does nothing. Like Steve I have no problem with reasonable regulations, they’re part of everyday life. I was simply beguiled into believing that our medical dispensaries might somehow remain totally independent of the 502’s. In fact up to last week there was an article in the Seattle Times saying this was still be a possibility. It’s a see-saw. Anyway, Steve Sarich mentioned an interesting event taking place in Olympia this January, I’ll e-mail him for the details and let you know. Please feel free to contact me, perhaps we can come up with something. Thanks Ray, Happy Thanksgiving

  10. Yes….Olympia will be the focal point for the next several months. We are planning a bill to UNSCHEDULE cannabis here in Washington….something that should have been done when I-692 was passed, and again when I-502 was passed. This year we will hope to force the Federal DOJ and HHS to apply the Schedule 1 test and then move it to another schedule. Once it’s out of Schedule 1, Federally, the “Berlin Wall” of prohibition will finally topple. And we hope to do that in 2015….and have Washington State lead the way!

  11. Just email me, Ray and let me know what city you live closest to and give me your contact information. We will start rolling out our legislative agenda a week from tomorrow in meetings around the state. The roll-out will be next Tuesday, Dec 2nd, at 7pm in Tacoma. We’re about FIXING medical here in Washington and making it better for patients. We are not willing to even discuss giving up any patients’ rights or debate whether to cut the amount of medication a dying cancer patient can legally possess! We will NOT be proposing a sales or excise tax for medical either.

    We want medical regulated by the Department of Agriculture, not the Liquor Board Short Bus Crew….just like hemp….which we’ll pass this year too.

  12. I voted for 502, and regret it as well. I wish I had listened to Steve Sarich and others who were opposed. Unfortunately, we were lied to by 502 supporters, and I fell for it. I’m in for the effort to fix the medical problem. How can I help?

  13. Perhaps Seattle medical marijuana dispensaries should have been tasked with implementing I-502. After all they’ve done a pretty good job of self regulating for years now. The dispensaries don’t write the laws nor the rules. They simply provide the medicine. That’s it. Trying to implement this travesty of a legalization law by scraping Washington’s hugely popular 1998 medical marijuana Law makes absolutely no sense, and is, in my personal opinion, highly immoral as well. We were told prior to the 502 vote that our medical marijuana laws were safe and would stay intact if 502 passed. We know now that this wasn’t true. The real reason the Liquor Control Board stalled, opening only four 502 stores in a city the size of Seattle in two years is becoming more apparent everyday. And I- 502 store owners can whine all they want about how “unfair” Seattle’s medical dispensary prices are. They do this while continuing to rake in thousands upon thousands of dollars in profits daily. If it’s all so unfair why do they brag so much about how much money they’re making ? That’s the question folks should be asking themselves. It’s convenient having someone else to blame for a gigantic failure. So, why not simply pin the blame on the truly blameless” Washington’s medical dispensary patients? In such a fabulously wealthy city, it’s easy to blame the sick and the poor for the falure of such a clearly flawed and poorly planned system. The city council has already stated if the State legislature fails to take up dispensary reform during the next legislative session (which they’ve already indicated they don’t plan to do) The city of Seattle itself will take enforcement action on it’s own. Quoting Seattle City Council Member, Nick Licata : “We’ll shut every Seattle dispensary down”. Well won’t that look nice on CNN: Heavily militarized SWAT TEAMS with their dogs and smoke grenades raiding and closing down Seattle’s medical dispensaries. I thought I lived in Seattle, not Dallas. So, the fix is in. The dispensaries appear doomed if the legislature does as expected and doesn’t act, thereby green-lighting Seattle’s desire to rid it’self of the medical dispensary tar-baby it helped create. All of this, simply so a few lucky 502 store owners can continue getting ever more wealthy on the backs of Washington’s sick and dying medical patients. So much for safe patient medical access and compassion for the sick while there’s so much money to be made. Again,state lawmaker’s (and Seattle city officials) should just admit the 502 system is irrevocably broken. Let’s scrape it altogether before it gets any worse. Then concentrate on strengthening Washington’s valuable, existing 1998’s medical marijuana law.

  14. I say thank you to the FDA every time I open a can of tuna fish or crack an egg for an omelet. I wouldn’t mind the FDA approving my cannabis. I’m a medical patient. With the exclusion of cannabis, The FDA approves all of the medicine I currently take. Were it not for state legal “medical marijuana” your enjoyment of state legal “recreational marijuana” would not have been possible. Those of us who use cannabis as actual medicine (which it is) thought rec. user’s would support us if we supported 502. Instead, they threw us under the fucking bus. The tables will turn. Once in the legal realm 502 has no chance of prevailing over the demands of the untold thousands of medical patients such as myself calling for it’s end.

  15. We’ll see what state court says. Hopefully, first an injunction halting the opening of any new 502 stores, until medical marijuana patients rights are properly addressed. Stayed tuned.

  16. I supported I-502, voted for it, I now oppose it. If the state continues down this immoral path of destroying state medical Marijuana law (as now appears to be the goal). I’m hoping Washington Courts will place an injunction upon opening any more 502 stores, until medical patient rights are observed and addressed.

  17. How about an answer to my question? Would you pay $800-$1440 per ounce for recreational marijuana?

  18. Great post. I wish I’d never voted for 502. It’s only apparent purpose was to allow greedy retail store owner’s the right, via the State to extort medical patients.

  19. The medical cannabis act was passed in 1998. It was here long before 502 and it will be here when 502 is dead…..and replaced by real legalization. Price of recreational pot in Bellevue, Washington yesterday: $1440 an ounce. Price of medical at the Tacoma MMJ Farmers Market: $125-$175. 502 is a miserable failure, as I predicted it would be four years ago. There’s no way the legislature is going to put medical under the Liquor Control Board and force patients to pay 10 times as much money for their medicine. There no way the 502 stores can compete with the black market. And any recreational user that would pay $1440 an ounce for the crap schwag these stores are selling would have to be a total moron. So Etidorhpa, are you a total moron or are buying your recreational pot from the same places that you were getting it from BEFORE 502 passed?

  20. There should of never have been “medical” marijuana. It’s just marijuana, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have healing properties. Do you really want the FDA to approve your marijuana? What’s even better is that I-502 broke through the prohibition barrier. And all our farmers and retailers are part of the private sector. Why be bitter about that?

  21. So I can further enrich some greedy retail store owner by paying their exorbitant immoral fucking prices ? I know I’m not alone wishing I hadn’t voted to pass I-502

  22. Steve I watched City Inside/Out :Seattle :Pot update (The Seattle Channel) last night (you may have seen it too). You’re absolutely right. I watched them demonize not only Seattle’s medical dispensaries but the medical patients using them as well. It seemed apparent to me that their true goal is to not only close the medical dispensaries, but also destroy the concept of medical marijuana in Washington. They mentioned a possible “marriage” of medical with 502’s, forcing every Washington medical patient into the 502 recreational system. They also mentioned “Registries” for medical patients. If medical patients have to “Register” why don’t Rec buyer’s? This sounds very discriminatory to me, and if/when this happens, I hope it’s challenged in the courts, using this as a defense. “Every current Washington medical marijuana patient will have to be “re-authorized” was another idea floated about. Nick Licata chimed in that if Olympia doesn’t address medical dispensaries this legislative session, he will see to it that “every medical dispensary in Seattle is shutdown” I was appalled. They are clearly more concerned about “price discrepancies” between dispensaries and the 502’s store’s, (only four of which have opened in Seattle, after two years). Oh the horror! Lower prices for patients buying medicine. They show-cased one Seattle 502 store owner bragging about his raking in over $13,000 a day in retail sales. It sure sounds like he’s doing alright to me. Throwing medical patients under the bus so recreational store owner’s can increase their profits becoming even more filthy rich on the backs of medical patients is morally indefensible. The irony is not lost on me. As non medical marijuana states continue to fight tooth and nail trying to pass medical marijuana law’s in their states. It’s appearing ever more likely that I’m witnessing the end of medical marijuana law in my own state. We all knew this was coming, however, there was such an egregious lack of compassion for patients who were only mentioned using punitive terminology. We’ll just have to wait to see what if anything happens in Olympia.

  23. Cannabis should be available to any person living. Get rid of the so called “medical” black market. Legalize it for everyone. Long live I-502!

  24. Getting rid of medical would make them complicit in mass murder. Because for medical it is not just THC that matters. For instance THC and CBD together kill cancer better than THC or CBD alone.

    Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

    Pass it on.

  25. WHOOOOA! Hold it right there! Who, exactly, “inside the industry” is fighting regulation? You just can be making up stories that fit what the sponsor of I-502 are peddling to the public. I am unaware of ANYONE who doesn’t want regulation. But what these jackasses want to simply to get rid of medical altogether and have a state run pot monopoly. That we won’t allow and they don’t have the votes to do it.

    We’ll be proposing numerous bills to regulate medical next session, but I think you’ll find that what they SAY they want, and what their real intentions are, are two VERY different things.

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