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Will Washington State Scale Back Medical Marijuana After Legalization Is Implemented?


washington state medical marijuanaThree Washington state government agencies are recommending changes to Washington’s medical marijuana system once recreational marijuana legalization is implemented. Some of the biggest proposed changes according to Just Say Now:

  • Reduce the amount a qualified patient or designated provider can possess at any given time from twenty-four ounces of useable marijuana to three ounces. (Regular adults are limited to only one ounce.)
  • Eliminate home grows and the ability for a qualified patient or designated provider to possess marijuana plants in any stage of growth. (Currently, patients can grow up to 15 plants.)
  • A single system for medical and recreational producer and processor licenses. Only recreational marijuana stores with an endorsement may accept medical marijuana authorization cards. Make the new regulatory system for medical marijuana effective no sooner than January 1, 2015. (There are currently more dispensaries operating in many parts of the state than there will be licensed retails.)
  • Utilize the same tax structure as recreational marijuana, but provide an exemption from state and local retail sales and use taxes on purchases by medical marijuana patients registered with the Department of Health. (Medical marijuana is not current subject to any special tax.)

These changes are from the Liquor Control Board, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Health (the full report can be read here). In order for most of these changes to be adopted, it would require approval from the Washington Legislature. I have been contacted by many concerned Washington medical marijuana patients. Many of these patients are the same ones that were contacting me about their opposition to I-502.

This going to be a battle for sure. I’m curious why Washington State agencies feel the need to change the medical marijuana laws in their state, while Colorado has left it’s medical marijuana program the same it was before legalization. Why not just keep them separate? Are you a patient in Washington State? If so, are you worried about these changes? Why or why not? Are you a recreational user, and if so, how do you feel about these changes?


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Laws aren’t really about morals because one person’s morals is not another’s. And I may I suggest beginning to refer to hash oil as something that might be more politically popular, like oil of cannabis, cannabis extract, etc. It is a medicinal plant, as are many other plants. Hash describes just what it looks like, no?

  2. Taylor Overmiller on

    I am a, medical patient who relies on growing and processing marijuana into hash oil to pay the bills if the laws are changed then I lose my monthly income.. Also I-502 said it would not interfere with medical marijuana, it would be immoral to change any current medical marijuana laws.

  3. i just sent this to my reps,

    I have on idea where you stand or your personal opinion on the subject of medical marijuana but the people who set up the original rules on this had a pretty good idea of what was needed for the normal medical grower to have a supply to last a year. most medical users cannot afford a indoor growing operation or the bills it requires to operate this type of operation. 2 lbs sounds like a lot until you realize it is a years supply and must last until the end of the next growing season. The liquor control board is planning to tamper with theses rules, I’m not sure their power , derived from the recreational use law, which by the way i do not support, gives them any control over the medical use.

    They are two separate and distinctly different things authorized under two different legislative acts. It seems to me they are overreaching their power and trying to extend their control into a area where they have no power.

    Medical users by and large cannot afford the prices that the recreational user can pay, they are going to use it once in a while and the medical people use it daily, huge financial difference.

    I have given them my input but i request that you examine their new proposals and how and where they are getting their power to try to regulate the medical end of marijuana.

    please share your thoughts on this matter and give the liquor control board your input on this matte

  4. Hehe, no need to feel silly for offering to help heal this community. I don’t know that it is as divided as we keep hearing, however. Bad bills unite us, good bills will bring us together. We hear lots of talk in the media, but when the rubber meets the road in Olympia for the hearings on these bills, few have been willing to turn out. That has to change or we’ll just get run over again.

  5. I was not talking about diving into the political morass. Thanks, but I want to keep my sanity. I was talking about being a mediator between the parties within the party. Divorce is never the first answer (unless there is abuse). Anyway, I made the offer in a fit of insomnia and now I feel silly. Thanks guys.

  6. Okay, let’s start with the fact that I care how this turns out. We all have a stake in the bigger fight, including little old me. So here’s my offer.

    I can see that both sides of this fight have legitimate issues. I also see that it is very important for both sides to come together to fix this shit. I am willing to be an arbiter because I care about legalization and I want to live to see it happen. Who knows if I’m qualified or if anyone cares, but there it is, there’s my offer. A plan could be set up to work out this dispute, rules, stuff like that. If not, that’s okay too.

    Hell, I’m just an outsider looking in. What do I know.

  7. Tell us how you really feel, don’t leave anything out, and include proper names.
    And by the way, my thoughts are now being expressed in a typeset that I am unfamiliar with, and it’s blowing my mind. What am I now in Helvetica?

  8. Russell Orsborn on

    keep up the good work Johnny.

    I live in the East Side of the state, I have been a MMJ patient for several decades, if you take away my right to grow my own medicine, I will probably have to go back on government assistance, to help pay for my meds.

    Also are they going to have the strains I have developed over the years that work for my symptoms??? Does anyone even know what BigR is….probably not, it is a cross of Durban Poison, Chem Dawg, and a shot or two of Sour Diesel…..anyone got that at their dispensary for me……it has taken me years to put this together…..and it costs me aprox $50.00/month for expenses to produce all I ever need.

    WA state is going to take that away from me. This plant got me out of a wheelchair 30 years ago, after a hit and run accident, it’s kept me out of that damn chair, and pharmaceutical free for 30 years May of this year, please don’t send me back………………………….it took almost 3 years to get out of that thing and going back is the only nightmare I still have

  9. I live in vancouver wa. If they do that I’ll move 10 minutes across the border to oregon. The estimated price per gram in wa with these retail dispensaries is between 35-37.50 PER GRAM! I wont go from a personal small med grow to pay insane amounts for government controlled cannabis. I enjoy knowing how my meds were produced and what was used to cultivate.

  10. 1. “Only recreational marijuana stores with an endorsement may accept medical marijuana authorization cards.”
    An endorsement from who?
    And why would you need a medical marijuana card to purchase recreational marijuana?

    2. “(There are currently more dispensaries operating in many parts of the state than there will be licensed retails.)”
    Please explain.

    3. Will MMJ patients lose their driving licenses?

  11. I-502 is a disaster! All of the pro marijuana legalization / anti I-502 crowd’s predictions are becoming reality!

    I am VERY happy to be in California right now compared to Washington. I am sure people in Colorado are also happy Amendment 64 wasn’t written like I-502. Colorado patients and dispensaries now have MORE and EXPANDED rights, while Washington goes backwards and greedy!

    ANYONE who has eyes and took a moment to read this nasty faux-legalization bill saw this coming. People with a brain who read this and were against it were called “PROHIBITIONISTS”.

    So Russ, if it is easy to get a card in Washington, like you say, what situation where people in Washington better off? Before I-502 or after I-502?

    I will be sure to vote NO on any legalization bill that gives all regulatory power to a government agency, 75% tax, 5 ng / ml per se DUI limit with no defense, and no home growing (cough, I-502, cough). I’ll be sure the bill also explicitly authorizes concentrates and addresses their manufacture too.

    I feel bad for patients in Washington who actually need to use a decent amount of herb to get by during their day and now have to stop growing and go to one of the select state authorized liquor store and pay 75% tax on their medicine.

    All Washington patients need to protest this garbage.

  12. HIPPA died years ago when the NSA and DEA were allowed to capture all our digital information.

  13. As a Washington state med can patient I saw this coming. The whole med system is going down the toilet so that the 502 stores will do well. Thank you lcb for throwing us patients under the bus.

  14. im a medical mj patient. I don’t like these laws. they should be separate from recreational use. leave us medical mj patients the hell alone.

  15. (Medical marijuana is not current subject to any special tax.)
    Is it currently taxed at all? I’m not sure I understand. It looks like it will be exempt for program participants if it’s medicinal. Everyone else pays tax?

  16. Sounds to me like all the other bull@#$% Legislation designed to corner the cash. And keep track of the cows. Plain and simple. That is not caring for medical patients, or interest in the medical side of Cannabis at all. Like I want to medicate with meds I have no control over, is not that the whole freedom to heal with natural cannabis that started the whole movement in the first place? Ones I have no clue how they will effect me or even if I can find the strains that work best for me. Might as well hop back on the Big Pharma wagon in this case. Where did Dr./ Patient confidentiality go? So I want to register and have a open door policy for local law enforcement to come check my place out, count my roaches? Crap John, Crap

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