Well they have finally done it. Medical Marijuana In WA state was overhauled and merged with the state’s new recreational marijuana program.
A big win for the state’s marijuana retail shops and a royal shafting for Washington State medical marijuana patients.
As usual big money talks and a bill sponsored by Sen Ann Rivers has passed through the house and senate on to Gov Inslee’s desk. We reported on this bill and why it is bad for patients here:
The charge is being led by Martin Tobias, a former Microsoft executive who has ambitions to control 15% of Washington’s recreational marijuana through South Fork Business Park in Raymond, Wash. Money is flowing out to bend new legislation towards removing all dispensaries and limiting the right of Washingtonians to grow. The Republican controlled senate, thanks to influence by the recreational marijuana industry and Republican Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center has just passed one really bad medical marijuana bill. http://420dotcom.com/washington-medical-marijuana-law-leave-it-alone-please.html
The patients are going to be the big losers in this because they will end up paying more for their medicine and those that can grow will be allowed to grow and possess less weed.
Rivers is stated as saying this will shut down the black market. Not! If anything it will increase it. The state is trying to create a monopoly on weed for its recreational marijuana shops.
So under this bill medical marijuana dispensaries will be shut down and out of business by July 2016. They will be able to apply to the recreational system on a yet to be determined merit system but many will not qualify and my guess is the remaining state locations available for retail shops are not that desirable or they would have been filled.
Now that the state’s marijuana production is in the hands of big business I am afraid that many strains may no longer be available to those that can’t grow their own. You probably wont see any 14 week haze on the shelves. Everything will be geared towards what is easiest to produce commercially.
There will be a state registry under the new law, which is voluntary but those that don’t sign will be able to grow fewer plants. A registry is a bad idea as long as marijuana is illegal at the federal level because the DEA can subpoena it.
Right now Washington is the only state with legalized recreational marijuana that doesn’t allow home grows for recreational use. Colorado, Oregon and Alaska all allow their citizens to grow 6 plants for personal use.
But Washington is greedy and the state wants it all. They threw a bone to the medical marijuana community by allowing them 6 plants and 3 ounces. Under the old law (which we were told wouldn’t be affected by passing I 502) patients were allowed 15 plants and 24 ounces so this is indeed a scrimpy bone they threw us.
If there is a bright side to this, a patient may have more than 6 plants with a doctor’s recommendation. Apparently those who join the registry are eligible for a tax break at the stores.
There is also a companion bill that would remove the 25% 3 tiered tax system and replace it with a single 30% tax collected at the retail level. If it passes prices may be a bit more reasonable.
Personally, I am disgusted with the whole situation. I wish I 502 had never passed. We have exchanged a law passed by a peoples referendum for one passed by bureaucrats representing special interests. We have killed the small grower or forced him into the black market and opened the door to greedy corporate interests that care nothing for this amazing plant but are only interested in the bottom line.