WASHINGTON: When three state agencies published a list of recommendations for the Washington Legislature to consider the next time it tackles medical marijuana, alarms went off in the besieged medical cannabis community.
Chief among the concerns was that a system for cannabis grown and used for medical purposes would be limited to the legal recreation market created by I-502, the rules for which have recently become law.
Specifically, the recommendations by the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Departments of Revenue and Health would:
- Eliminate home-grows and the ability for a qualified patient or designated provider to possess marijuana plants in any stage of growth.
- And, fold medical marijuana growing, producing and selling into the I-502 system: “A single system for medical and recreational producer and processor licenses. Only recreational marijuana stores with an endorsement may accept medical marijuana authorization cards.”
“I absolutely believe we need to preserve home-grows,” said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36th).
Kohl-Welles has been involved with medical marijuana legislation since roughly 1995, and in 2011 she sponsored a bill creating a medical system for cannabis that passed the state Senate and House but had key sections vetoed by then-Gov. Christine Gregoire.
Kohl-Welles is currently working on another bill, still largely unformed, for the next Legislative session starting in January that would create a structure for medical marijuana, she said.