Washington Medical Marijuana Database May Not Be Operational By July 1

WASHINGTON: The Department of Health wants medical marijuana patients and providers to be prepared for possible delays when Washington’s new medical marijuana law takes effect July 1.

The law requires DOH to oversee the development and administration of the medical marijuana authorization database. The agency reportedly is experiencing some software challenges with the database, and it may not be ready by July 1.

The database is necessary to produce recognition cards.  Under the new law, recognition cards are required if patients and designated providers 21 and older wish to have access to the following benefits:

  • Purchase products sales-tax free.
  • Purchase up to three times the current legal limit for recreational users.
  • Purchase high-THC infused products.
  • Grow more than four plants in their residence.
  • Have full protection from arrest, prosecution, and legal penalties, although patients will still have an affirmative defense.

Patients and providers can still purchase marijuana from authorized retail stores; however, they can’t take advantage of the benefits until the database is operational.

In a press release, the department emphasized it is committed to ensuring patient safety, and promised to continue to work on having the database ready as soon as possible.

A status update is expected no later than Thursday if the agency fails to meet the deadline.