Legislature passes, sends governor bill overhauling medical marijuana market in state

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Los Angeles City Council Votes To Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

(File photo/David McNew/Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Legislature has approved an overhaul of the state’s medical marijuana market, sending to Gov. Jay Inslee a bill seeking to eliminate unregulated dispensary sales now that the state’s recreational market is in place.

The Senate on Tuesday concurred with changes made to the bill in the House last week, and then voted 41-8 to pass it out of the chamber and on to the governor for his expected signature.

Among its many provisions, Senate Bill 5052, would create a database of patients.

Changes made in the House version include making voluntary the patient registry that was mandatory under the Senate version. However, unregistered patients wouldn’t be allowed to possess the same amounts of marijuana or enjoy similar tax breaks that registered patients would.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes issued the following statements upon passage of the bill.

“Passage of Senate Bill 5052 is a positive step forward. Seattle now has clear guidance from the State as the City of Seattle develops its own regulatory framework to maintain a safe and legal marijuana market in our city,” Murray said.

“It is important to note that more needs to be done in future legislation to protect the privacy and rights of medical marijuana patient.”

Holmes said, “This legislation restructures the I-502 licensing system to accommodate medical marijuana providers, phases out unlicensed marijuana dispensaries, and gives medical marijuana patients access to legal, tested, regulated, and labeled marijuana products.

“I’m pleased to see the legislature strike a fair balance between strengthening I-502’s pioneering effort to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana and protecting patients’ access to medicinal products and ability to home grow,” Holmes said.

However, state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said she could not vote for the legislation.

“Although there are some parts of this bill I can support, I have to vote no on behalf of medical marijuana patients throughout our state. My no vote is a vote for the patients,” she said.

“There is no doubt that there is an illicit medical marijuana market which is a detriment to our state’s attempt to legalize marijuana for all people. However, there are also dedicated and trusted dispensaries throughout the state that play by the rules, have obtained a local business license, pay taxes and provide a safe and reliable source of medicine for patients…

“I am deeply concerned that this bill requires local governments to enforce medical marijuana store closures, without providing sufficient funding to assist them in doing so…

“I am seriously concerned about what is going to happen to patients in rural areas in the short term.

“I am still concerned that this bill contains a patient registry system, albeit voluntary. Nevertheless, the wording of this bill leads to a confusing system where some patients will be able to possess and/or grow more marijuana than others. This will make it challenging for law enforcement to decipher who is operating legally and who is not. It also punishes patients who do not want to be on a list for privacy concerns.”







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  • Doug

    The people passed medical cannabis long befor 502 . now the lcb wants to take away mmj just so they can collect more money with their 75% tax base . this triples the cost of folks medicine . all of these corrupt and crooked politicians should be ashamed and voted out ! patients already pay sales tax at the dispensary but guess thats not enough for the greedy government dictators .

  • "peety"

    never made sense to me that Rec Weed is regulated and tested while MMJ is not. Do you know how much rec weed gets rejected for mold content? Don’t smoke mold, that’s not gonna help your health.

    While I see many things wrong with this bill, the fact of the matter is, MMJ is fraught with fraud. Look no further than the gangs downtown, all card carrying members, all reselling their ‘medicine” on the streets.

    No real effect for me, but i have some friends who are going to be insufferable for a few months!

  • Think about it i dare you

    Thanks allot for totaly ruining this for every one……the only people who benafit from this are the ones that dont want us smoking pot they all get a little smile out of this WERE STILL HERE WERE STILL FADED ANT ITS NEVER GONNA STOP SO LETS FIGHT THIS CRAP!

  • Think about it i dare you

    Legal bud in washington sucks all the rec pot is garbage no one grows worth a whoot in the rec world and no mmj patient is going to pay prices higher than they are now what is going to happen is they are gonna creat another black market for cheaper better weed until i see the quality of mmj now on rec shop counters i wont be stepping foot in a rec store to spend a penny. Mmj wanted to be left alone its medical its not for fun and rec weed should stay out of it they are just pissed because its not fair they cant make the money mmj is making fact is all the rec growers are about is money they have no love for this plant so screw all of them very few have a real love and understanding for this plant to those i salute you to the rest who are just using this to make money off people and dont care for what this plant means and is i hope you all fall flat on your face lose your business and have to go do something else we don’t want you in our culture your a dark shadow that plagues the community sick of you people this plant should never be brought to the big market like washingtons rec we should have just went for the colorado model instead we got people that have no business telling us about this plant running the show and its just sad to see. most shops you go to have testing done i have been to maybe 1 shop that didnt have all their bud tested and the cards to prove it thats just another bs line to feed the unknowing public the low info voters.

  • Glen

    Idiots in charge, that’s all these nitwits at the top are. They need to leave the medical alone. All they’re going to do is create more problems.

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