Cannabis Patient Protection Act

WA SB 5052 & Medical Marijuana (excerpted from WSLCB website) passed April 2015

Q:  If a patient is in a collective garden right now or using a particular dispensary, how soon will the status change, and what will new dispensaries and cooperatives look like?

A:  Access to medical marijuana for patients is a significant concern, whether they grow their own or purchase their medicine at a dispensary. The legislation allows cooperative gardens and requires the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to increase the maximum number of marijuana retail outlets.

Beginning July 1, 2016, up to four patients who are entered in the database can join together to form a cooperative garden. Patients and designated providers who participate in a cooperative may grow the total number of plants authorized for the participants. This is particularly important to patients who live in areas where there is no retail store where they can purchase medical marijuana.

In addition, LCB will award licenses to existing medical marijuana dispensaries who meet reasonable criteria, some of which includes being a collective garden operator who is 21 years or older, has maintained a business license, has a history of paying relevant taxes, has no criminal history and the premise is situated away from schools, playgrounds and other similar buildings.

These criteria are intended to retain the expertise that has developed in our state and recognize the businesses that have a record of providing patients with quality products. Retail applicants who receive a license may opt to sell to the general public, only medical patients or both.

These changes go into effect on July 1, 2016. This provides sufficient time to transition to the new system with minimal disruption to patients.”

[Ed note: this transition has caused maximum disruption to patients & providers. The court decision to allow the shutdown and elimination of all MMJ dispensaries and coop gardens knowing that the State would not have any medical marijuana products to replace the supply chain on July 1, 2016 is irresponsible, incompetent and disrespectful to MMJ patients, their providers, families and friends. In other words, we got bamboozled.]