Correcting a Myth: Lifetime Medical Cannabis Recommendations are Legal in Washington State
In Washington State, physicians that specialize in medical cannabis often offer 1-year and 2-year recommendations to qualifying individuals, though don’t offer ones that last indefinitely (‘lifetime recommendations”). Many dispensaries throughout the state, in fact, will deny patients who have lifetime recommendations, claiming that it’s required for a recommendations to be renewed either yearly, or biyearly. This, however, just isn’t true. Lifetime recommendations are entirely legal in Washington State, which we confirmed through the state’s Department of Health.
An example of a location denying patients who have lifetime recommendations is the Northwest Cannabis Market, which operates two medical cannabis farmers markets in Seattle. We contacted their Rainier Ave. location to ask why they deny lifetime recommendations that are signed after 2011, and were told that the law requires it. When we corrected them, we were then told its their policy, “simply as that” (they wouldn’t comment further on the issue).
We then contacted the 16th Ave SW location to confirm this policy, which they did. When we asked why this was the case despite it not being the law, we were told that the reason is not disclosed to the public or media. When we asked why they would require patients to pay for additional recommendations that they aren’t legally required to obtain, we were hung up on.
Unfortunately this is commonplace throughout the state. We urge patients to stand up against this, and to point out that there’s nothing in the law that requires medical cannabis recommendations to be renewed. Those who tell you otherwise are either uninformed, or have an ulterior motive.
Washington State’s full medical cannabis law – which doesn’t require recommendations to be renewed – can be found by clicking here.