New WA Legislation Would Put Medical Marijuana Industry in the Hands of Liquor Control Board

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New WA Legislation Would Put Medical Marijuana Industry in the Hands of Liquor Control Board

New legislation was filed today in Washington which would give Washington State’s Liquor ConLiquor-board-logo-with-marijuana-leaf-300x300trol Board the authority to regulate and license the medical marijuana industry. The measure, Senate Bill 5887, was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, and is co-sponsored by two other Republican Senators.

If made law, SB 5887 would establish medical marijuana dispensaries in the state which would be regulated and licensed through the Liquor Control Board; an entity that, to be frank, has no business regulating medicine. The measure would effectively trump the current “collective garden” model in the state by forcing those under that model to see a maximum of 10 patients a day, something that clearly isn’t workable for most, if not all collectives currently running in the state.

In addition, the measure would add further restrictions on the industry. For example: It would force all qualified patients in the state under the age of 18 to renew their recommendation every 90 days. Not only is this unasked for, but it adds a further financial burden on the parents who will need to pay for a renewal 4-times a year. Those over 18 would be required to get a new recommendation on a yearly basis.

The bill would also forbid doctors from having businesses that solely give medical recommendations: This is a great move if trying to appease to a public who may have worries, but in Washington State, no one’s asking for such a change, and making such a move would only make it more difficult for patients to become qualified.

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Another alteration this bill would make is to the way recommendations are handled in the state, is that it would force medical professionals who give authorizations to list it on a person’s medical record. This is an intrusive move that alters current practices which allows an individual to be a qualified medical marijuana patient, without having it on their permanent medical record for future physicians to see.

Finally, among other small changes, the bill would institute a 20% excise tax for growers, which will likely translate quickly to additional costs for patients.

In Washington State, the medical marijuana industry is far from perfect, and the confusing “affirmative defense” statutes and “collective garden” models need to be improved upon. However, we have a hard time believing that the answer is to hand control to a board that’s sole responsibility has been handling alcohol.



  • Jennifer Prime
    March 29, 2013

    Medical Cannabis cannot be handled in the same way, or by the same entity, as recreational use, particularly now that the alcohol industry has been privatized.
    Medical Cannabis should fall under Pharmaceuticals, and be regulated as such. If the state decides to get too greedy on the taxes and prices, they will only encourage the black market, which can easily undercut the price established by the state-without taxes.

    • Anonymous
      August 14, 2013


  • dan
    March 29, 2013

    I do not use Marijuana for recreational purpose so I would rather have them same rules and so if I grow my own supply I hace to pay a 20% tax on what I don’t buy? what a waste of a state so typical to balance a budget with medicine i use. How about we tax every prescription because maybe we will make more money off of the sick?

  • Brandon
    March 29, 2013

    The idea that the liquor control board should be in charge of the MEDICINAL aspects of marijuana in the state is ABSURD!

  • John Novak
    March 29, 2013

    THEY KILLED OUR PATIENT PROTECTION BILL (SB 5528) FOR THIS? We need to get more info about this and get it out to the rest of the patient community. Thanks for posting!

  • Vivian McPeak
    March 29, 2013

    Resist, oppose, educate!

  • katsuri
    March 29, 2013

    Some legislators will never believe there is even a difference between Medical Marijuana and recreational use. We’re all just potheads in their eyes. So their ignorance will force collectives underground or patients to grow their own Medicine. Get govt
    Involved in anything and they have to f’k it up. Way to go, Wa. Dumb asses.

  • Selena Eon
    March 31, 2013

    The WA Department of Health already dictates “The patient must have a new or existing documented relationship with a primary care provider or specialist relating to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment or monitoring of the patient’s terminal or debilitating medical condition.”. It used to say on their site a 1 year limit, but I can’t find that page now as the website changed to include I-502 info and I lack the time to search more right now. I don’t think that dictating a 1 year limit (aka, requiring a yearly appointment with the healthcare provider) is far off that mark. 4x a year for younger folks is a problem though.

  • Marijuana Doctors
    April 16, 2013

    Well this is quite an interesting news. This is indeed a nice read as well. Thanks for sharing this informative article about medical marijuana and the current situation.

  • Karry
    April 18, 2013

    Very good info. Lucky me I discovered your website by accident (stumbleupon).

    I’ve book-marked it for later!

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