Washington State’s New Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect July 1st
Senate Bill 5052, a Washington measure to close every medical cannabis dispensary that’s not licensed with the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board while drastically reducing the amount of cannabis qualified patients can possess and cultivate, takes full effect on July 1st.
Senate Bill 5052 – signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on April 24, 2015 – requires all non-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to shut their doors. The new law (titled the Cannabis Patient Protection Act) also reduces the amount of cannabis a patient can possess by over 80%; if an individual joins a patient registry, they can possess three ounces of cannabis, down from the current limit of 24 ounces, and can cultivate up to six plants, down from 15. If they don’t join the registry, their possession limit is just one ounce, and their cultivation limit just four plants.
Parts of Senate Bill 5052 – such as the provision changing the state’s Liquor Control Board to the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board – took effect months ago.
The new law doesn’t have an effect on cannabis retail outlets such as Clear Choice Cannabis (CCC), a dispensary in Tacoma that became licensed by the state after the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012. Locations such as CCC will be able to obtain a medical cannabis endorsement from the Liquor and Cannabis Board, which is meant to be a sign to consumers that they have knowledge of the medical benefits of the plant. We’ve confirmed with Clear Choice Cannabis (CCC), and they will be honoring medical cannabis patients in the Tacoma, WA area.
Seattle attorney Douglas Hiatt, founder of the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington, has filed a lawsuit seeking to place an injunction on, and overturn Senate Bill 5052.