Washington State’s full Senate, with a 36 to 11 vote, has given approval to Senate Bill 5052, sending it to the House of Representatives for consideration. Its passage in the House will send it to Governor Jay Inslee, the last necessary step for it to become law.
Senate Bill 5052 would combine the medical and recreational cannabis systems by shutting down all currently operating dispensaries in the state, renaming the Liquor Control Board the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, and by allowing recreational cannabis retail outlets to apply for a medical cannabis endorsement indicating they’re knowledgeable in the medical use of cannabis.
The proposal, which is opposed adamantly by activists groups such as Sensible Washignton, would also establish a mandatory patient registry, forcing individuals to put their name on a list admitting to committing a federal crime in order to receive state-level legal protections.
Senate Bill 5052, without any legitimate reason, would also drastically reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate, from 24 ounces to 3, and from 15 plants to 6.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced House Bill 2058, a proposal to explicitly provide arrest protection for medical cannabis patients, and to allow dispensaries to become legally licensed with the state. That measure has been assigned to the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.