Washington Bill to Close Dispensaries, Reduce Patients’ Rights, Moves to Full Senate

Washington State’s Senate Ways and Means Committee has passed Senate Bill 5052, meaning it will now go before the fullMedical-Marijuana Senate, where its passage will send it to the state’s House of Representatives. Senate Bill 5052 would shut down every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, would establish a mandatory patient registry and would drastically reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate.

Senate Bill 5052 was approved late last month by the Senate Health Care Committee with an 11 to 2 vote, sending it to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The Ways and Means Committee’s vote was less decisive but still conclusive, with 13 voting to pass it, 8 voting to pass it without recommendation, and 1 voting against it entirely.

In addition to shutting down dispensaries and establishing a registry that a patient must take part in to have legal protection, Senate Bill 5052 would reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess from 24 ounces to 3, and would reduce the amount they can cultivate from 15 plants to 6. Recreational cannabis retail outlets would be given the opportunity to apply for a medical cannabis endorsement to demonstrate that they’re “knowledgeable in the medical use of marijuana”. These outlets would apply for this endorsement from The Liquor Control Board, which would be renamed to the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, and would have the authority to determine the number of cannabis outlets throughout the state, as well as establish regulations for the cannabis industry.

The full text of the proposal can be found by clicking here.

Those in Washington who oppose this effort should contact their district’s lawmakers – which can be found by clicking here – and ask them to vote against Senate Bill 5052!

[Editor’s Note, 2/10/2015: This article was updated to reflect that the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed Senate Bill 5052 with recommendation, not without.]

TheJointBlog

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    • Arny Sherrell on February 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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    They can’t even call it what it really is if i didn’t know what they were talking about Marijuana i wouldn’t know what canabis is, they just need to keep it illegal like it has always been so your brains don’t get fried more than they already are.

      • Anonymous on February 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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      You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what you are talking about. Ohhh the neuroprotective aspects, no? Or anti-spasmodic, no? Ohhhhh what about the killing cancer?

      Fucking sheep. You don’t understand something so millions of others should be threatened with being put in a box at taxpayer expense right?

        • Anonymous on March 12, 2015 at 3:43 pm
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        From Cedar Rapids, Iowa…I’m with you all the way!

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2015 at 6:29 pm
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    Thankful for my connects

    • Miguelito on February 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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    Why don’t they just say it’s legal to grow and possess, let people be free to swing from the trees like little monkeys…

    • Tim Bowles on February 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm
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    This bill also lowers growing 15 plants to a misdemeanor. Why didn’t the writer mention that? So quit your whining. Dispensaries were NEVER legal so were always on borrowed time. This is the last chapter in implementing I502 and putting the whole industry on one footing. There is already CBD herb and products in 502 with much more coming so having two systems competing with each other would be insane to let continue. The question is not if but when it will shut dispensaries down.

    • Patricia on February 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm
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    There are 2 bills before the Senate that seek to reconcile the unregulated medical cannabis market with the highly regulated recreational market. SB 5052 is the Republican version sponsored by Ann Rivers. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles sponsored the Democratic attempt at the same, SB 5512. Kohl-Wells has pointed to an article in the Daily Beast and another in the Spokesman Review that discuss the differences.

    After some reading my take is that the Republican version is strategically written on behalf of wealthy special interests to place market control in fewer hands and likely push many growers out of business or into the black market, where they can presumably still feed the prison industrial complex.

    Kohl-Welles bill makes a whole lot more sense. Read more about it.

    From Jeanne Kohl-Welles Office
    Update on marijuana legislation

    I am pleased to announce that Senate Bill 5519, my Comprehensive Marijuana Reform Act, to align the currently unregulated medical marijuana market with the I-502-created recreational marijuana market, will receive a public hearing in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Friday, Feb. 13 at 8 a.m. It is a relief for me to know that this bipartisan issue will finally receive a bipartisan discussion.

    Last weekend, an article in The Daily Beast mentioned my proposal and reported about the people and money behind another proposal addressing the medical marijuana market. You can read the entire article by clicking here.

    Another article that appeared in the Spokesman Review highlighted the changing landscape in the world of medical marijuana policy. You can read the full article by clicking here.

    Also receiving a hearing next Friday is my legislation, Senate Bill 5493, to ensure cannabis health and beauty aid products would not be subject to the same regulations as marijuana concentrate or marijuana infused products. This idea was brought to me by a constituent who owns and operates a small business in Magnolia that has created cannabis health and beauty products since 1995.

    Cannabis health and beauty products are not intended to be mood-altering and have no psycho-active effects. Examples of these products are body lotion, soaps, and salves — none of which are ingested.

    Under my proposal, cannabis health and beauty products would not be able to contain a THC level higher than 0.3 percent, they would not be allowed for human consumption, and they would not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier that leads to intoxication.

    • Dino Tabanez on February 11, 2015 at 2:58 pm
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    The exact reason this crap is happening is because of dispensaries and co-op gardens looking like, acting like, smelling like and cashing-in-on like retail storefronts! Doing it to ourselves:

    http://vimeo.com/117354117

      • I hate greed! on April 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm
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      I hope this passes! I’m so glad this is happening. 95% of growers in this industry operate FOR PROFIT while pretending to help those who are truly in need for medical reasons. Limiting the possession and plant numbers would keep washingtons MJ from crossing states due to the numerous growers flooding their own.

      I say shut down most dispensaries and huge grow ops that think they can grow 100’s of plants because they are only regulated by space. I’m all for this bill.

    • Anonymous on February 11, 2015 at 2:09 pm
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    Boycott all legal means of purchase is this passes…they are getting waaay to greedy for taxes…keep it underground and use the fact that it is somewhat legal as a last resort of legal consequences are incurred…99.9% of the time that doesn’t happen if people are discreet anyway.

    • Jesus Crasst on February 11, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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    Fuck this state. I’m moving to Colorado.

  1. Please learn the process for bills passing in Washington State @ http://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Bill2Law.aspx.

    This bill is not law yet and it has a ways to go before it becomes law. I question any blog that does not include the name of authors who give out such questionable information when it comes to legal matters, as should any other reader who is able to think for themselves.

    From Leg.Wa.Gov:
    How a Bill Becomes a Law:
    A bill may be introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives by a member.
    It is referred to a committee for a hearing. The committee studies the bill and may hold public hearings on it. It can then pass, reject, or take no action on the bill.
    The committee report on the passed bill is read in open session of the House or Senate, and the bill is then referred to the Rules Committee.
    The Rules Committee can either place the bill on the second reading calendar for debate before the entire body, or take no action.
    At the second reading, a bill is subject to debate and amendment before being placed on the third reading calendar for final passage.
    After passing one house, the bill goes through the same procedure in the other house.
    If amendments are made in the other house, the first house must approve the changes.
    When the bill is accepted in both houses, it is signed by the respective leaders and sent to the governor.
    The governor signs the bill into law or may veto all or part of it. If the governor fails to act on the bill, it may become law without a signature.

    • Greg Flawns on February 11, 2015 at 8:42 am
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    This is bullshit.

    • Ryan on February 11, 2015 at 6:48 am
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    I hate this, it’s horrible to the point of being debilitating, but were going to have to go to war with our government to get our freedom back. They aren’t going to give it. We have to take it. Hopefully before they get done ruining the country for good. It’ll be bloody, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    • NAC on February 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm
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    REALLY….. REALLY? Why would they do that…… The government is just trying to get as much money as they possibly can from people. I’m sure as hell not going to be paying $32 a gram….. $15 a g for premium medical is still a lot but I rarely buy it…..and even if they manage to lower recreation prices from $32 a g it will still be cheaper in the black market…… I guess if this law passes then it will just be cheaper to buy it underground. I didn’t vote for I-502 because they didn’t plan it out at all. If they really pass this then I have no hope for humanity…. It’s a plant that grows i nthe ground…. Just because they can’t patent a plant like they can pills doesn’t mean they have to ruin the medical grade collectives so they can try to make more money…..

    • karen on February 10, 2015 at 7:53 pm
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    Has anyone making the above comments ever been in a mmj dispensary or used medical mmj? I doubt it. I use it for pain and sleep and it is very effective. I am 68 years old and up to this point had NEVER ever tried marijuana in any form, and I am a baby boomer. Remember the line for boomers; sex, drugs and rock n roll. Many people visiting dispensaries are trying mmj because every other med has failed to produce results or has such adverse side effects that their body cannot tolerate it. I would say that 70% of the medical users are seniors, over 55. Their goal and intent is not to get stoned, but to get relief. It would be devastating to close the Washington state medical dispensaries. It is a much needed alternative medicine, as is acpuncture, chiropractic and massage is to western medicine.

    • Name Email Website on February 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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    This is MEDICINE. Liquor Control Board should not be used to regulate medicine. That’s the job of the WA DoH.

    Regardless, everything about this bill just makes things worse and will only drive more people back into the black market.

    • indy on February 10, 2015 at 2:51 pm
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    Awwwww. All those 18 year old kids won’t get their dabs. Mmj is a joke. High prices. Crushes local growers and they can’t feed their families. On and on and on.

      • Jaimz White on February 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm
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      Crushes local growers?.. hahahaha With the high prices of Dispensaries never has it been better to be a local grower..lmao Only a small percent of smokers actually go to a dispensary

      • Lol on February 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm
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      You’re joking right? If you are serious you should look up the facts before talking about this topic.

    • Anonymous on February 10, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    Might as well go back to making it illegal.

    • Moirraine on February 10, 2015 at 10:54 am
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    Control is what this is about.

    They want people to have to go back underground – so be it.

    • Lynne on February 10, 2015 at 9:53 am
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    Washington State: Why don’t you just hand over the regulation of Marijuana to the RJReynolds Co. or Phillip Morris Co. if you’re going to hand it over to Liquor control? Makes as much sense and at least they’d be more clear about the intent……..$$$$/control.

    Why on earth would you close medical dispensaries?
    Those people who use it for medicine are not the same as recreational users. Most are bogged down by expenses as it is and need the medicine at lower prices and at medically oriented shops, not the liquor store.

    I see the act as a way to cut down costs by the state, at the people’s expense, in order to control the money into the state coffers at a greater rate. Greed, again.

    • My Contact Info on February 10, 2015 at 5:50 am
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    I dont understand why the liquor control board would have control
    Over this that is crazy,,, alcohol kills people why do they have control
    When we ourselves can’t have control,,, why does the government have
    To control everything we do,, it’s crazy,, I do not live in Washington and
    Do not plan on moving there, but this should not be happening,,, you are giving
    Them to much control,, and I’m really upset that none of you or your family
    Has to have this medicine or would even consider using it recreationally
    Because people like me with epilepsy and all the people that have suffered and
    died never had to,,,,, it no understandable why you would even consider passing
    This,,,,, thank you for reading even if you dont listen

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