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 full 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.]