In April, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5052 into law, despite statewide protest from patient advocates. The majority of this measure, including the portion that shuts down medical cannabis dispensaries and the provision that drastically reduces the amount of cannabis patients can possess and cultivate, doesn’t go into effect until July 1st, 2016. However, some parts of the law, including a section prohibiting those under 21 from participating in collective gardens, went into immediate effect.
Section 32 of SB 5052 clearly states that no one under 21 may participate in a collective garden, regardless of whether or not they’re a qualified patient. A designated provider is authorized to purchase cannabis for those under 21, but the patient is not allowed to enter the facility themselves.
Section 33 of SB 5052 allows the state’s Liquor Control Board to do controlled purchases (sting operations) at collective gardens to see if they are allowing those under 21 to participate. This section makes it a misdemeanor for those under 21 who do participate in a collective garden.