Drastic Changes Are Coming to Washington State's Medical Marijuana Industry

Comments

1
This is not what I voted for.
2
This is not what I voted for. Congrats legislators, you have done nothing but fuel the black market even more.
3
Sadly @2 is correct
4
"Liquor Control Board" and "quickly" are two mutually exclusive concepts. This will be a big boom for the black market.
5
Yes, I'd like to thank our state legislators for driving the medical needs folks back onto the black market. I'l like to see any one of these elephants (old white republicans) willingly volunteer to drive an hour + each way for expensive, necessary blood pressure medication that they aren't allowed to buy anywhere else, is triple taxed and can't be purchased with medical insurance. Oh, yes and is not tax deductible like other medical expenses. Yes, thank you so very fucking much. The nearest retail outlet from me is over an hours drive each way and would more than double my monthly out of pocket for my medicines. That's not even considering the extra multiple hours per month I'll now get to spend in fucking transit to the nearest licensed retail store. (Why are there so fucking few of these anyway?!? Why are the legal licensed store roll-outs so slow? This shit has been legal for a long time now, is this all just legacy we-don't-approve foot dragging or bureaucratic slowdown by the administration? Nothing seems to have rolled out quite as promised...) These brave lawmakers are just heroes to me, really. Oops, sorry, meant to say selfish judgmental assholes who only ever seem to want to create over-reaching big-government nanny-state type laws when it's for something that doesn't directly affect *them*. Registry indeed for a non-lethal self administered medicine that. Whereas a gun registries - one that tracks deadly weapons and can prevent unnecessary deaths - is too intrusive and big-brother for them. Way to represent your constituents while showing your true colors. Our state legislature is now *almost* as big a joke as our federal one;)
6
If above comment is TL:DR, summary = our lawmakers are hypocritical, lying assholes of the highest order. Way to fuck over MMJ patients!
7
So, who here knows what the deadline is for gathering signatures to put an initiative on the November 2015 ballot?
Washington State did it once. It is kind of stupid for the government to think it can't or won't do so again.
8
Go libertine, where do I sign!
9
This is fucked up. We voted for I-502 SPECIFICALLY because it didn't touch the existing medical folks. This is basically handing a blank check to big business with capital and squeezing out the little pot shops.
10
Well, it was nice while it lasted. 2012 - 2015 will probably be known as our golden age of pot. The logic that collapsing the medical market will drive people to the recreational stores is pathetic. Medical marijuana patients would flock to recreational stores if 1) the price difference wasn't so vast, and 2) there were more stores. This is true for the simple reason that medical marijuana patients have to go through an irritating process of annually renewing a card to make purchases of cannabis. All this does is drive patients back to the black market and force thousands of small businesses to shut down. It's sad to see this after literally decades of effort from patients, voters, and groups like Hempfest to put this plant into the hands of people who need it. Now it will be shackled by sin taxes and be fed to our yuppies and tourists. Behold the capitalist machine.
11
What the shitfuck? I voted for 502 because I wanted recreational marijuana to be legal (even if it put another substance under the bumbling control of our LCB and had a ludicrously inflrated price due to taxes when purchased legally). I doubt any of the voters for 502 approved it because they wanted to see this harm come to medical users. To add insult to injury, the new regulations don't even help those patients who may not be able to afford the tax-induced markup and don't want to risk their freedom by registering with the state. Nor does it give a boon to recreational users who might want to try their hand at homegrown.

Fuck the legislators who thought this was a good idea, those who pushed for the changes, and the WSLCB for being heel-dragging idiots when it comes to setting up a regulated system.
12
Chicagoan here, so I don't have a direct stake in this battle... Nor am I weed user, but I'm very pro legalization. That said, isn't the grey market a pretty big problem for the legal recreational shops? The anecdotal evidence I've heard is that lots of recreational users continue to bs there way into medicinal prescriptions to save money. Now granted, anecdotal evidence may not be worth shit, but I would certainly understand why recreational shops would want to protect their investments from the lower priced medicinal weed.

Anyway, I'm curious as to what people think the answer is. I think ideally medicinal and recreational would coexist, and we could figure out a way to more strictly regulate prescriptions for weed (i.e. no more writing scrips for general malaise).

Unfortunately, or luckily depending on how you look at it, you guys (and Colorado) get to be test subjects for the rest of the nation.
13
As a Seattleite, I question that anecdotal evidence, which is admittedly spread even here. Street prices are below and street quality higher than medical quality at this point. There's no need to BS your way into a prescription. You can just shout "I want to buy weed." in Westlake Park and get better for cheaper. The cops won't harass you either.
The problem doesn't lie with the medical market or the ease in getting prescriptions. This is a pure recreational money grab. People like Vivian McPeak warned us this would happen despite the wording in 502 preventing it (there is no legal reason for the WSLCB to regulate medical marijuana. Their purview is recreational only). We didn't believe him. We should have.
14
Fortunately, there is a well established black market which is immune to this bullshit.
15
Let's not forget, there is a new fourth market.....the Tribal market and there is nothing these greedy 502 owners, the LCB, the Governor, or the legislature, can do to regulate or inhibit that market. They are the what will bring down these 502 greed-heads who thought that bribing and bullying legislatures would get them the pot monopoly they thought they could buy for themselves. Law enforcement....especially that jack-ass Petey Holmes....are helpless to stomp out the Tribal market.

If our ignorant Governor thinks that the Tribes will ever sign a "compact" with the state and the corrupt LCB....he's smoking something besides pot.

But let's not jump the gun. According to the wording in 5052, both 5052 AND HB2136 must pass both the House and Senate. At this point, the House bill appears to be in serious trouble. If it fails to pass, 5052, despite the recent vote in the Senate, can never be implemented.

Steve Sarich
Cannabis Action Coalition

16
Time for a new initiative. 502 was crafted exceptionally conservatively in order to win. It was crafted before the tide of public opinion turned on legal cannabis (and while the LCB still had actual liquor stores to regulate). The Colorado initiative was clearly superior. But we should leapfrog CO. We need a new initiative that treats recreational cannabis the same as beer/wine. Any store (and bar or restaurant) now able to sell beer/wine can sell cannabis (with consumption on-site for restaurants/bars). Home grow totally legal just like home brewing. I'm unsure how to really handle the medical market (except just leave it as it is and hope that with ready availability of recreational cannabis the medical folks really do become just medical), but for the recreational market it's time to fucking blow 502 up.
17
I'll pay more in taxes on medical pot than I will for all of my chemo because … Olympia.
18
These morons trying to strong-arm in a new, artificially inflated (insanely taxed) price for 'legal' ganja are fighting a losing battle. The market IS what it IS, and if you kill the MMJ industry 1 or 2 things will happen: 1. black market wins back a lot of business 2. Tribal stores that reflect the real market price swoop in and grab a huge chunk. Triple taxation will NEVER take hold. Idiots.
19
Thanks for the breakdown, Heidi. As was mentioned above, I wish you would've covered the tribal aspect of legalization in your piece, because this will probably wind up being a major exception to whatever idiocy moves through Olympia. One needs to look no further than tobacco sold at tribal stores to see how this can turn out.

I haven't puffed in over 5 years, so I sit watching this play out with muted fascination. However, I am completely 110% pro-legalization, and I have to think that there are citizens in around 45 other states in 'murrica that would love to have this "problem" of ours.
20
Please join me in asking the Governor to Take The High Road. Protect Medical Marijuana Patients.

The rules being contemplated enshrines the idea that doctor-patient confidentiality and privacy for taking part in legal behavior is available, but only for a price. The idea is repugnant. Pity those patients who are hurting and broke.
21
So a registry for medical marijuana -- you know, like sex offenders.

That will make the world safer.

There is absolutely NO reason for a registry other than to provide the state and/or the feds with the name, address and picture of people who use it independent of reason. A registry doesn't make access easier or safer.
23
Unlawful dispensary owners? The only reason they are unlawful is because the state has never presented or issued a medical dispensary permit so that they could be more lawful. The blame is on the state for that one. Medical dispensaries also pay taxes. Sales tax. The concept that a medicine should be subject to additional taxation, or even sales tax, is an undue burden no other prescription medicine has. Why treat pot any different once a medical professional has become involved? This kind of backwards thinking is precisely the problem here.
24
@22 whats not to love? Patients losing easy access to their meds. The LCB and their slow pace to issue store licenses is in no way ready to keep up with the needs of patients. Sure, people abuse the system. You want to battle that? Lower the ridiculous amounts of taxes charged for recreational and those who abuse the medical systems will flock to it. That is the only way to kill the black market. This bill does nothing but put more money into the hands of recreational stores and even more so into the black markets.
25
Eh, the deal is less than ideal but it's hardly the only thing fueling the black market. I also don't get the medical marijuana activists obsession with "eliminating the black market". The idea that any law could ever even come close to the idea that you could claim such a law would completely remove the black market is patently absurd. We did not, and have never, passed any marijuana legislation with the intent of removing the black market entirely, and we never will because that's never going to be possible.
27
No,Dave the legislature is not doing what I want, but what they want. Simply, let me grow and share my weed.
28
Why is Washington state the Only Re-Legalized state that does not allow Home Grows?
As a MedMJ patient since 1999 what am I going to do ? I know what I'm NOT going to do. I am not going into some damn "database" that violates my HIPPA rights,and I am not going to buy at the state stores. Name me ONE thing in this legislation that helps the MedMJ person like me, and they have the gall to call it the "medical marijuana patients protection act". Typical lying asshat politicians they tell you they are representing you while they screw you.
29
@ 12,,,,,Dave the solution is to do away with prohibition and allow Adults to grow what they want,license and regulate all sales.
30
@ #22, Dave in Shoreline,,,,,In No way will this curtail the Black/Free market.
"Medical patients are protected and still have access to the medicine they need." How am I protected ? As a MedMJ patient since1999 I can grow ,or have a caregiver grow for me,up to 15 plants and that has been adequate for my purposes,I make it into Canna-Butter pills and it takes more material than smoking it does. So now I am forced to cut my supply by more than half, name me one other medicine that the state can arbitrarily cut your dosage of. And how does putting my name and address in a state database protect me more than I am now?
I agree that the "dispensaries" need to go, but if anyone believes that SB-5052 protects the MedMJ patient they are Nutz. Every MedMJ person I know will either keep growing as they have all these years or they will go to the Black/Free market.
I'm going out on a limb here and guess that YOU are not a MedMJ patient.
31
@22, What's not to love? You are sadly misinformed if you think your I-502 weedstore weed is free of pesticides and harmful chemicals. They do not test for chemical contamination, and inquiries to Analytical 360 about paclobutrazol testing did not even receive the courtesy of a reply. Paclobutrazol is an illegal and unlabeled ingredient on several products commercial operations use to maximize profit. The state apparently wants to look the other way. This is a glaring omission and serious flaw in both I-502 and the new law, which was apparently written for Rivers by big money who'd like the monopoly on medical cannabis in WA. The is is a shameful episode, even for our the state legislature.
32
Dear Mexican Drug Cartels:

You may recall that Washington State passed a voter initiative in 2012 to legalize marijuana sales. We thought we would no longer need your services. But our legislature just stepped in to re-write the law on medical marijuana, and it's going to be hard for those weed smokers to meet their needs under this new law.

Now that you know this marijuana law update, I expect you will have a ready market waiting for your in Washington once again since your distribution network and favorable pricing are what consumers will be looking for once again.

I never thought I would be saying this to you, given the violence your cartel members are known for -- Welcome Back!

Respectfully,
A Washington Voter
34
@33 - The new law only allows 1 oz. possession if not on a registry, and you will pay retail at stores, so saying the registry is optional is, on a practical level, misleading and incorrect. Conflating opiates with medical cannabis is another whopper you have put forward. Read the article…few doctors are willing to write a recommendation for any amount that will increase their hassle factor. There is rational basis for the limitation, other than to force patients to buy medicines that lack important testing safeguards (chemical contamination and illegal agrochemicals). The entire new law is a poison pill for medical cannabis and no amount of cheerleading for it will change that.
35
@#33, Dave what if my Dr. is hesitant to specify amounts,"One possible problem: Some patient advocates say doctors are hesitant to recommend specific amounts because that could be considered prescribing an illegal drug". My Dr. has never specified amounts in any of his recommendations for Cannabis, in fact his "rec" states that the Cannabis cannot be smoked,oral meds only, and to make edibles or tinctures or butter requires more product. So then what does a person do?
Yes opiates are limited as to the amounts per prescription but once that amount is set does the state come in and tell the patients that they will have to reduce their current prescription by more than half ? NO.
As long as Cannabis is prohibited at the Federal level a person would be a fool to sign onto any database.
37
That's good news for my dealer-grower.
38
I'm a medical patient since 2011, when I gave up on narcotics and opted to use medical marijuanna for pain control. Best thing I ever did, it changed my life. I didn't vote for 502 because I knew the weed-greed would destroy the medical system as we know it, and here we are. I take no pleasure in I told you so's. It was great while it lasted. I'll say now like I said then...this is not legalization. We need to be focused on federal decriminalization. Until then, we're all criminals regardless of what our inept lawmakers in Oly do. What they haven't considered in their haste to grab weed cash is that many medical users are very weed-savvy and know how to get it done. They seriously think we are going to register ourselves and get in line?
That'll be the day. Welcome to the new medical underground.
39
So if you guys are honestly interested. This is an initiative I helped craft last year. That includes all the medical protections and safety procedures of the recreational market. As well as a board consisting of producers, trimmers, retail, patients, dept of agriculture, and medical professionals. It did not require a registry. Did free it from the liquor control board. Allowed for marginal licensing fees to cover the cost of regulation and board cost. How ever was required to post quarterly financials transparent to the public as well as stat revenue neutral. Please fleet fee to check it out and circulate it amongst your friends. It was registered before the law was passed so would take precedence. I urge you all to read through the long annoying well written piece of work. As it took allot longer to build and seek community voices in it's being crafted then it will take you to read. :) thanks http://www.cppwa.org/
40
I was about to start a WA MMJ Advocate Training Program.... guess I don't need to do that now pffft.... ugh
41
Under the new rules, what happens to 18 and 19 year old patients?
42
Ah well, black market stuff is way cheaper than retail anyway and actually *available* 45 min closer to home. And then my meds stay untaxed (yet remain not covered by insurance or deductible medical expense.) Apparently our lawmakers shafted MMJ folks to support the black market. Must be, cuz that's the real, logisticali outcome to the recent changes. Corporate interest $$ rules all, fuck everyone else--WA political policy SOP. There are no provisions to fix the downside(s) to the recent law changes, just platitudes. Net effect is WA state saying MMJ patients' needs don't matter at all and we can apparently all just fuck right off. Thanks for nothing Mr. Inslee. I thought you'd fight more for the little guy...
43
I'm not interested in the politics right now altho I probably should be. I am a senior and I've been using med MJ for about two years instead of pain killers. The dispensary I go to is is near my home, clean, safe and staffed with really kind, knowledgeable people. I am frankly fearful of having to going to one of those recreational retail outlets, especially alone. [Before you all jump down my throat, I was a pot smoking hippie in the day, but now I am frail, ill and overwhelmed by life in general]. So, what was a godsend will likely become a nightmare, and I guess the alternative is back to prescription drugs.
44
Duck these guys. There are so many snitches and undercovers in this biz who are so shiesty n get paid to break the law. Not to
Mention they tax so much that only multi million $ grows can make profit or else charge 20-30g before tax! This is squezing out middle class growers who are happy making 100k from a small grow at decent prices and who truly love their craft and plant. I know there are a ton of $hitty dispensaries out there.. Everyone wants the best weed possible, that will always sell faster. The FBI, DEA and local police will be trying to bait these people so anyone selling to minors or those without doctors perscription deserves to be shut down. I would like to pay taxes just not 30-40% on sales, charge that to the customer and have to pay it again on income! Shiesty!
45
I gave my time and $$ to pass our MedMJ program,mostly gathering signatures,and I have been a MedMJ grower since 2000. I am a 70 year old with degenerative spine/disk condition,I am on a low income and these changes to our system that has worked for 15 years do absolutely Nothing for me. This is one big Screw You to those who rely on affordable ,accessible herb by our Asshat representatives, all for the almighty dollar.
46
@ 22,David in Shoreline
"Medical patients are protected and still have access to the medicine they need.",,,,, How am I protected? My grow amount get reduced from 15 to 4 unless I want to be on a database that can be accessed by LEO ,as the article states,and I am forced to pay more for my herb. You clearly have no clue.

" eventually will chip away at the black market too",,,,, if you have read the preceding 21 comments you obviously don't know what your talking about.
49
Rep (R) Rivers got funding from Big Marijuana. Yes big Marijuana gave her money to advance big marijuana corporations taking the $$$$. Medical marijuana outlets big marijuana could not control.
Now they can and have you registered under a medical database that any hacker or Fed can review. Thank you (R) Rivers
50
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