Medical Marijuana Regulations
6:49 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Public Comment Period Nearly Over For Medical Marijuana Rules

The deadline for public comment on proposed changes to the state's existing medical marijuana program is Wednesday.

The proposed rules would remove patients' ability to grow their own, reduce the amount of medicine they could have on hand, and most likely result in the forced closing of numerous existing dispensaries. Under the draft recommendations, Mikel Carpenter of the state Liquor control Board says the amount of marijuana patients can have would be reduced from 24 ounces to 3 ounces.

Carpenter: “when the medical marijuana law was written back then, there was no steady reliable source of medical marijuana, so the thinking was you would be able to essentially stockpile, because you didn’t know when you would be able top purchase more marijuana.”

Carpenter says the state licensed stores will be a reliable source for medical marijuana patients. But along with that thinking comes a big proposed change for patients who have been able to grow their own pot. They are currently allowed to grow up to 15 marijuana plants at home, but home-growing would be eliminated, under the draft rules,as would the collective gardens that have supplied marijuana to the hundreds of medical dispensaries that have proliferated in the state. Medical marijuana would be sold at licensed pot shops that obtain a medical marijuana endorsement. Patients would have to register with the state, and the pot they purchase would be subject to the same high excise taxes as recreational marijuana, but patients would get a break by not having to pay local or state sales taxes. It will be up to legislature to determine if the proposed rule changes should be enacted. The deadline for public comment on the proposed changes is at the end of the day Wednesday. To comment on the proposed rules, you can email to medicalmarijuana@liq.wa.gov...

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