For several years, Washington medical marijuana patients have been in a conundrum.
Aside from the state-licensed commercial grow houses supplying retail dispensaries, they are the only people in the state allowed to cultivate cannabis, and the only people allowed to grow their own marijuana supply at home. (Washington’s recreational legalization law does not allow home grow.)
They have this privilege—but mostly in theory—as they have to break the law to exercise it.
Since the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries closed a few years ago (all dispensaries in Washington are retail dispensaries), there’s no legal way for medical cannabis patients to buy marijuana seeds or clones.
You can buy seeds online or buy clones on the black market, but for anyone not wanting to mess with all that, there’s no legal alternative.
Washington lawmakers are finally getting around to fixing this silliness.
House Bill 2021, which enjoys several sponsors and no organized opposition, would allow “marijuana producers to produce and sell immature marijuana plants and marijuana seeds at retail” to qualified medical-marijuana patients and their caregivers.
In Washington, medical marijuana patients have the option of entering a state authorization database. If they choose to register their information—their condition, their doctor and other information—in the database, they can grow up to 15 plants and possess up to 16 ounces, depending on their condition, according to a state analysis. If they choose not to enter the database, they get four plants and six ounces—but they still don’t have a place to get the starting material, unless they luck out and find a good seed in a bag of retail pot.
Either way, when passed—and chances look good—the bill would end the “manna from heaven” situation that medical marijuana patients have been in for the past few years.
“This bill closes a gap and it’s important that we close this gap, because there are folks who qualify to have marijuana plants, but they don’t have access to them,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jessyn Farrell, in comments to the Kent Reporter.
Good for Washington.