WASHINGTON

Medical (1998)
Decriminalized (2012)
Recreational (2012)

Current Status

The state is currently not accepting applications for any new medical or recreational businesses.

The State of Washington adopted a law in November 1998 (Initiative 692), legalizing the use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis for patients with a medical certificate.

Then they passed the Ballot Initiative I-502 which allowed for recreational cannabis to be sold to persons over 21 years old. Afterwards the SB 5052 “Cannabis Patient Protection Act”, which would estalish a medical marijuana registry and require dispensaries to now license with the state.

The first-ever legal farmer’s market for the drug was opened in Tacoma in 2010. The Cannabis Farmer’s Market has since received worldwide coverage for its operation.


Medical Marijuana

Patients

  • Must be diagnosed with a terminal or debilitating medical condition
  • The condition must be:
    • Severe enough to significantly interfere with activities of daily living and ability to function; and
    • Objectively assessed and evaluated by the licensed health care professional
    • Must be a resident of the state of Washington at the time of diagnosis
    • Must be advised by health care professional of potential benefits of medical marijuana
    • Must be advised by health care professional about the risks and benefits of medical marijuana
    • Authorization form from patient’s health care professional; or A recognition card after patient has been registered into the medical marijuana authorization database
    • Authorizations expire in one year for adult patients and six months for minor patients (under 18 years of age).

Cannabis Grow Limit:

Patients with a Recognition ID Card may grow in their home or as a member of a cooperative:
6 plants for personal medical use; and
8 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants

Note: If the patient’s healthcare practitioner determines the patient requires more than the above amount, they may authorize:
Up to 15 plants for personal medical use; and
Up to 16 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants.

Note: No more than 15 plants may be grown or located in any one housing unit, even if multiple qualifying patients or designated providers reside in the housing unit. The only exception is for cooperative gardens.

Qualified Patients with Authorization Form only (no Recognition Card) may grow in their home:
4 plants for personal medical use; and
6 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants.
Note: Patients who aren’t entered into the database are limited to 4 plants and 6 oz. of usable marijuana even if a higher number of plants is indicated on their authorization form.

Cannabis Possession Limit:

Patients with a Recognition ID Card may purchase sales-tax free any combination of the following from a licensed marijuana store with a medical endorsement:

  • 3 oz. usable marijuana;
  • 48 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form;
  • 216 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
  • 21 grams marijuana concentrate

Qualified Patients with Authorization Form only (no Recognition Card) may purchase only the amounts allowed for non-patients from a licensed retail marijuana store:

  • 1 oz. usable marijuana;
  • 16 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form;
  • 72 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
  • 7 grams of marijuana concentrate

Cultivation

Manufacturing/Processing

Testing

Distribution/Dispensaries

In Washington, they have cooperatives as distributors.

  • Up to 4 qualifying patients or designated providers may become members of a cooperative
  • All members must hold valid recognition cards
  • All members must be at least 21 years of age
  • All plants grown in the cooperative must be purchased or cloned from a plant purchased from a licensed marijuana producer
  • Must register the location of the cooperative with the state liquor and cannabis board
  • Must grow or process marijuana only in this location
  • Must list the names of all participating members and copies of each members’ registration card when registering the cooperative
  • Must be located at the domicile of one of the members
  • Must keep a copy of each members’ recognition card at cooperative location at all times
  • Must limit garden to the total amount of plants authorized for each participating member, not to exceed a maximum of 60 plants total
  • Must limit possession of cannabis to what is produced from the plants, not to exceed a maximum of 72 oz.
  • Members must not participate in more than one cooperative
  • Members must provide non-monetary resources and labor to the cooperative
  • Must not sell, donate or otherwise provide marijuana or marijuana infused products to a person that is not authorized as a qualifying patient or designated provider

But as of recently, collective gardens will no longer be allowed as of July 2016, but can apply to form non-commercial cooperatives to provide an alternative to access from retail stores.

Washington became the 4th state to approve medical marijuana on November 3, 1998

Important Cannabis Laws

Ballot Initiative I-692 (1998) – removed state-level criminal penalties for the medical use of marijuana by patients who possessed “valid documentation” from their physicians that the patient suffers from a debilitating condition and could benefit from the medical use of marijuana.

Ballot Initiative I-502 (2012) – allows the state to legally license and regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession for persons over 21 years of age (recreational cannabis). It provides a new “drugged driving” law with guidelines for THC levels that are illegal, akin to blood alcohol levels.

SB 5052 “Cannabis Patient Protection Act” (2015) – established a medical marijuana registry and requires medical marijuana dispensaries to be state-licensed.

Chapter 69.50 RCW – Uniform Controlled Substances Act

Chapter 69.51A RCW – Medical Cannabis State Law

Chapter 246-71 WAC – Authorization database rules

Chapter 246-72 WAC – Certified consultant rules

Chapter 246-70 WAC – Emergency rule

Chapter 314-55 WAC – Marijuana licenses, application process, requirements and reporting

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