Medical Pot Advocate: State's Proposed Overhaul Goes Too Far

Oct 22, 2013

An advocate of the state’s medical marijuana industry says the state regulators’ proposed rules go too far.

State regulators on Monday proposed a sweeping overhaul of the industry, including a registry of medical marijuana patients. Ezra Eickmeyer with the Washington Cannabis Association says the proposed rules go too far.

“The thought of completely merging the two systems and simply creating a database for people to be in if they want a tax exemption for getting some pot to smoke—it doesn’t really cover what patients need,” Eickmeyer said.

In addition to registering with the state, patients would have to buy their medicine at specially-licensed recreational pot stores, but they wouldn’t pay sales tax.

The proposed rules also cap the amount of marijuana patients can possess. Patients could no longer possess a 60-day supply of usable marijuana, or 24 ounces. Instead, they’d be limited to 3 ounces per week.

Another dramatic proposal: collective gardens and home grows would be banned. Pot patients would instead get their medicine at licensed recreational pot stores with special approval to accept medical marijuana authorization cards. 

Eickmeyer said some merger of the medical and recreational marijuana markets in Washington might work. But he objects to the draft recommendation that patients could no longer grow their own marijuana or have collective gardens.

The public will have a chance to comment on these proposals. State regulators will then make final recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 1.