State Wants Medical Pot Registry, Tax Exemption, Lower Cap

Oct 21, 2013

Medical marijuana patients in Washington would have to register with the state if they don’t want to pay pot taxes. That’s just one recommendation issued Monday for sweeping changes to the state’s largely unregulated medical pot industry.

Washington is grappling with how to regulate the medical marijuana industry so that it doesn’t become a black or gray market that competes with new, legal recreational pot.

Medical cannabis users are likely to chafe at the proposed restrictions. They include the creation of a mandatory state registry for medical pot patients and their designated providers. Patients who register would be exempt from pot taxes. But the list would be made available to law enforcement.

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.