Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee will likely sign a bill passed by the Legislature that would roll the state’s unregulated medical marijuana market into its heavily regulated recreational cannabis program.
The bill would require dispensaries and MMJ cultivators to obtain licenses through a new agency called the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, which would replace the Liquor Control Board.
The new board would come up with a system to award the permits, giving preference to applicants who already had applied for a recreational marijuana license prior to July 1, 2014, with second priority going to those who worked for or owned a collective garden prior to Jan. 1, 2013.
Under the bill – dubbed the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, or more formally S5052 – growers would be required to test their products for mold and other impurities, and registered patients between the ages of 18 and 21 would be able to purchase cannabis for medical use. (Currently only adults 21 and over can buy any type of marijuana).
The bill’s sponsor told the Spokane Spokesman that it’s essential for the state to eliminate unregulated, unlicensed growers to give patients a “clean supply and an adequate supply.”