With Pot Legal, The Days Of Washington’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are Numbered

Last month I said ”it looks like the writing is on the wall” for medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington now that the state is about to license recreational pot shops. (The Washington State Liquor Control Board started taking applications on Monday.) I wondered, “How long will state and local governments eager for marijuana tax revenue allow these untaxed, unregulated outlets to compete with government-licensed stores selling cannabis of similar quality at higher prices?” The answer appears to be: not long. Four days after I wrote that post, an interdepartmental committee recommended that the state legislature fold medical marijuana into the recreational system, shutting down dispensaries and banning home cultivation by patients. Last week Alison Holcomb, the ACLU of Washington lawyer who ran the campaign for I-502, Washington’s legalization initiative, agreed that “it makes little sense” to maintain two parallel distribution networks but argued that home cultivation should be permitted for medical use.