Photo by Tawnee Lynne Cowan

Legal Cannabis Week #65

Medical marijuana bill sneaks through without hearing

A legislative proposal that that would all but repeal our voter-approved medical cannabis law cleared the Senate Health Care committee last Thursday. HB 2149 would:

  • Drastically reduce the amount of medical cannabis that patients may possess and grow,
  • Repeal their right to grow together in small groups,
  • Create a mandatory government registry for pot patients, and
  • Repeal all three “affirmative defenses” in the medical pot law that patients may raise if they are prosecuted.

This dreadful bill was originally scheduled for a public hearing, but that was canceled Wednesday, leading many medical cannabis advocates to breathe a sigh of relief. Thursday’s executive action on the bill was unannounced, involved no discussion, occurred 86 minutes into the meeting and took thirty seconds.

Dreadful Medical Cannabis Bill Clears Senate Committee
FEB 27 | The Stranger

A similar medical cannabis bill, SB 5887, is moving through the House, along with a companion bill, HB 2198. The governor’s supplemental budget bill, SB 6002, was amended to allocate $2.2 million to DOH to implement SB 5887. More coverage:

Patients wary of proposed changes to medical-pot system
MAR 1 | Seattle Times

Patients wary of possible medical cannabis changes
MAR 2 | Associated Press

Kill the Medical Marijuana Bill
FEB 26 | The Stranger

Legislative weed watch

Legislative hotline is 800-LOAN-000, as in “toll free, loan nothing.” According to the cutoff calendar, February 28 was the last day for bill to clear their policy committee in the opposite chamber, unless they are considered “necessary to implement budget.” These bills moved to the Rules committee, a step or two away from a floor vote:

  • HB 1597 – Goodman – Making marijuana law technical corrections.
  • HB 1888 – Shea – Regarding industrial hemp.
  • HB 2405 – Buys – Regarding hemp as a component of commercial animal feed.
  • HB 2706 – WSLCB – Ensuring safe, responsible, and legal acquisition of marijuana by adults.
  • SB 6505 – Hargrove – Deny standard tax breaks to cannabis businesses.

These bills are in Way and Means for fiscal discussion, and theoretically should have a hearing, though who really ever knows with our legislature:

  • HB 2149 – Cody – Concerning medical marijuana.
  • SB 6542 – Kohl-Welles – Establishing the state cannabis industry coordinating committee.

Additionally, a bill to provide tax exemptions for medical cannabis patients who shop in state-licensed stores started shuffling its NTIB legs. This is a companion to SB 5887, which is also apparently alive:

  • HB 2198 – Carlyle – Providing tax relief to qualifying patients for purchases of marijuana for medical use.
  • SB 5887 – Rivers – Merging the medical marijuana system with the recreational marijuana system.

The supplemental operating budget now includes $2.2 million for DOH to implement SB 5887 (page 130, section 219, search for 5887)—like this medical cannabis snuffer is ordained from on high:

  • SB 6002 – Governor Inslee – Paying $2.2 million for DOH to implement SB 5887.

These bills now appear dead, unless they are revived as “necessary to implement budget”: HB 1084, HB 1482, HB 1661, HB 1662, HB 1789, HB 1976, HB 1991, HB 1992, HB 2000, HB 2028, HB 2030, HB 2206, HB 2303, HB 2233, HB 2304, HB 2394, HB 2409, HB 2322, HB 2411, HB 2509, HB 2510, HB 2511, HB 2566, HB 2638, HB 2732, HB 2767, HB 2772, SB 5010, SB 5222, SB 5279, SB 5528, SB 5954, SB 5966, SB 6130, SB 6158, SB 6160, SB 6178, SB 6214, SB 6393, SB 6481, SB 6543,SJM 8000.

Week in review

Richland Police Department denied a gun permit to a medical cannabis patient.

Numerica Credit Union intends to accept legal pot business accounts.

Jamaica MP Phillip Paulwell called for decriminalized cannabis by year’s end.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon showed a modicum of support for medical marijuana.

Ohio voters support medical marijuana, poll finds.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes encouraged cannabis social clubs.

Martin Gay and Dakota Sandoval plan to grow cannabis in Jefferson County and are related to a Port Townsend councilwoman.

Inside Edition found Leo’s Smoke Shack on a Colorado ski slope.

Vail Resorts destroyed Leo’s Smoke Shack.

Robert Bornn invented a cannabis aromatherapy device.

Spokane County Board of Commissioners directed county staff to prepare a zoning ordinance to allow pot processing in agricultural areas.

Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners proposed an I-502 moratorium.

German researchers blamed cannabis for triggering two deaths.

German researchers criticized other German researchers for exaggerating the dangers of cannabis.

San Diego City Council approved new regulations on medical cannabis dispensaries.

Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee passed a low-THC medical cannabis bill.

Denver officials consider refusing permits to the annual Civic Center 4/20 celebration.

Georgia House Health Committee forwarded a medical cannabis bill.

Grand County Commissioners considered employee marijuana policies.

Sequim City Council enacted an I-502 moratorium.

CNBC in-depthed Colorado’s legal pot industry.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program accepts applications for Oregon dispensaries starting March 3.

Federal Court of Canada ruled that medical cannabis class action litigants may remain anonymous

Dutch police warn that regulated cannabis production will cause an increase in violent robberies.

Yakima City Council asked for a portion of state marijuana taxes.

Chris Marr spoke about I-502 licensing at Washington State University.

Texas voters support legalized cannabis, poll finds.

New Mexico Department of Health approved medical cannabis for Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disorder.

Medical Marijuana Access Regulations caused mayhem and overproduction, Health Canada documents claim.

William Breathes photographed all 47 legal pot shops in Denver.

Governor Mead Treadwell certified an Alaska legalization initiative for the ballot.

National Labor Relations Board ruled that a Maine dispensary retaliated against employees and interfered with their right to unionize.

Colorado Department of Agriculture accepts hemp production license applications.

Garyn Angel sells home cannabis cooking extractors.

Worth repeating

“Some regulation in this area would do us good. It’s the only way to ensure that the feds are going to keep their noses out of our business.”

— Washington State Senator Anne Rivers on repealing legal defenses for medical cannabis patients to preempt federal action against state-licensed cannabis purveyors

“I will do everything in my power to oppose it. I have looked at it a long time. From what I’ve seen from all this is that it’s a stepping stone to harder drugs.”

— Wahkiakum County Commissioner Dan Cothren on cannabis production in Wahkiakum county

“We’re excited about the prospects.”

— Numerica Credit Union General Counsel Lynn Ciani on legal cannabis banking

“I would caution any entrepreneurs, any pioneers, to make sure they have good legal counsel.”

— Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes on cannabis social clubs


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