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Washington Group Is Challenging New Medical Marijuana Law

washington medical marijuana senate bill 5052Last month Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5052 into law. SB 5052 made a lot of changes to Washington’s long established medical marijuana program. Some of those changes included:

  • Requires every medical cannabis dispensary in the state to close by July 1st, 2016 forcing patients to purchase from recreational cannabis outlets (despite most cities in the state prohibiting them) or rely on the black-market.
  • Reducing patient possession limits from twenty ounces, to three, and their cultivation limits from fifteen plants, to six. Patients caught possessing between three and twenty four ounces, or caught growing between seven and fifteen plants will be committing class C felonies once the law takes effect, and could be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
  • Patients will be required to join a patient database, or only be allowed to possess an ounce, and cultivate four plants.

A group in Washington is hoping to challenge the new law in the form of a citizen’s referendum. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

A Washington State group is looking to challenge newly minted regulations that roll the state’s medical marijuana market into its heavily regulated recreational cannabis program.

The group hopes to gather enough signatures to get a referendum in front of voters that would unravel the new law. A spokesman for the proposal – dubbed Referendum 76 – said the regulations limit access for patients who use MMJ to treat various ailments.

The new law – which the governor signed April 27 – will essentially eliminate the state’s mostly unregulated medical marijuana industry and force existing MMJ businesses to get licenses under the recreational cannabis program or close down.

Senate Bill 5052 is rough for Washington medical marijuana patients, and medical marijuana industry members to say the least. I’m curious to see how many medical marijuana dispensaries stay open anyways. That’s what is happening in California, and for a long time happened in Oregon before Oregon passed a comprehensive medical marijuana dispensary bill. With prices still very high at recreational stores, I’d imagine more patients will go to the black market than convert to purchasing recreational marijuana in the event that there is a massive wave of dispensary closures across the state.

 

  • wowFAD

    Sorry to be the voice of dissent, but Washington State’s MMJ law *never* allowed dispensaries. As I understand it, Washington’s MMJ program relied upon a caregiver loophole to open stores despite the law. A patient walks into the shop, they sign a form stating the person at the counter is now their caregiver, they make their purchase, and on the way out, they sign another form stating the person at the counter is no longer their caregiver. The fact that this is happening in a retail store is supposedly incidental.

    My friends, that is semantic trickery of the first order. WA advocates have had 17 years to fix Washington’s MMJ law to allow dispensaries so they would be 100% legit and aboveboard. Instead, they allowed patient access to teeter on the head of a pin. Now, the legislature is closing the loophole, and patients will suffer.

    I side with Radical Russ only when he has a point, and he made his point about Washington’s MMJ program (IMO) very well: Washington advocates could have tried to make dispensaries legal instead of allowing some patients’ access to hinge upon a *single* loophole for almost two full decades. The patient-caregiver model doesn’t have dispensaries. If you want dispensaries, you have to change the law. Michigan tried their program sans dispensaries, not all of their patients could get safe, legal access without them, so now they are trying to change the law to allow “provisioning centers” in MI. Considering Michigan passed their MMJ law in 2008, Washington advocates are ten years behind the curve.

    Exploiting the loophole to open dispensaries in Washington should have been a temporary stopgap measure to help patients who couldn’t grow their own or find a caregiver — not a permanent solution. Had advocates been the ones to close the loophole themselves, it would have been closed in a way that kept MMJ businesses OPEN to ensure patient access was not compromised. Sadly, that did not happen.

    • Greg

      MMJ advocates did try to make it the dispensaries regulated and pushed for it. They supported SB 5073, to regulate the dispensaries in 2011. Gregoire vetoed the bill. Since, there has been no action taken to help the MMJ market. Since 2012, the focus has been on I-502 and rolling it out, and they want to roll out the dispensaries so their I-502 law is more successful. Don’t try to pin it on the advocates and patients like this is their fault.

      • wowFAD

        And don’t over-generalize my point. The majority of patients (and a few advocates, I’m sure) are so accustomed to their “dispensaries” that they think they’re LEGAL. And those of you who are aware they’re not legal avoid using the words “loophole exploitation” when discussing them. “Advocates” like Steve Sarich ARE responsible for keeping your illegal dispensaries illegal, or did you forget about his lawsuit against SB5073?

        If I had to literally point a finger, I’d point it in the faces of the specific people who opened those illegal dispensaries, made huge profits, and subsequently worked to undermine SB5073 — like Steve Sarich. Gregoire didn’t just veto it on a whim. Someone with a vested interest in maintaining the current “loophole exploitation” model of MMJ got her to do it via political pressure.

        • Edward Norton

          Here’s the deal. We can’t mandate that all dispensary owners care about patients. Some truly do. Some obviously don’t. We have to accept the fact that most will be profit driven. There must be incentive to serve the market, and that incentive rarely comes in the form of personal satisfaction of helping a patient. Just the reality of things.

          What we don’t want as a society is law that does more to benefit the producer/retailer through cartel/monopoly state power, than the consumer through efficient markets. Let me say that again. Cartel/monopoly benefits the few with the state cartel/monopoly privilege (limited licensing), while the free market benefits the consumer because competition forces efficiency, innovation, lower costs, all of which benefit the consumer.

          To be specific, I’d suggest that the old MMJ system was better at meeting the needs of the patients, as it did not restrict the access points or number of producers. It was poorly written, yes, forcing participants to use loopholes to meet the patients needs, forcing production into such small capacity that economies of scale can’t be leveraged lower cost for the patient, and should have been re-written to eliminate the need to use a loophole altogether.

          I mean, really, how realistic is it to tell all Oxy patients that they can be in groups no larger than 10, have to make their Oxy onsite, can’t coordinate exchange with other groups to benefit their patients? Its about as unrealistic as i502 saying you can’t share with a friend.

    • Edward Norton

      So our legislature crafted bad policy in 1998 when it was voted into law by the people. Then, legislature neglected to ‘fix’ the policy for 17yrs, even though the MMJ industry brought recommendations to legislature.

      Then by some wave of your magic wand, the problem becomes that of the MMJ industry, not the inept legislators who crafted the ‘bad’ law?

      You do see how incoherent your debate is, right? Or is it just the rest of us that can see you throwing stones from inside your glass bubble?

      • wowFAD

        You never once used the word “loophole” or “illegal” — dance around those words all you like, they still apply. The registered caregiver model doesn’t allow dispensaries. The slogan followed by every legalization campaign (medical or recreational) has been “if you don’t like the law, change the law.” While we exploit special loopholes to skirt the law, that slogan is hollow and empty.

        • PhilDeBowl

          If the law was being broken why didn’t those charged with enforcing the law do something about it, do you really think it was the responsibility of those who were being served by those dispensaries to enforce a stupid law?

          • wowFAD

            Never said the law was being broken. I said WA dispensary owners were openly skirting the law via a loophole. Nor did I imply it was the responsibility of patients, alone, to fix the problem. However, I’m supremely confident the people who were pushing SB5073 in 2011 were, indeed, patients who were afraid their access would vanish when the loophole was closed. I’m also absolutely certain the people who were responsible for the class-action lawsuit AGAINST SB5073 were dispensary owners who did not care about patient access, they simply enjoy the profits they’ve raked in running businesses in legal limbo.

          • Edward Norton

            //Steve Sarich — the owner of an illegal dispensary//

            Your previous comment from above…does ‘illegal’ not indicate that you felt the law was being broken?

            FAD, I concur on the notion that SB5073 was drafted as a patient concern, and that the class-action against it was brought by those who didn’t care about patient access..simply wanted to maintain their profits.

            What I’m saying is that neither the ‘Steve Sarich’ type dispensary operator, nor the i502 operator, will be concerned with patient access. But in fact, one could argue that the shareholders at Pfizer don’t care about health more than they care about ROI either!

            My point is that govt restricted markets don’t benefit patients or consumers.

            Example – The states own analysis for i502 from BOTEC Analysis Corp indicated that the cost of producing cannabis for retail consumption would be $2.20/gram on a 1yr LRAC curve, $1.37/gram on a 3yr LRAC curve. Compare that with the stabilized price of $15/gram in the retail market, or even $10/gram in the mmj market. Both markets have heavy profit, which is why you’ll find business people in each looking to secure their ‘status quo’ through state issued monopoly power.

            Neither is as good for the patient/consumer as a less restricted market.

        • Edward Norton

          //The registered caregiver model doesn’t allow dispensaries//

          Yet the market participants favored that model. The market used the loophole to achieve better quality, better access, and lower cost. Opponents apparently don’t like better quality, better access, and lower cost.

          //”if you don’t like the law, change the law.”//

          Your claiming no attempts have been made to change the law? I specifically recall an attempt SB5073 that was vetoed by Gregoire in 2011.

          • wowFAD

            And I recall Steve Sarich — the owner of an illegal dispensary — getting together with a bunch of other dispensary owners to file a class action lawsuit against the bill. So do not pretend as if Gregoire’s actions occurred in a vacuum, that she was the clear villain of this story. She did what she did due to political pressure. From who? Steve Sarich and the other “advocates” who were more interested in preserving the status-quo than shoring up patient access under the law.

          • Edward Norton

            //She did what she did due to political pressure. From who? Steve Sarich and the other “advocates” who were more interested in preserving the status-quo than shoring up patient access under the law. //

            Again…you point out my concern for me. Thank you for advocating my cause.

            I believe my original point was that the legislation does nothing to benefit quality/access/cost.

            The best and most credible ‘advocate’ of the patient is the patient themselves. Policy should be crafted around their needs, not the needs of ‘Steve Sarich’, or the revenue needs of the retail i502 cartel for that matter.

            Again, my original point was government ‘restrictions’ make market regulation (regulation by consumer) less effective. The best way to ensure quality/access/lower cost for patients (if lawmakers truly were concerned for them) is to remove as many ‘restrictions’ on the market as they can, and let the Adam Smiths invisible hand coordinate it.

            This would benefit neither the i502 cartel or the ‘Steve Sarich & Advocate’ type, which is precisely why its good for patients!

          • wowFAD

            LOL. If that was your point, you sure went out of your way to avoid saying it. But I always enjoy it when someone I’ve handily disproven attempts to pretend as if they were trying to say something *else* — LOLOL. But maybe you can cut and paste the ORIGINAL point you were trying to make, then? I believe you are claiming your *original* point was about government restrictions, and I was supposed to divine that from the ether, rather than from anything you explicitly said? LOL. Maybe you were thinking it, but you didn’t say it.

            However, even if that *was* your original point (no really, I believe you — LOL), that’s an argument for fixing the law, not maintaining the status-quo. As for saying the *current* legislation is good/bad, again, maybe you were thinking it, but I didn’t say anything one way or the other. Any other private arguments from your noggin you want to project on me? LOLOL

          • Edward Norton

            Wow Fad! If you’d only taken the time to read the posts in this forum, we may have some common ground. I’ll repost my original below for you, and anyone else who hasn’t read it. It was posted yesterday.

            I agree, fixing the law is what my original point was all about, as it simply illustrates how the law, both in its previous and current incarnation does not benefit patients and consumers. However, we may disagree on the ‘fix’ for the law. I’m a free market / non intervention type, simply because free markets are the most beneficial for the consumer, and the least beneficial for those seeking govt cartel/monopoly power.

            In regards to handily disproving me…you may want to check yourself on that. Particularly in the claim that loopholes are not illegal, yet dispensaries set up because of the loophole is illegal. I’ll post your exact words below.
            //Funny, I never said using a loophole was illegal.//
            //And I recall Steve Sarich — the owner of an illegal dispensary -//

            //I believe you are claiming your *original* point was about government restrictions, and I was supposed to divine that from the ether, rather than from anything you explicitly said? LOL. Maybe you were thinking it, but you didn’t say it.//

            Yes, if you’d taken the time to read my ‘ether’ as you so eloquently stated, you would find plenty of explicit information regarding the concept that government restrictions don’t benefit the patients/consumers, and again, that is a cause worthy of fixing the law, not maintaining the status quo.

            ———————————————————————–

            From my original post:

            //mostly unregulated medical marijuana industry//

            Regulate – To make orderly, consistent. (your thermostat regulates temperature). What is being regulated? Quality, access points, price.

            People, you need to make the distinction between market regulation and government regulation. There are no ‘unregulated’ markets. The choice is between regulation by consumer, or regulation by government.

            All markets are regulated by consumers choice. IF quality of product/service is poor, limiting the access points is not going to make quality better. Limiting access points in fact has the opposite effect, in that where there is less competition (think geographic monopoly / 1 store in the city), the retailer has no incentive to keep quality high because he has no/limited competition.

            If I don’t like Dispensary A, and its my only option, Dispensary A could care less about quality as they have a captive audience. However, If Dispensary A has competition with Dispensary B, then both must compete for customers, and if Dispensary A is losing customers due to quality, then they’ll increase their quality or go bust. Thus, the more competition the better regulated the market is in all aspects of quality, access, and price.

            Government ‘regulation’ will never ensure quality as effectively as competitive forces of free markets. Why? because when you regulate Quality by government, you set one standard for everyone. When the market regulates quality through consumer choice, a wide range of quality occurs, and the production elements will meet the range of quality demands by the consumer/market, rather than the govt standards for one-size-fits-all quality. Great Example – Public Education

            Further, government regulation makes regulation by consumer less effective. Markets need a multitude of access points, and a multitude of qualities in order for consumer choice have effective regulation. Govt regulation places restrictions on the number of people who can participate in the market at all stages (producer/processor/retailer), thereby reducing competition and the effectiveness that consumer regulation brings.

            Government restrictions on markets render consumer regulation ineffective, again, think public education for an example in how government restricts markets. If you had a choice where to send your kid with his $13k/yr school choice voucher, the schools would need to compete for students by providing the best quality, greatest access, at the lowest cost. As is it now, we have average quality, ‘adequate’ access, and extremely high cost.

            Seems to me, the biggest concerns regarding patients is quality and access, second only to cost. Again, access will not be increased by shutting down 10 dispensaries access points, and opening 1 retail access point.

            Lastly, cost is not reduced by limiting supply, nor access. Limiting canopy size renders ineffective the economies of scale that make mass production beneficial to consumers. Limiting access points prevents effective competition from competing, thus driving costs up further.

            In fact, the black market is also regulated by consumer choice. What the black market illustrates is worse yet, but similar to the i502 concept in that because of potential legalrisk, competition is limited, production is limited, and access is limited. None of these scenarios present a benefit to the patient.

            Yet the Black market is regulated by consumers. Joe Dealer selling bags of Oregano/Cannabis mix won’t have many repeat customers because of regulation by consumer. If he’s the only deal in town, he won’t care about his quality. Joe Dealer selling overpriced Cannabis will continue to do so at high prices until he has competition, again regulation by consumer.

            So the question becomes, which system is most beneficial to the patient.

            1) Black Market

            2) Regulation by consumer

            3) Regulation by government

            The answer depends on the intent of your regulation.

            If the ‘regulations’ intent is to ensure quality, access, and low cost, then regulation by consumer is most effective and benefits consumers to the greatest extent.

            Think of it this way. The current dispensary system has provided the market with good quality, good access, and low cost BECAUSE of the competition that the market economy offers. Limiting the competition within this system in any way cannot possible benefit quality/access/cost in any fashion.

            This makes it painfully obvious, the i502 system and current MMJ reforms are not meant to, and in no way address patient concerns. They are simply intended to divert revenue from MMJ patients to the few who have gained the state’s monopoly power via licensing process. On that note, I’ve read that only 300 or so producers out of the 3000+ applicants have been granted the state’s monopoly privilege to produce, and the window to apply may never be opened again! Obviously, not good for quality/access/price.

        • Edward Norton

          Revising my post for you specifically, so as to not dance around the words of your choosing.
          ——————————————–
          So our legislature crafted bad policy with ‘loopholes’ in 1998 when it was voted into law by the people. Then, legislature neglected to ‘fix’ the ‘loopholes’ for 17yrs, even though the MMJ industry brought recommendations to legislature, which were vetoed in 2011.

          Then by some wave of your magic wand, the problem becomes that of the MMJ industry, not the inept legislators who crafted the ‘bad’ law with ‘loopholes’?

          As far as being ‘illegal’, use of a ‘loophole’ is not considered ‘illegal’. Its considered poorly written legislation and the direct fault of legislators who craft such poorly written legislation. Show me one person who has been convicted of the crime of using a ‘loophole’.

          You do see how incoherent your debate is, right? Or is it just the rest of us that can see you throwing stones from inside your glass bubble?

          • wowFAD

            Funny, I never said using a loophole was illegal. I said it’s hollow and empty for legalization advocates to exploit them, but I never said it was criminal. And while I think it’s cute of you to try to make it seem as if the MMJ industry was trying to fix the loophole, I’m aware of SB5073 from 2011 — I’m aware it cleared both houses of the WA state legislature. I’m also aware it was vetoed by the governor due to pressure from entrenched MMJ businesses. Or was Steve Sarich’s lawsuit against SB5073 just a funny joke I don’t understand? Oh, you forgot that the MMJ industry filed a class-action lawsuit against the legislative attempt to make dispensaries legal?

            I believe you were saying something HILARIOUS about the relative coherence of my argument… Should I let you finish, or are you too busy trying to forget about Steve Sarich?

          • Edward Norton

            //Funny, I never said using a loophole was illegal.//

            Yet from your other posts…
            //And I recall Steve Sarich — the owner of an illegal dispensary –//
            hmm…would that be a dispensary that was allowed to operate because of the legal loophole? I mean…dispensaries were allowed to operate, were they not, because of the poorly written legislation/loophole?

            Keep your story straight sir…your credibility is waning.

            //I believe you were saying something HILARIOUS about the relative coherence of my argument… Should I let you finish//

            I am finished illustrating how incoherent your argument is. No further example is necessary.

          • wowFAD

            So nothing to say in Steve Sarich’s defense? LOL Thanks for playing.

          • Edward Norton

            Why should I? I never set out to defend him. In fact, if you’d taken the time to read my earlier, more lengthy post, you’d find that the principles I’m promoting don’t defend any type of government policy crafted to restrict markets.

            The best type of pill for the ‘Steve Sarich’ type is robust competition in free market. I’ll defend that statement till i’m old and grey.

    • PhilDeBowl

      “WA advocates have had 17 years to fix Washington’s MMJ law to allow
      dispensaries so they would be 100% legit and aboveboard. Instead, they
      allowed patient access to teeter on the head of a pin.”,,,,, Nonsense, it’s the State legislature and LEO that had 17 years to correct the situation,instead they looked the other way and allowed the dispensaries to exist. And now that the State has a dog in the fight they want to eliminate the competition.
      I have never endorsed the dispensaries, I agree with you that they operated in a very legal gray area, but at least for 17 years they served the MedMJ community, if the State thinks those who used the dispensary will just become customers of the state stores they are wrong. The growers that supplied the MedMJ market are still out there growing and that product is going to go somewhere.

  • Patrick Star

    I still find it very disturbing that all these people are fighting to keep a plant that grows naturally illegal but will recommend man made chemicals with hundreds of side effects with out a fight they will freely take man made chemical pills which kills Millons daily but are scared to use a plant that grows naturally I wonder if aloe Vera plants made you feel good if they would outlaw it to even though like marijuana it has been used for centuries helping people but they will freely use a poppy plant and add chemicals to make us sick and freely prescribe it to people without a fight or second thought they will sell Tylenol over the counter to anyone knowing that it can shut down your kidneys and kill you but that’s OK it’s not natural it’s man made so that’s OK it almost like they want us to stay sick or kill us hmm let’s think obout this natural or man made which would you choose anything can can be added to man made pills without even noticing a difference in the pill all it would take is a disgruntled employee in a pill company to add one extra chemical to the pill and Millons of people could die instantly I find this very scary and millions of people are dying from these and yet they are not being held accountable for these deaths.because it’s the people’s fault for not taking them as directed or they are and are still dying because all they do is cover up symptoms not cure them.

  • briteleaf

    It was obvious, from the start, that Washington officials did not support the will of it’s people. However, once Washington citizens voted to legalize it, they put such high taxes on it that the black market can thrive selling a natural product that is much less expensive. Washington has more troubles to come because Oregon has legalized it and will be taxing it at a much lower rate. So Oregon will make it much tougher for the black market risk to be profitable and tougher for over-taxed, high-priced Washington marijuana to compete with a neighboring state. Obviously, these folks don’t care about the plight of medical marijuana patients who can’t even legally grow enough in the summer to medicate them for an entire year. Washington will eventually wise up when they see their marijuana tax dollars begin to fall off in the face of less expensive, black market and Oregon.

  • PhilDeBowl

    These fools in the legislature think they are going to drive the MedMJ market into their State approved stores , not going to happen.

  • dr.tony.antonio

    don’t forget the native american tribes who are not under the jurisdiction of 5052 or the liquor board, who have agreed to grow and process cannabis on their reservation. the feds could not interfere, either. who needs a black market?

    • PhilDeBowl

      I’d love to see every Res. turning out good herb.

  • I’ve been a WA patient for over 2 years. I will not purchase MMJ at a Rec store…even with ‘less’ tax to patients, our medicine won’t be affordable anymore. Many patients are unable to work and need more affordable medical marijuana, not another tax! I will grow my own and have 6 plants growing all year long. Another problem is…unless you’re a professional grower, 6 plants won’t be enough for one person to have their medicine. Our medicine should not be taxed, just like prescription medications aren’t taxed. period.

    • PhilDeBowl

      My suggestion is to network with as many MedMJ people you can, either form a collective garden or just share what you can amongst the group. I don’t know one MedMJ grower who is going to abide by the reduced grow limit.

  • Edward Norton

    //mostly unregulated medical marijuana industry//

    Regulate – To make orderly, consistent. (your thermostat regulates temperature). What is being regulated? Quality, access points, price.

    People, you need to make the distinction between market regulation and government regulation. There are no ‘unregulated’ markets. The choice is between regulation by consumer, or regulation by government.

    All markets are regulated by consumers choice. IF quality of product/service is poor, limiting the access points is not going to make quality better. Limiting access points in fact has the opposite effect, in that where there is less competition (think geographic monopoly / 1 store in the city), the retailer has no incentive to keep quality high because he has no/limited competition.

    If I don’t like Dispensary A, and its my only option, Dispensary A could care less about quality as they have a captive audience. However, If Dispensary A has competition with Dispensary B, then both must compete for customers, and if Dispensary A is losing customers due to quality, then they’ll increase their quality or go bust. Thus, the more competition the better regulated the market is in all aspects of quality, access, and price.

    Government ‘regulation’ will never ensure quality as effectively as competitive forces of free markets. Why? because when you regulate Quality by government, you set one standard for everyone. When the market regulates quality through consumer choice, a wide range of quality occurs, and the production elements will meet the range of quality demands by the consumer/market, rather than the govt standards for one-size-fits-all quality. Great Example – Public Education

    Further, government regulation makes regulation by consumer less effective. Markets need a multitude of access points, and a multitude of qualities in order for consumer choice have effective regulation. Govt regulation places restrictions on the number of people who can participate in the market at all stages (producer/processor/retailer), thereby reducing competition and the effectiveness that consumer regulation brings.

    Government restrictions on markets render consumer regulation ineffective, again, think public education for an example in how government restricts markets. If you had a choice where to send your kid with his $13k/yr school choice voucher, the schools would need to compete for students by providing the best quality, greatest access, at the lowest cost. As is it now, we have average quality, ‘adequate’ access, and extremely high cost.

    Seems to me, the biggest concerns regarding patients is quality and access, second only to cost. Again, access will not be increased by shutting down 10 dispensaries access points, and opening 1 retail access point.

    Lastly, cost is not reduced by limiting supply, nor access. Limiting canopy size renders ineffective the economies of scale that make mass production beneficial to consumers. Limiting access points prevents effective competition from competing, thus driving costs up further.

    In fact, the black market is also regulated by consumer choice. What the black market illustrates is worse yet, but similar to the i502 concept in that because of potential legalrisk, competition is limited, production is limited, and access is limited. None of these scenarios present a benefit to the patient.

    Yet the Black market is regulated by consumers. Joe Dealer selling bags of Oregano/Cannabis mix won’t have many repeat customers because of regulation by consumer. If he’s the only deal in town, he won’t care about his quality. Joe Dealer selling overpriced Cannabis will continue to do so at high prices until he has competition, again regulation by consumer.

    So the question becomes, which system is most beneficial to the patient.

    1) Black Market

    2) Regulation by consumer

    3) Regulation by government

    The answer depends on the intent of your regulation.

    If the ‘regulations’ intent is to ensure quality, access, and low cost, then regulation by consumer is most effective and benefits consumers to the greatest extent.

    Think of it this way. The current dispensary system has provided the market with good quality, good access, and low cost BECAUSE of the competition that the market economy offers. Limiting the competition within this system in any way cannot possible benefit quality/access/cost in any fashion.

    This makes it painfully obvious, the i502 system and current MMJ reforms are not meant to, and in no way address patient concerns. They are simply intended to divert revenue from MMJ patients to the few who have gained the state’s monopoly power via licensing process. On that note, I’ve read that only 300 or so producers out of the 3000+ applicants have been granted the state’s monopoly privilege to produce, and the window to apply may never be opened again! Obviously, not good for quality/access/price.

    • PhilDeBowl

      In other words , the way the state legislators are doing it assures a thriving Black market.

      • Edward Norton

        Well…i wouldn’t say that their intent is to assure the black market remains thriving, but that will be the most apparent result of their policy.

        Looking at the law itself, it seems to me the largest priority is Tax Revenue, which should be no surprise. Second largest priority seems to me to be traceability of product, likely as a result of the DoJ who wanted state policy to illustrate an effort to keep the product in the state.

        Understand, you can achieve traceability of product for tax and DoJ compliance purposes without limiting the market so dramatically that price increases steeply.

        There is no need to limit the number of producers/processors/retailer. The invisible hand of the market will coordinate production to satisfy demand within the state. It is a more accurate equilibrium process than any ‘study’ or ‘analysis’ provided by any consulting firm will every be. Plus, it costs the taxpayers nothing, as opposed to the costs of consultants, and the inflated price of the product resulting from ill-crafted legislation from inept bureaucrats.

        • PhilDeBowl

          “.I wouldn’t say that their intent is to assure the black market remains
          thriving, but that will be the most apparent result of their policy.”,,,,, Politicians doing what they do best,not understanding unintended consequences.

          • Edward Norton

            Unfortunately, its not just politicians. If people understood the ‘Seen vs. Unseen’ effects, and believed them to be important in matters of policy writing, they would elect politicians that understand the concept as well.

            The sad part in all of this…Politicians in any democratic society are merely a reflection of the voting public. Thus, it is obvious that the voting public in general does not recognize the seen vs. unseen, the intended versus the unintended consequence of legislation.

            /shrug…to that end, we get what we deserve I suppose. :)
            This is said to be the ‘Road to Serfdom’.
            https://mises.org/library/road-serfdom-0

    • Eldon

      You get an A+, Edward. You must be a business undergraduate or perhaps even an MBA candidate. As an MBA, I can verify your post as being both correct and accurate. As a 100% disabled U.S. Army Combat Medic of over 25 years of active service to our nation, I say thank you for writing such a wonderful essay elucidating reason on an issue so beleaguered by emotion and greed.

  • gonzo612

    Is it just me or does this liquor control board have no clue?

  • Sick o’ Both

    THESE GOVERNMENT SIMPLETONS JUST DROVE THE MARKET BACK TO THE STREETS.
    DEMOCRAT Jay Inslee just declared war on terminally ill people. What a scumbag.

  • Sick o’ Both

    Government…stepping on the necks of sick people…(and the average Joe at that!)

  • John Yoachim

    The Govenor is the Trogan on the Trogan Horse that is I-502
    What poltiical philosophy does the Senate bill represent;National Socialism?

  • Ryan johnson

    We’re can I get the ballots to be sighned for my dispansary and the ones around us? I want to get a bunch of ballots to get sighned. Please help me thanku

  • Anonymous

    Do patients pay a 37% tax on their Anti-depressants? Arthritis Medication? Or Viagra?

    If a doctor prescribes medical cannabis, the patient should not be forced to go to a retail store and pay retail prices. We had a good system in place, and there ‘were’ some very good MMJ dispensary’s that truly wanted to help patients and provide good information about how to leverage the MMJ to help the patient’s condition.

    It’s pretty simple. WA promised they wouldn’t mess with the MMJ laws. And they did just that and then some, they killed it.

    Now the only option is to sign up on some ‘list’ that the state of Washington will maintain?

    Again I ask, do those same patients that get prescriptions for Depression, arthritis, or Viagra, have to be on some special ‘list’ maintained by WA state?

    This is straight up about Money; the (retail Cannabis lobbyists) have donated $50,000.00 to one of the primary writers of the new law (I-502) and lobbying to get MMJ patients to pay retail prices. This in itself is a conflict of interest.

    Bottom Line, they want to make more profit from MMJ “Patients”.

    How can we the patients affect change for the better with regards to MMJ?

    The same way the lobbyists do, with Money.

    If we can get enough MMJ patients that are serious about challenging the Washington states stance on our current MMJ laws, we can make a change for better protection of MMJ patients and suitable dispensaries that have trained staff and quality, tested product.

    The only way to motivate these same policy makers is with $Money$

    A legitimate class action law suit against the state of WA, will effect change to help the MMJ community. I’m looking for some ideas on how to organize our MMJ community so we can dig into this a bit more. WA state has let us down, so it’s up to us to get it fixed.

    WA state policy makers promised that the Senate Bill 5052 (a voter passed bill) would not be affected by I-502. Not only did I-502 have a huge impact on Bill 5052, but it essentially put the patients in a state of uncertainty.

    They promised to have a ‘List’ up and running the day I-592 was passed, but to my knowledge they haven’t implemented any system to allow MMJ patients to purchase medicine, but they haven’t issues license to businesses to sell MMJ.

    I want to emphasize the fact that you can’t just go to your Primary health provider and say write me a script for some cannabis. In most cases you need to see a specialist, often a naturopathic Doctor, where you pay out of pocket (Anywhere from $125 to $200.00), just to be seen.

    They then review your health history, talk about current conditions/medications. Then after an hour of discussing your health concerns, the doctor will thoroughly review your medical history/medications, and current ailments to provide a holistic approach to healing the patient.

    In some cases, that may include cannabis, or may not. When they do prescribe cannabis, it’s in combination with other natural medicines to achieve the patients/doctors health goals.

    Lastly – To think that profiteers want to make more money off of legitimate cannabis patients is very disappointing. But what’s even worse…. is that the policy makers, accepted a $50k donation from the Retail cannabis lobby group, and then added polies into I-502 to hinder MMJ laws.

    SBH