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Recreational cannabis is changing how Washington State intends to regulate medical marijuana. While many people currently being helped under the medical dispensary model are fighting the changes they see coming to the system currently in place, many believe the changes are inevitable.

Cody’s legislation has a number of significant impacts for medical marijuana patients. The most significant to business owners in retail cannabis is that medical marijuana patients will be required to buy from recreational stores. With an estimated 200,000 medical marijuana patients in Washington State alone, does your current business model take these possible patrons into consideration?

Here are the other significant details of Washington State House Bill 2149:

• Cody’s legislation, House Bill 2149 passed out of the House Appropriations Committee Monday February 24, by a 26-4 vote. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle.

• The bill is currently awaiting a hearing in the Washington State Senate and is titled Washington State Senate Bill 5887 and 6178.

• If the bill passes, there will no longer be a collective garden (dispensary) model, the bill will require patients to buy form recreational stores.

• Cody’s legislation would require a “patient recognition list,” a state registration system, that would allow cardholders to buy up to three ounces at a time, avoid paying sales taxes, and claim immunity from arrest for possession or cultivation within the limits set by law.

• The amount a patient would be allowed to posses would be reduced from 24 ounces to 3 ounces.

• Medical home grows will be reduced from 12 to 6 plants per patient, 3 of which can be flowering, while the other 3 must be in vegetative state.

• Implementation is expected to take into effect May 1, 2015, when the provision allowing collective gardens would be repealed.

• The bill instructs the state Department of Health and Washington State Liquor Control Board, to jointly produce a report by November 15, 2019, on the question of whether it is appropriate to continue allowing home cultivation.