Washington

Want to get a MMJ card in Washington? Well, now you can! Washington became the first state in the United States to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and Washington’s courts recognized that cannabis could be of medical use since 1979. Washington has been one of the states that has been a cornerstone in the medical marijuana movement. In the meantime, here’s a guide to getting a medical marijuana card in Washington …

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Telehealth/In-Person

Telehealth/telemedicine available. However, relationship must first be established between patient and physician in-person.

How Old Do I Have to Be to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

18 years old or over. Caregivers must be 18 years old or over.

How Long Does it take to Get My MMJ Card?

Mandatory waiting period of around 90 days.

Cost

$200, although fees may be reduced for those in receipt of social security.

Possession Limit (Medical Marijuana Patients)

If patient is enrolled onto Washington state’s voluntary patient database, then the possession limits are: 3 ounces of usable marijuana; 21 grams of concentrate (e.g. wax, shatter, hashish); 48 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form; 216 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form.

Those not entered onto the system may cultivate up to 4 plants and possess up to 6 ounces of usable marijuana.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Epilepsy and conditions that cause seizures
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Glaucoma
  • Intractable pain, unrelieved by other painkillers or treatments
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) and conditions that cause persistent muscle spasms and/or spasticity
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hepatitis C
  • Debilitating nausea/vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Wasting & appetite loss
  • Cramping
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Medical Marijuana Laws

1998 – Ballot Initiative I-692 is approved. Those with valid documentation from a physician may access, use, possess and cultivate marijuana for their illness.

2007 – Senate Bill 6032 (SB 6032) amends the rules defined by the legislature.

2008 – The Final Rule is amended, and includes a list of conditions cannabis may be recommended for.

2010 – State vs. Fry rules that Ballot Initiative I-692 did not legalize marijuana, but provides a qualifying user with an affirmative defense, as long as the user complies with medical marijuana laws.2010 – Chronic renal failure is added to the list of conditions cannabis may be recommended for in Washington.

2011 – SB 5073 is amended. Governor Christine Gregoire only signs some of the bill’s sections, vetoing voluntary patient registration and the instructions for creating state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.

2012 – Voters approved Initiative 502, allowing the state of Washington to license and regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana.

2015 – SB 5052 passes in both the House and the Senate. SB 5052 is signed by Governor Jay Inslee, with some partial vetoes. PTSD is also added to the list of qualifying conditions. Registration onto the state database is voluntary.

2016 – The Cannabis Protection Act goes into full effect, affording medical marijuana patients with protection from state-level penalties, clarifying the definition of “medical marijuana use” and tax breaks when purchasing marijuana.

Those who have registered onto the state registry system may possess up to 3 ounces of usable marijuana, 48 ounces of marijuana-infused products in solid form, 21 grams of concentrate or 216 ounces of marijuana-infused products in liquid form.

Those who have entered the state registry system may cultivate up to 6 plants for personal medical use, with a possession limit of up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana on their own property (3 ounces possession when on-person). Those not entered onto the system may cultivate up to 4 plants and possess up to 6 ounces of usable marijuana.

There are no medical marijuana dispensaries. Retail operators may sell medical cannabis.

Patient must be aged 18 or older in order to apply for a medical marijuana card for themselves.

There is a caregiver program. Caregivers must be aged 21 or over, and be authorized by the patient’s healthcare professional and/or entered onto an authorized database. Caregiver can only provide cannabis to one patient at a time, to the expressed patient.

There is no reciprocity with other medical marijuana states.

For those without a medical marijuana card, private consumption and consumption of 1 ounce or less of cannabis brings no penalties, charges or fines. Using cannabis in public, however, is a Civil Penalty offense and brings a fine of $100.

Possession of between more than an ounce and 40 g of cannabis is a misdemeanor. Incarceration can last between 24 hours (mandatory minimum sentence) and 90 days, with a $1,000 fine. Advertising paraphernalia brings similar sentences.

Possession of more than 40 g is a felony, with up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Intending to distribute any amount without a license brings similar punishment, as does cultivating any amount without a medical marijuana card. This may be added to, as knowingly maintaining a structure used for drug offenses may bring charges of up to 5 years’ imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

Vehicles and other property may be seized. Juveniles caught with cannabis will have driving privileges revoked.

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