Medical pot bill moves to the full House

The Spokesman-ReviewJanuary 23, 2014 

A proposal to restrict medical marijuana and put it under the state Liquor Control Board was sent to the full House this morning.

After adding more flexibility on the amount of the drug or number of plants a patient might have, the House Health Care and Wellness Committee passed HB 2149 on a 12-5 vote.

Medical marijuana is largely unregulated in the state right now, while a tightly regulated recreational marijuana system is being set up by the state Liquor Control Board. The bill would put medical marijuana sales under the liquor board and cut back the amount a patient could possess.

Under the 1998 initiative, patients are allowed to have as much as 24 ounces of the drug. The bill would cut that to three ounces, but allow a doctor to recommend a higher amount, particularly for patients who use oils derived from the plant.

It would ban medical marijuana dispensaries which have sprung up around the state to service the medical marijuana market under the state's collective grow statutes. That was never the intent of the law, Committee Chairwoman Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle, said.

The bill is still “a work in progress”, Ranking Republican Joe Schmick of Colfax said, and likely to change. The Senate also has two bills trying to blend the two marijuana statutes, but with different provisions.

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