On April 24, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the cannabis protection act. While it does provide oversight, it also ignored the warnings from those of us affected by changes to the states medical cannabis law.
When voters were presented with the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana we were assured it would in no way affect the medical marijuana law already on the books. The 2015 Legislature ignored that promise, proffering multiple bills that greatly impact all aspects of medical marijuana. The public response to those proposals was overwhelmingly negative. The legislature was directed to leave medical marijuana alone and not do anything that will impact the costs and availability of our medicines.
None of our concerns were heeded: This new law forces most medical marijuana cooperatives out of business, limiting the availability of the medicines we depend on. Those that remain are estimating a 30 percent increase in costs to comply with the new regulations. Costs they say will be passed on to consumers.
The push to change the state’s medical marijuana law did not come from those of us under the law but from businesses wanting to cash-in on the recreational market. Another case of a small minority with deeper pockets winning out at the expense of the majority that the law directly affects.