Washington Senate Approves Less Restrictive Medical Marijuana Bill

On Saturday the Washington Senate passed a bill that addresses some of the concerns that patients have about new restrictions on medical marijuana. S.B. 5887, introduced by Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), is substantially more permissive than H.B. 2149, the medical marijuana bill approved last month by the state House of Representatives, although both bills would abolish dispensaries, require patients to register with the state, and reduce limits on possession and cultivation. The patient-friendlier provisions of S.B. 5887, which passed by a vote of 34 to 15, include:

Collective gardens. The House bill would ban dispensaries (a.k.a. “collective gardens”) as of May 2015, while the Senate bill would let them continue to operate until that September. Even after then, the Senate bill would let patients (or their designated providers) pool their resources and grow marijuana together for their own medical use. S.B. 5887 includes rules aimed at preventing collective gardens from evolving into dispensaries: Just one garden is allowed per location, no more than four patients may grow together at a time, and at least 15 days must elapse after one member leaves before a new member may join.

Cultivation limit. Each patient (or a designated provider) would be allowed to grow up to six plants (down from 15 currently), but there would be no limit on how many of those six plants could be flowering at one time.

– Read the entire article at Forbes.