We're writing today to fill you in on Washington State’s medical marijuana updates and happenings at The Novel Tree. Senate Bill 5052 is live July 1 which will re-create the medical cannabis market. We are anticipating that this will be a very dynamic program, especially in its first year. Our shop will be adapting to fit the July 1 rules and following use of program closely. We are expecting plenty of questions from everyone about the new medical system rules so we wanted to provide an overview here. Please read the below if you are interested in learning more. Or ask a budtender next time you're in. Really exciting times in the frontier of legal cannabis out here in Washington!
Here's the basic rundown of the medical marijuana roll-out, named the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (Senate Bill-5052):
The Cannabis Patient Protection Act into effect July 1, 2016 in Washington State, integrating the medical marijuana market with the current regulated ecreational market. This act creates licensing and regulation of all marijuana producers, processors and retail stores under the oversight of the renamed Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB).
The LCB has a great site with many resources found here.
The WA State Department of Health will write rules for three main components (links):
Medical Marijuana Authorization Database
Medical Marijuana Consultant Certification Program
Medical Marijuana Product Compliance Rules
“HOW DO I GET MY CARD??”
If you are a qualifying patient, your healthcare practitioner will provide you with a valid Medical Marijuana Authorization Form: that allows patients to enter into the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database at medical marijuana endorsed retail stores. At that point they will receive a recognition card enabling the patient to additional rights and protections under SB 5052. Print one to bring to your healthcare practitioner HERE
Who will be medical consultants at The Novel Tree?
We are currently in the process of getting management and budtenders qualified as Medical Marijuana Consultants- requirements of the state to work with medical marijuana patients. Medical consultants will be available on a set schedule to be announced in the coming weeks for consistent service.
What will the medical products be?
We are also working closely with a few of our most trusted partners to source DOH certified products. If you have a medicine that works best for you and your condition, we want to hear about it! As we are working to source the best meds in Washington, your input will be extremely helpful. Also, if you are a producer/processor aiming to develop medical products, we want to hear from you! We are committed to putting our best foot forward for patients and the medical system as a whole. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where will we consult patients?
Please check-in with the front door greeter when you walk in The Novel Tree. They will set you up with a medical marijuana consultant. We have 5 pending medical marijuana consultants on staff, waiting final confirmation from the DOH. You can ask more about the medical marijuana program any where in the shop!
****Per state law, we still CANNOT infer that medical marijuana will cure, treat, calm or appease existing symptoms that a customer or patient may be experiencing because it has not been FDA approved for treating specific ailments and we are not medical professionals, it can only be said that medical marijuana "may have medical benefit" but nothing further. We CANNOT infer efficacy, causality, remission, symptom eradication or cure.
Some of the conditions for which marijuana appears to be beneficial include, but aren't limited to:
1. Nausea, vomiting, and cachexia associated with cancer, HIV-positive status, AIDS, hepatitis C, anorexia, and their treatments
2. Severe muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other seizure and spasticity disorders
3. Acute or chronic glaucoma
4. Crohn's disease
5. Some forms of intractable pain
Humanitarian compassion necessitates that the decision to use marijuana by patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions is a personal, individual decision, based upon their healthcare professional's professional medical judgment and discretion.
Benefits of the Recognition Card
Joining the authorization database is voluntary and is not required in order to be a medical marijuana patient. However, the medical marijuana recognition card affords the patient the following benefits:
#1- May purchase up to three times the current limits at licensed retail stores with a medical marijuana endorsement:
o Three (3) ounces of usable marijuana
o 48 ounces of solid infused product
o 216 ouncesmaximum of liquid infusion
o 21 grams of concentrate
#2- Purchase products at the medically endorsed retail stores sales-tax free:
o SAVE 9.5% sales tax on cannabis purchases.
o 37% cannabis excise tax still applies until further notice. We encourage you to write the governor of Washington, JAY INSLEE, and let him know it's time to change the taxes on patients treating their ailments with cannabis- the state should pass new legislation that would remove the cannabis excise tax for qualifying medicinal users.
#3- May possess 6 plants and 8 ounces of usable marijuana. Note: A healthcare practitioner may authorize additional plants to a maximum of 15; a patient so authorized may possess up to 16 ounces of usable marijuana produced from their plants.
#4- Participate in a medical marijuana cooperative garden. Please check local jurisdictions. The City of Bellevue has placed temporary moratorium on collective gardens as of 7/15/2016. Follow that progress at the City of Bellevue Website
#5- Provides arrest protection, assuming the patient is following all the rules.
HOW WILL THE NOVEL TREE ACCOMMODATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA
We have been very excited about the prospect of legitimately and openly offering medical marijuana since The Novel Tree was imagined in 2013. In November 2014 we opened in Bellevue, Washington for recreational 21+ only sales, but very soon we will openly work with patients. Our dispensary has seen hundreds if not thousands of people using “recreational” cannabis for their own self-diagnosed medical purposes already, and our guest-first service standard has prepared us to be leaders in the medical roll-out. Much of what the state focuses on for medical marijuana consultant certification is the patient-consultant interaction. It is very similar to how we treat our guests’ now- with compassion, respect, privacy, and guidance. Everyone on our team treats our customers now like the WA State Department of Health wants certified consultants to handle patients- and we are thrilled to maintain these standards. As the rules, regulations, and laws ultimately change, we will adapt our program to maintain compliance while also offering the best service possible.
Peace, Love, & Ganja.