After months of losing medical dispensaries throughout Washington, the Department of Health has been preparing to launch medical marijuana 2.0 through state recreational cannabis shops with their medical endorsements. The state set a deadline of July 1st to implement the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, a new medical marijuana program which patients have been anxiously waiting for. We just received news that there is going to be a delay due to “Software Challenges.”
Many retail shops have already applied and received their medical endorsement and spent thousands on specialized training for their staff to become medical cannabis consultants for patients. Everything is set and ready to go, but now we are facing this delay which can be outlined in the attached press release directly from the Washington State Department of Health.
For immediate release: June 28, 2016 (16-077)
Contact: Dave Johnson, Strategic Communications Office 360-545-2944
Medical marijuana database may not be operational by July 1
OLYMPIA – The Department of Health wants medical marijuana patients and providers to be prepared for possible delays when the new medical marijuana law takes effect July 1.
The law requires DOH to oversee the development and administration of the medical marijuana authorization database. We are currently experiencing some software challenges with the database, and it may not be ready by July 1.
The database is necessary to produce recognition cards. Under the new law, recognition cards are required if patients and designated providers 21 and older wish to have access to the following benefits:
• Purchase products sales-tax free.
• Purchase up to three times the current legal limit for recreational users.
• Purchase high-THC infused products.
• Grow more than four plants in their residence.
• Have full protection from arrest, prosecution, and legal penalties, although patients will still have an affirmative defense.
Patients and providers can still purchase marijuana from authorized retail stores; however, they can’t take advantage of the benefits until the database is operational.
The department is committed to ensuring patient safety, and it will continue to work on having the database ready as soon as possible.
We will issue a status update no later than Thursday if we can’t meet the deadline.