What happens by July 1, 2016?
Medical cannabis collectives as we have come to know them in Washington State will cease to exist by July 1, 2016, when the state requires all cannabis selling outlets to be I502 licensed. No collectives have been allowed to be legally formed since April 2015. Medical cannabis collectives were the legal justification for the unregulated dispensary medical cannabis storefronts that exploded onto the scene beginning in force in 2011. But with the advent of regulated recreational cannabis - tighter control over the collectives was deemed necessary.
Please be aware that it remains a felony for patients to share their medicine with other patients and the public. Additionally effective July 24, 2015 it is no longer legal for collectives to exist in a single tax parcel with more than 15 plants, until new 4 person co-ops start to be registered on July 1, 2016.
Green Buddha believes that the practical value of these new coops is marginal because of the privacy issues and legal structure. New coops or collectives may only have four patient members, all 21 and older. These new coop must be at one's domicile which also must not be within one mile of an I502 business. All four members and the collective must be registered with the state. A maximum of 60 plants may be possessed by the coop with all 4 members being allowed 15 plants with their doctor's permission. All coop members must contribute non-financially to the effort, which Green Buddha suspect leaves disabled patients at a huge disadvantage.
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