In light of the closing of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in July of 2016, we are left with only one local store to cater to medical patients.
I have been a medical patient for over 10 years and have a condition that requires marijuana. I also am a medical marijuana consultant who started the DOH database in Eastern Washington, and I found that the lack of licenses offered for medical marijuana stores is troubling. SB 5073 was mostly vetoed by Christine Gregoire and sought to set up a medical system that would work with the patient protection act to ensure quality products could be purchased. This never happened and leaves out millions in taxes and licensing. Also, I don’t believe that replacing the dispensaries should be banned since those stores were already serving thousands of patients before closure.
The stigma against marijuana is still a problem, however these dispensaries were catering to the sickest people our society has — and those whom regular medicine couldn’t help. I hope that lawmakers will find a way to reopen some of the medical outlets that were closed.
Eric Kalia, Richland