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Why Washington State Should Have Licensed Many More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Why Washington State Should Have Licensed Many More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

JUL 20, 2016 | Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

Last week, I wrote about how the new medical marijuana system created under the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) shut out many of Washington State’s medical marijuana dispensaries. The law required that dispensaries obtain a recreational license to continue operation, but a loophole in the application process created a black market for dispensary employee pay stubs, allowing new actors to game the system. I also mentioned that the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) blindsided applicants by announcing a cap of 222 new licenses late in the application process.

What I didn’t have space to mention was that the cap itself was based on data that even the state contractor that compiled it admits was shaky. Given that the medical marijuana market was, by Washington cannabis data scientist Jim MacRae’s estimate, at one point supporting at least 800 dispensaries, and that SB 5052 mandated that the state issue enough new licenses “in order to accommodate the medical needs of qualified patients and designated providers,” how did the WSLCB decide on issuing only 222 new licenses?

Why Washington State Should Have Licensed Many More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries






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