Medical Marijuana Washington State Frequently Asked Questions

 

Medical Marijuana Washington State FAQ

washington-state-medical-marijuana-faq

Is Marijuana Legal in Washington State?

In Washington state, marijuana is fully legal. This means it is available for medical purposes, as well as recreational uses. The state has some of the best and least restrictive laws and regulations when it comes to marijuana. This doesn’t mean that there are no limits, of course, but when compared with some states, the laws are favorable to the citizens, in most cases.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington since Initiative 692 passed in 1998. That allowed patients who had serious health conditions or terminal illnesses to use medical marijuana. Of course, it wasn’t just medical marijuana that was passed in the state.

Is Weed Legal Recreationally in Washington?

Washington was also the first state in the country that passed laws for recreational marijuana. In Washington, recreational weed has been available since it passed in 2012. It became legal for adults in the state to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

Even before the passage of recreational weed, decriminalization of drugs in Washington state was a priority. In 2010, there was a bill to decriminalize possession of 40 grams or less of cannabis. However, the bill died. They also proposed state penalties for cannabis use or possession for those over 18, but that didn’t go through either.

Keep in mind that even though in Washington recreational weed and medical weed are legal, it doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere. There are still rules you need to follow. You can’t consume cannabis in any public space or within public view—this includes consumption within a vehicle. It needs to occur in a private residence or another private space. If you don’t pay attention to the smoking laws in Washington state, you could get in trouble.

How Old to Buy Weed in Washington?

What is the legal age to smoke weed in Washington? The answer to this question will depend on why you are buying. You are allowed to get a medical card when you are 18 years old. However, if you are buying for recreational use, you will need to be at least 21 years old to buy weed at one of the dispensaries or stores.

What if you are under 18, but you still require medical marijuana? In those cases, minors can have a caregiver that can get a medical marijuana card on their behalf and purchase the marijuana. Often, this will be a parent. Keep in mind that most of the time, minors will not be smoking marijuana. Instead, they will take it in another form.

Is Weed Delivery Legal in Washington?

Since Washington was an early adopter of both medical and recreational marijuana, you might think that everything about the Washington marijuana laws is lax. However, that’s not the case. You are not allowed to have weed delivered in the state, unlike many other states in the country.

Currently, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont are the states that have accommodations for weed delivery. This can make the lives of medicinal and recreational users quite a bit easier. It means that you don’t have to head out to buy the marijuana, which can help save time and hassle.

How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington State?

If you want to get a medical marijuana card in Washington, you will need to be at least 18 years old. You will also have to undergo a medical cannabis evaluation to get certified for the card. This means you will need to have one of the qualifying medical marijuana conditions for a card in the state. These conditions include:

You will need to apply and have a physician provide you with a medical marijuana authorization form. The duration for which the card will be good varies. For minors, it will usually be good for up to six months. For adults, the card could be good for up to a year. It will need to be renewed if you want to continue buying from medical dispensaries.

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Grow in Washington?

One of the other things that make Washington different from some of the other states that offer medicinal and recreational marijuana is the way they handle growing marijuana.

If you have a medical marijuana card, you are allowed to grow up to six plants for your personal medical use. You are not allowed to sell or give away the marijuana to those who do not have a card. Even if they do have a card, you aren’t allowed to sell it to them. If you are in a household where there are multiple qualified patients in a single household, it is possible to grow up to 15 plants.

It’s important to realize that only those medical patients that are in the voluntary medical marijuana database are allowed to grow. The database is used to help ensure that medical users are protected from arrest.

However, if you are a recreational user, you are not allowed to grow any plants. The only way you would be allowed to grow would be if you tried to become a cultivator and get a license. This is difficult, and it’s not something a recreational user would typically consider.

What Are the Marijuana Laws in Washington State?

It is always important that you understand and follow the laws for buying weed in Washington. You should also know the Washington state smoking laws, which were touched on above.

Don’t give away or sell marijuana if you are a medical user growing your own. Don’t attempt to grow if you aren’t a medical user. Smoke only in the privacy of your home or someone else’s home who has given you permission.

If you consume in public and have one ounce or less, it’s a civil penalty with a $100 fine. If you have more than an ounce on you, it’s a misdemeanor and could have a fine of $1,000 and between 24 hours and 90 days in jail. More than 40 grams is a felony and could get you five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

How Much Marijuana Can I Possess in Washington?

Medical patients are allowed to keep up to six ounces of usable marijuana. However, the maximum possession amount on your person whether you are a medical or recreational user is one ounce of cannabis, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused products in solid form, or 72 ounces in liquid form.

Are Marijuana Dispensaries Legal in Washington State?

Yes, there are more than 600 marijuana dispensaries available throughout the state. This means it should be relatively easy for you to find a good dispensary near you. They will abide by the Washington state dispensary laws when it comes to things like the total purchase amount allowed in a month.

Those who are looking for either medical or recreational weed will want to look at the options available to them. Find a dispensary that offers the types of products you want whether it is flower, pre-rolls, or edibles in Washington.

  • Is cannabis legal in Washington state?

    Yes, cannabis is legal in Washington state, both medicinally and recreationally. 

  • How do I become a medical marijuana patient?

    To become a medical marijuana patient in Washington, you must meet with a licensed physician who can certify that you have at least one of the state’s qualifying medical conditions.

  • What are the qualifying medical conditions?

    The qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in Washington are:

    • Cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or spasticity disorders
    • Intractable pain, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications
    • Glaucoma, either acute or chronic, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications
    • Crohn’s disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
    • Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
    • Diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
    • Chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis
    • Posttraumatic stress disorder
    • Traumatic brain injury

  • How much does it cost to become a medical patient in Washington?

    The application for the certificate itself costs $95. 

  • Where do I get a medical marijuana authorization form? How long is it valid for?

    An approved physician will provide you with the proper authorization form after an evaluation. This form demonstrates that you do have a qualifying medical condition and will benefit from cannabis. 

    How long your form is valid is going to depend on both your age and treatment plan. For most minors, this authorization form will be valid for up to six months, while many adults’ forms are good for up to a year.

  • How do I obtain my medical marijuana card?

    As soon as you’ve met with a qualified professional who has given you the authorization form, you need to contact a medically-endorsed store. Here, you will schedule an appointment with a Certified Consultant who will:

     

    • Review the authorization for completeness and accuracy
    • Compare the information to your state identification
    • Take a photo of your face and designated provider (if any)
    • Enter your patient information and upload the photo into the medical marijuana authorization database
    • Generate, print, and laminate the medical marijuana card
    • Return the authorization, identification, and medical marijuana card to you

  • How do I renew my card?

    Before your current medical card expires, you will need to receive another authorization form from a licensed medical practitioner. Then, you will schedule an appointment at a medically-endorsed store just as you did when you first got your card. 

  • Are there programs available for those who cannot afford medical marijuana?

    Yes, though it depends on the cannabis shop itself. Medically-endorsed storefronts can provide cannabis at a reduced charge or no charge depending on the specific programs they have in place. Always contact the shop first and see how they can help.

  • Where do I purchase medical cannabis?

    Medical patients can purchase cannabis at any state-licensed retailer found across the state. 

  • Where can I consume medical cannabis?

    In Washington state, you cannot consume cannabis in any public space or within public view. All consumption must occur in your own private residence or space. Consumption within vehicles is also prohibited. 

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