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The Washington Cannabis Association, a new trade organization for the medical pot industry opened for business a couple of weeks ago. It now has around two dozen dues-paying members comprised of individual growers, dispensaries, as well as patient cooperatives.
The organization also hired the services of a lobbyist to campaign for changes in the state’s medical marijuana law in the upcoming legislative session.
Laura Healy, who helps in the operations of the Green Hope Patient Network in Shoreline, said, “We put the association together to make this a legitimate business, where patients don’t have to go in the alley or meet in a parking lot to get their medicines.”
The medical marijuana law that is in effect in the state of Washington was passed by voters in 1998. However, both activists and police have complained that the law itself is vague.
Although the law allowed patients to present their authorization as a defense if charged with marijuana possession, it did not stop some patients from getting arrested or having their dispensaries raided.
The Washington Cannabis Association’s spokesman, Philip Dawdy, has revealed that the goal of their group is to push for sensible legal changes to regulate the industry. At the same time, such changes would help the state gain more revenues through licensing fees.
As Dawdy said, “We’re trying to do what any good trade organization does.”