Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he’s surprised and disappointed medical marijuana regulation died in the state legislature this year.
Lawmakers adjourned Thursday night without approving a merger of the medical market with the new voter-approved recreational pot system. Inslee says he expects the legislature will take up the issue again next January.
“I do believe we need a regulated system to assure medical marijuana patients that they in fact do have a legal ability to get access to medical marijuana and that will also satisfy the federal government that we have a disciplined, regulated system.”
Currently, Washington’s medical marijuana industry is a largely unregulated. It includes home grows, large production facilities called collective gardens, and store-front access points.
The legislation would have closed down the gardens, required patients to register with the state and merged the medical retailers with the new recreational ones.
Part of what led to the demise of the consolidation was a disagreement over whether local governments should get a share of the new tax revenue from the legal marijuana industry.