State lawmakers are at odds over several cannabis-linked initiatives
Washington State’s adult-use and medical-use cannabis systems have run into many rocks even as several bills moved forward to make it a reality. Still, it’s not all gray, as social equity programs received a boost after lawmakers managed to advance several long-delayed measures.
HB 1019 was the first bill to hit the wall after being one of the most anticipated. This legislation gave citizens over the age of 21 the opportunity to grow six marijuana plants at home if they so desired. The House Appropriations Committee was again responsible for stalling the bill, which is nothing new, as it has been stalled for several years. Representative Shelley Kloba, the sponsor of the bill, believes that the complications of the pandemic have had a lot to do with the results obtained, but that will not stop her from continuing her efforts to get the reform passed at the next opportunity.
The medical cannabis updates also failed to achieve their goal after SB 5004, introduced to eliminate the tax on medical cannabis, was also not approved by the legislature. It initially had strong support in the Senate, but a vote in the House failed to pass before a deadline.
Even with all this, HB 1443 was the only one to receive successful state approval. It includes updates to the cannabis social equity program, which broadens eligibility requirements for applicants. These updates had been delayed after the advent of COVID-19, but now that everything has been ironed out, the state has found the time it needed to move forward with the pending proposals.
There is even an issue over the word marijuana. HB 1210 wanted to change the state’s Revised Code of Washington to remove marijuana in favor of cannabis. However, it, too, has stalled.