Starting July 1, 2016, medical marijuana patients with a valid authorization form can join the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database.
How to Join
1. Take your authorization form to any licensed and medically endorsed retail marijuana store.
2. Ask to see the Medical Marijuana Consultant on staff who is trained in working with medical patients.
3. Give the consultant your authorization form so that he or she can enter your information into the database, take your picture, and create a new Medical Marijuana Recognition Card.
Benefits of the Recognition Card
Joining the Authorization Database is voluntary and is not required in order to be a medical marijuana patient. However, the Medical Marijuana Recognition Card affords the patient the following benefits:
- May purchase up to three times the current limits at licensed retail stores with a medical marijuana endorsement.
- Purchase products at the medically endorsed retail stores sales-tax free.
- May possess six plants and eight ounces of usable marijuana (healthcare practitioner may authorize additional plants to a maximum of 15).
- Participate in a medical marijuana cooperative garden.
- Provides arrest protection. [2SSB 5052, Section 24]
Note: Patients and designated providers who hold valid authorizations but aren’t entered into the database will have an affirmative defense to criminal prosecution if they possess no more than four plants and six ounces of usable marijuana. They may purchase only in accordance with the laws and rules for non-patients.
Who Can Access the Database
The Medical Marijuana Authorization Database is a secure system that has limited accessibility. Only the following people can see information from the database:
- Certified Medical Marijuana Consultants
Can add patient information from the authorization form and verify if the patient’s card is valid.
- All Employees of a Medically Endorsement Store
Can only verify that the patient’s card is valid.
- Authorized Healthcare Practitioners
May only access their patients’ healthcare information from the database.
- Law Enforcement
May only verify that the patient’s card is valid.
- Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Can access the database to conduct investigation of stores and employees if a complaint is filed or an enforcement officer witnesses illegal actions.
- Department of Revenue
Can access the database to verify that only medical marijuana patients are purchasing sales tax free.
- Department of Health
Will access the database to troubleshoot issues with the database, help store employees with registration, and collect aggregate data.
- Qualifying Patients
May learn who has accessed their healthcare information.