By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Due to the close of the legislative session, the various families in the legislature were not able to agree how to put the Medical Marijuana industry out of business. Bosses at the Liquor Control Board and the two prominent political families worked all session to preserve the state’s business interests in the Recreational Marijuana Racket, with its excessive taxation and protection.
This had the potential to force medical marijuana patients to give up their medical privacy, pay more for their medicine, and force the medical dispensaries out of business. This in the hope of shunting people in to the state sponsored highly taxed recreational marijuana racket. Luckily for now, the bill is dead.
The bill would have forced independent, family and cooperative medical marijuana dispensaries to submit to the bosses’ protection and have retail marijuana licenses then tax medical marijuana patients as recreational. Most small businesses in the Medical Marijuana industry faced destruction if the law was passed and they and patients demonstrated before the legislature to kill the bill. Patents were told the bill if passed would curtail their home grows and make the price of the medicine they need rise as much as 100%
Additionally, the regulation would require all medical marijuana patients to register with the State Liquor Control Board and carry a card to bypass the 25% retail tax. Of course the 25% grower’s tax and the 25% processor’s tax will still be assessed. One has to wonder when Lithium, Simvastatin, and Provera patients will have to get cards from the Liquor Control Board, but time will tell.
The contention between the families generally was centered on how to divvy up the tax lute. One representative, Cary Condotta of East Wenatchee, proposed local governments should get a piece of the action by diverting 10% of the marijuana tax money to cities having dispensaries and retailers. This and other issues caused the bill to become bogged down and when the legislative session came to a close, the door slammed shut on the bill.
Medical Marijuana patients and dispensary owners breathed a puff of fresh smoke knowing they were safe from the legislature for at least a few more months.
There is still a worry for all. The revenuers with the Federal Government have made threats to swoop in and raid small medical marijuana if the families don’t get with the program and shakedown the dispensaries themselves. So it remains to be seen what will happen in the next few months.
Source: The Olympian
By Darren Smith
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