Panel hears potential changes to medical marijuana


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Supporters of the current medical marijuana market in Washington state are decrying proposed changes to the system.

The Health Care & Wellness Committee held a public hearing on Wednesday on a measure seeking to overhaul the state's medical marijuana system in order to reconcile the market with the state's new legal recreational market. The changes under the bill sponsored by Rep. Eileen Cody include reducing the amount of marijuana and marijuana plants patients can possess, doing away with collective gardens, and requiring a patient registry for patients to get a card from the state Department of Health.

Lawmakers have worried that the largely unregulated medical system would undercut the taxed, recreational system. Meanwhile, U.S. Justice Department officials have warned that the state's medical cannabis status quo is untenable.

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