SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of March 25, 2019
Title: An act relating to establishing compassionate care renewals for medical marijuana qualifying patients.
Brief Description: Establishing compassionate care renewals for medical marijuana qualifying patients.
Sponsors: House Committee on Health Care & Wellness (originally sponsored by Representatives Blake and Walsh).
Brief History: Passed House: 3/12/19, 87-9.
Committee Activity: Labor & Commerce: 3/26/19.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON LABOR & COMMERCE
Staff: Richard Rodger (786-7461)
Background: Washington State residents qualify for the medical use of marijuana if they are patients of a health care professional, have been diagnosed with a terminal or debilitating medical condition, have been advised of the benefits and risks of marijuana use, and have been advised they may benefit from the use of medical marijuana by their health care professional.
The qualifying patients must either have an authorization form from their health care professional or must be entered into the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database (database) and receive a recognition card.
To be entered in the database and receive a recognition card, a qualifying patient or designated provider must bring the authorization from the health care professional to a marijuana retailer with a medical marijuana endorsement. At that time, the retailer enters the person into the database, takes the person's photograph, and provides the qualifying patient or designated provider with a photo-ID recognition card. The recognition card may be renewed upon reexamination by a health care professional and the issuance of a new authorization by the marijuana retailer, including a new photograph.
Summary of Bill: A health care professional may indicate on a qualifying patient's authorization for the medical use of marijuana that the person qualifies for a compassionate care renewal. The compassionate care option applies if a health care professional determines that requiring the qualifying patient to renew a registration in person would likely result in severe hardship to the qualifying patient because of a physical or emotional condition.
A compassionate care renewal allows a designated provider to renew a qualifying patient's registration in the database and obtain a recognition card without the need for the qualifying patient to be physically present at a marijuana retailer or to have a photograph taken.
The policy related to compassionate care renewals begins November 1, 2019; however, the Department of Health (DOH) may adopt rules to implement compassionate care renewals and streamline administrative functions.
Expired provisions are eliminated related to health care professionals reporting the number of authorizations issued for the medical use of marijuana, and DOH reporting on the cost of the database.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.