Stakeholders engaged with the agency over development of a study on home delivery of medical cannabis and heard about other patient concerns.
Here are some observations from the Tuesday June 19th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Focus Group on home delivery of medical cannabis.
My top 3 takeaways:
- Patients support the concept of home delivery, but are more concerned with other changes to medical cannabis laws.
- Patient/Advocate John Kingsbury on patient priorities: “I polled about four dozen patients. I said, what’s your top 10 priorities for medical? Two of them mentioned home delivery. So I don’t think you’re going to see a big wave of people going out and getting registered.” (transcript, audio).
- Patient/Advocate Peggy Button on edible potency limits: “A 10 milligram dose does not even scratch the surface. I have one person that I worked with, she got off of all of her, all but three of her pharmaceuticals at this point, and if we took her to the store, it would cost her about 270 dollars a day. And that’s a lot of sugar in the products that she’d have to consume.” (transcript, audio).
- Patient/Advocate Don Skakie on limited availability of medically compliant cannabis: “[Although] there is what the state deems to be medically compliant product available in some stores, they are not what a majority of patients would consider to be medically, ah, attractive product to them. This is due to the pesticides and other adulterants that are allowed in what is considered medical cannabis in Washington State.” (transcript, audio).
- Cannabis industry representatives voiced cautious interest, but have major concerns with employee safety, theft, zoning, and logistics.
- The Cannabis Alliance Executive Director Lara Kaminsky and licensee Angel Swanson expressed interest in increasing access to patients, particularly in rural areas or jurisdictions with bans or moratoriums (transcript, audio).
- CORE Representative Brooke Davies: “All of the, the ideas that I’ve looked at the retailers would employ the driver, and right now we really are seeing an increase of violent crimes at retail locations. And so the idea of sending an employee out with product, potentially with cash, is very scary for all the retailers.” (transcript, audio).
- WSLCB and DOH staff listened and engaged with stakeholders, but were measured in their promises for policy changes.
- WSLCB Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide reminded attendees that only the legislature could enact the statutory changes needed to legalize home delivery. Marijuana Examiner Program Administrator Peter Corier also noted that delivery would pose new challenges for the state’s traceability system (transcript, audio).
- WSLCB Board Member Russ Hauge on what kind of improvements he would like to see implemented before enacting medical home delivery: “We need to true up the [medical] system completely, before we take up this step of putting cannabis out there, in more potent quantities, in larger quantities, and in a way that does not require somebody to go into a store and have their ID checked.” (transcript, audio).