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Pot-shops close: parents worry they won’t be able to buy cannabis oil
Hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries are being closed down because they don’t have adequate licensing according to a Q13 Fox TV report. But parents of sick children are worried they won’t be able to buy cannabis oil. Meagan Holt, a Seattle resident, says that closing these stores will be bad for her three year old daughter. She says she’s saving her little one’s life by giving her cannabis oil. The child has Zelweger Syndrome, a disease that destroys the brain.
She firmly believes that cannabis is what has kept her daughter alive and says she has seen a remarkable change in her since she began administering the cannabis oil. Much of the oil she received was donated, and now she’s concerned that she won’t be able to get help from the medical cannabis community any more.
High taxes and unfamiliar products
There will still be over 300 dispensaries operating in Washington, but people like Holt aren’t keen to buy unfamiliar products and are even less keen to pay the 37% recreational cannabis excise tax that will be levied if they don’t have a prescription. Even those with medical cannabis prescriptions will be paying the recreational cannabis tax for an unspecified period of time owing to a computer glitch that has taken the medical cannabis database offline.
Two factions at protest face-off
Protesters turned out in Seattle to object to the closure of the unlicensed dispensaries, but an opposing faction was also present. They say that getting illegal pot shops shut down is good for their neighborhoods and that they have been worried about the appearance of so many of these stores for some time now.
In the pro-dispensary camp, there was an ample percentage of people who say they’re not recreational pot users and are worried that the registered dispensaries won’t have the type of concentrates they’re looking for when they buy cannabis oil. One protester said she didn’t think the registered dispensaries would be able to cope with the influx and that there would be a shortage of products and trained staff.
Unlicensed stores that don’t close voluntary will be followed up
Dispensaries that didn’t have a recreational cannabis license were ordered to close their doors by the 1st of July, and law enforcement crackdowns will follow to mop up any die-hards. Pierce County said it would begin raiding and closing illegal dispensaries after the 4th of July.
A constant drive for greater cannabis freedom
There may be some who wonder what Washington cannabis activists actually have to protest about. After all, they have access to both medical and recreational cannabis, advantages that few other states have. Yes, dispensaries will have to shut down, but they opened without proper licensing in the first place. Regulating a substance means just that. Even liquor sellers have to have a license.
What we are seeing is a continued drive towards greater marijuana freedom. In states without medical cannabis laws, activists push for medical cannabis. In states where there is medical cannabis, people are asking for easier access and recreational options, and in Washington, there are those who seem to feel that opening a dispensary should not require a recreational cannabis license.
People like Holt who want to buy cannabis oil for desperately ill children or other family members are in the middle of the battle. Who is right? To what extent should cannabis be regulated and taxed?