Despite concerns earlier in the week that it may not be ready today, the Washington State Department of Health announced this morning that its medical marijuana database is operational.
The database is necessary to produce medical marijuana “recognition” cards, which, under the new law that went into effect today, are required if patients and designated providers want access to certain benefits. Those benefits include the ability to purchase marijuana products sales tax free; the ability to purchase three times the current legal limit for recreational users; clearance to grow more than four plants in a residence; and full protection from arrest, prosecution, and legal penalties, although patients will still have an affirmative defense.
On Wednesday, DOH cautioned that there may be “possible delays” in getting the database up and running. An update yesterday touted “significant progress” but acknowledged “a few challenges we have to overcome before the system goes live.”
To receive a recognition card, patients must take their authorization form to a licensed medical marijuana store.