Washington Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Fully legal

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    3 oz

  • Recreational users

    1 oz

State taxes

  • Medical patients

    0%

  • Recreational users

    37%

Cultivation

  • Medical patients

    15 plantsIf enrolled in database

  • Recreational users

    Illegal


  • Cultivation is legal
Learn more

Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Washington

Get approved by a doctor, then apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

Get your card

Table of contents

  1. Is cannabis legal in Washington?
  2. What are the medical marijuana laws in Washington?
  3. What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington?
  4. How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Washington?
  5. Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Washington?
  6. How much cannabis can I possess in Washington with an MMJ Card?
  7. Is it legal to grow cannabis in Washington?
  8. Does Washington accept out-of-state cards?
  9. Will my Washington card be accepted in other states?
  10. Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Washington?
  11. What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Washington?
  12. Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Washington?
  13. Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Washington?

Both medical and adult use cannabis is legal in Washington.


What are the medical marijuana laws in Washington?

Medical cannabis laws in Washington

1979

The state of Washington recognizes that there is legal defense for medical cannabis use in the case of State v. Diana.

1990s

Cannabis clubs established to provide cannabis to medical patients.

1997

Initiative 685 to legalize medical marijuana is proposed, but fails.

1998

Initiative 692 decriminalizes cannabis and effectively establishes a medical marijuana program, as it allowed physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses including: “chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in cancer patients; AIDS wasting syndrome; severe muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and other spasticity disorders; epilepsy; acute or chronic glaucoma; and some forms of intractable pain.”

2015

Washington establishes the Cannabis Patient Protection Act.

Recreational cannabis laws in Washington

2003

Seattle passes an initiative to make adult marijuana possession the lowest priority of law enforcement agencies in the city.

2010

Two bills are proposed, one which would have legalized liquor store sales, and the other which would have decriminalized possession of 40 grams or less of cannabis. Both bills died. Initiative 1068 is also proposed, which would have removed all state level penalties for cannabis use or possession for adults aged 18 or over.

2011

Initiative 502 is introduced and received enough signatures to be sent to the state legislature. In April 2012, when the legislature adjourned without acting, the initiative advanced to the 2012 general ballot.

2012

Initiative 502 is passed. Possession of up to 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana by adults became legal under state law on December 6, however cultivation, sale and even gifting remained illegal.


What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington?

The Washington law lists the following medical conditions as qualifiers for a medical cannabis card:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Renal Failure
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C with Debilitating Nausea or Intractable Pain
  • Intractable pain (Defined as pain unrelieved by standard treatment or medications)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Diseases, including Anorexia, which result in nausea; vomiting; wasting; appetite loss; cramping; seizures; muscle spasms; or spasticity; when those conditions are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications, to the list of qualifying medical conditions
  • Other conditions subject to the approval of the Washington Board of Health

How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Washington?

Leafwell is not yet open in Washington but you can become a medical card holder. You must be aged 18 years-old or over in order to undergo a medical cannabis evaluation and get certified for yourself. Those under this age need to apply as minors and have a caregiver who is aged 21 or over and is responsible for the patient’s care.

Get approved by a doctor, then apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary. You can see the overview for the Washington State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program here.


Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Washington?

Yes, telemedicine is legal in Washington and you can get certified for cannabis online.


How much cannabis can I possess in Washington with an MMJ Card?

Adults age 21 and over can purchase:

  • up to 1 ounce of useable marijuana (the harvested flowers, or “bud”);
  • 16 ounces of marijuana-infused edibles in solid form;
  • 72 ounces in liquid form; or
  • 7 grams of marijuana concentrates.

Those entered in the state’s voluntary patient database may possess:

  • 3 ounces of useable marijuana (the harvested flowers, or “bud”);
  • 48 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form;
  • 216 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
  • 21 grams of marijuana concentrates.

A qualifying patient with an authorization may grow up to 4 plants. Those who are enrolled onto the state medical marijuana program may legally grow between 6 and 15 plants and possess up to eight ounces if they are enrolled in the database and six ounces if not.


Does Washington accept out-of-state cards?

Washington does not have medical marijuana reciprocity, and does not recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards.


Will my Washington card be accepted in other states?

A Washington medical marijuana card may be used in some states with medical marijuana reciprocity.

The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

  • Arizona
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Utah
  • Washington, D.C.

However, this does not always mean you can purchase cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary (non-medical adult use is fine) – just that you are protected by the state’s medical marijuana laws to some extent. It is wise to call the dispensary ahead if you are a medical cannabis patient from another state and you intend on purchasing medical marijuana.

The qualifying condition usually has to match between states, so if your qualifying condition is accepted in one state and not your visiting state, your recommendation is not necessarily valid. You are also beholden to the visiting state’s medical marijuana laws, not the state that issued your card.

The following states accept out-of-state applications, allowing a visiting patient application to use medical cannabis for the duration of their stay:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • West Virginia (cancer patients only)

Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Washington?

Employers may still conduct drug testing in accordance with their legally adopted policies. Medical marijuana patients do not have specific protections in place.


What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Washington?

Currently the state requires adult-use cannabis be tested for:

  • Potency, including THC and CBD levels
  • Microbial contamination, such as from mold, fungus, or bacteria
  • Mycotoxins, or toxic chemicals produced by microorganisms
  • Moisture, which can increase the risk of microorganism contamination

Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Washington?

In all states with a medical marijuana program, the only way to purchase medicinal cannabis products is via a legally-licensed dispensary or pharmacy, or another legally designated space to purchase cannabis. Only those with a legal license to sell cannabis can actually do so.


Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Washington?

All states with a medical marijuana program have some restrictions on where a person can legally use cannabis. Near schools, nurseries, parks or other places where children are expected to be, using cannabis is illegal. Use of cannabis on or in federal land or buildings, hospitals or any other such healthcare space is also illegal. Private members club and landowners may also prohibit cannabis use on their property or restrict it at their discretion.

The safest place to use medical cannabis is in the safety of your own home. It is wise to use common sense and generally keep consumption out of public view, and utilize discreet consumption methods wherever possible.