Cannabis

Cannabis Prevention and Education Program

Washington Initiative 502 (PDF) passed in November of 2012 and went into effect July 1, 2015. I-502 directed the Washington State Department of Health to implement the following:

  • A cannabis use public health hotline that provides referrals to substance abuse treatment providers, utilizes evidence-based or researched-based public health approaches to minimizing the harms associated with cannabis use, and does not solely advocate an abstinence-only approach.
  • A grants program for local health departments or other local community agencies that supports development and implementation of coordinated intervention strategies for the prevention and reduction of cannabis use by youth.
  • Media-based education campaigns across television, internet, radio, print, and out-of-home advertising, separately reaching youth and adults, that provide medically and scientifically accurate information about the health and safety risks posed by cannabis use.

The goal of the department's Cannabis Prevention and Education Program is to reduce initiation and use of cannabis by youth (ages 12-20), especially among populations most adversely affected by cannabis use throughout Washington state.

Medical Cannabis Program

The Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) (PDF) was passed in April of 2015 and went into full effect on July 1, 2016. SB 5052 creates strict regulations for cannabis producers, processors and stores that want to sell to patients. Under the act, the Department of Health is directed to adopt rules for:

  • Product compliance;
  • A Medical Cannabis Authorization Database; and
  • Training and certification of medical cannabis consultants

The Department of Health is dedicated to protecting access for patients with qualifying conditions and ensuring that their products are safe, quality tested, and accurately labeled.