Medical Cannabis Laws and Rules

Laws and Rules 

The Cannabis Patient Protection Act codified into RCW 69.51A integrates the medical market with the regulated recreational market. Under the act, the Department of Health adopted rules for a medical cannabis authorization database, training and certification of medical cannabis consultants, and product compliance. The department was also required to produce several bill-related reports.

Primary Goals of the Law

  • Clarify what is meant by the medical use of cannabis.
  • Support patients having access to higher quality products to meet their medical needs.
  • Allow for state sales and use tax breaks for medical cannabis patients who are entered into the authorization database.
  • Provide protection from arrest and prosecution for patients who are entered into the authorization database.

For additional information, please view our: 

Medical Cannabis Laws

Medical Cannabis Rules

2022 Highlights

Accepting public comment on proposed amendments to chapter 246-72 WAC

Updated April 8, 2022

The Department has proposed amendments to WAC 246-72

The Department of Health has filed a CR-102 under WSR 22-03-054 on January 14, 2022, proposing amendments to chapter 246-72 WAC - Medical Cannabis Consultant Certification. The proposed rules intend to enhance and clarify training requirements and practice parameters of a medical cannabis certified consultant.

The public hearing took place February 22, 2022, and the public period has closed.

Contact us with any questions.

2021 Highlights

What does it mean to be a medically endorsed cannabis retailer?

Posted July 7, 2021

Check out our new guide designed to help licensed cannabis retailers and their staff learn about a medical endorsement, how to apply for one, and then how to set up your store account within the medical cannabis authorization database so you're ready to serve the patient community. See A Cannabis Retailer's Guide to the Medical Cannabis Endorsement (PDF).

Consultant Certification CPR Skills Demonstration Requirement Suspension Extended

Posted September 3, 2021

WAC 246-72-020-Certificate Requirements and WAC 246-72-080-Renewals and updating license information. Current certificate requirements for medical cannabis certified consultants (MMCC) under WAC 246-72-020 require an initial applicant to have obtained a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) card from a training course that includes both a written examination and skills demonstration test in order to receive a MMCC credential from the Department of Health (department). The department is amending this section of rule to temporarily suspend the skills demonstration portion of the CPR requirement to allow initial applicants to move forward in the department's application process during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response. WAC 246-72-080-Renewals does not specify CPR requirements include a skills demonstration test to be compliant, however the department interprets this requirement to be the same as defined in WAC 246-72-020 filed as WSR #21-18-013 (PDF).

Tax exemptions for cannabis products sold to qualifying patients possessing recognition cards

Posted October 22, 2021

For the purposes of RCW 82.08.9888(1)(a) and 82.12.9998(1)(a) a “compliant cannabis product” as identified by the Department of Health in chapter 246-70 WAC is any cannabis product purchased by qualifying patients possessing a recognition card. Filed as WSR #21-22-016 (PDF).

2020 Highlights

Concerning in-person cardiopulmonary resuscitation requirements to obtain a consultant certification

Posted September 26, 2020

Addressing the impact COVID-19 response measures are having on new and renewing medical cannabis certified consultants to obtain an in-person cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training program containing a skills demonstration test.

Medical Cannabis CPR Training Policy Statement filed as WSR 20-19-098 (PDF) to support emergency rule filed as WSR 20-18-027 (PDF).

Medical cannabis consultant rules are open for amendment

Posted March 3, 2020

Medical cannabis consultant rules are open for amendment.

The Department of Health has opened chapter 246-72 WAC - Medical Cannabis Consultant Certification rules to consider amendments. More information is on our rules in Progress webpage.

2019 Highlights

Washington State Healthcare Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis 1.0 - Now available for registration!

Posted November 15, 2019

The Washington Provider Education: Medical Use of Cannabis 1.0 course is now available for registration. This course was developed in collaboration with the Washington State Boards and Commissions to offer health care practitioners another option for obtaining CME/CE credits.

The course covers an overview of Washington state laws and rules, healthcare provider authorization requirements and guidelines, medical cannabis authorization amounts, the endocannabinoid system and the pharmacology of cannabis, therapeutic rationale and dosing best practices, and more. See more on our Authorization Practice Guidelines webpage.

House Bill 1094 - Compassionate Care Renewals (new law, new form and new process)

Posted October 25, 2019

Effective July 28, 2019, House Bill 1094 established compassionate care renewals which allows a health care practitioner to renew a qualifying patient's medical cannabis authorization form via telemedicine, if requiring an in-person physical examination to renew would likely result in a severe hardship to the patient because of their physical or emotional condition. Additionally, a compassionate care renewal eligible patient is exempt from having to be physically present to obtain a new photo to renew their recognition card, instead, allowing the qualifying patient's designated provider renew on their behalf.

To implement the new law, the Department of Health:

  • modified system functionality of the medical cannabis authorization database;
  • revised the medical cannabis authorization form to provide a way for the health care practitioner to indicate eligibility; and,
  • amended existing rules under chapter 246-71 WAC to align with the new law.