Registered Patient Population
of Total Population Represented by Patients
Total Medical Retail Locations Currently in Operation
19,223 : 1
Patients : Retail

Cannabis is legal to all adults above 21 in Washington. Medical patients may grow 4 plants at home, or up to 15 per household with registration from the state. Patients and caregivers may shop at the state’s dispensaries. Washington does not recognize out of state medical cannabis cards. Patients report there are still few dispensaries which presents a barrier to access in many areas. As a registered patient in Washington you will have an affirmative defense in court if you are arrested for the possession of cannabis. You will also be legally protected from discrimination based on your cannabis use in a child custody hearing. An employer will not be allowed to fire you on the basis of your enrollment in the program. You will not be denied an organ transplant based on your cannabis use. Landlords cannot evict you on the basis of your medical cannabis use. You are also exempt from paying sales tax when buying products from a medically-endorsed retail store. Details on how these laws apply to patients and medical professionals can be found below.

In 2012, in the state of Washington “clemency relief” was provided to certain individuals who have prior convictions for cannabis possession. Adults 21 and over who have been convicted between January 1, 1998 and December 5, 2012 may be granted pardons through the Marijuana Justice Initiative’s expedited process. In 2019, Senate Bill 5605 was signed by Governor Jay Inslee, facilitating the expungement of past low-level marijuana convictions.

Home cultivation is allowed in Washington, for medical cannabis patients with a physician’s recommendation, but not a medical marijuana card. Can grow up to four plants. That number increases to six plants with a valid medical marijuana card from the state, but residents can grow up to fifteen plants with authorization from a physician.

NOTICE: It can be challenging for patients to determine which businesses offering cannabis products are licensed and approved by the state. Review this list of medical cannabis retailers and/or a list of adult use retailers to find out where to purchase regulated cannabis in Washington. 

Traveling? Get more information about traveling in the US here. 

Navigating Washington State Laws:

Patients and Caregivers: Enrolling and Accessing Medical Cannabis

Medical Professionals: Procedures for recommending Medical Cannabis

Policymakers and Advocates: Actions Needed to Improve Laws for Patients

Get involved locally!

Take Action!

Here is a breakdown of how Washington fared in ASA’s Annual State of the States Report, which evaluates the effectiveness of each state cannabis program from a patient perspective and assigns a grade using a rubric that reflects the key issues affecting patient access. Medical cannabis laws are constantly changing, ASA’s policy recommendations for Washington can be found below. For policy updates sign up here.

Patient Rights and Civil Protections 80/100   
Arrest Protection 25/25
Affirmative Defense 20/20
Parental Rights Protections 20/20
DUI Protections 0/10
Employment Protections 10/20
Explicit Privacy Standards 5/5
Access to Medicine 80/100   
Authorizes Retail Access 10/10
Alternative Accessibility Methods 20/20
- Authorizes Delivery 10/10
- Authorizes Curbside Pickup 10/10
Personal Cultivation 15/15
Collective Gardening 5/5
Sufficient Number of Licensed Retailers 30/30
Reciprocity 0/20
Program Functionality 64/100   
Legal Protections Within Reasonable Time Frame 16/20
Reasonable Possession Limits 10/10
Reasonable Purchase Limits 10/10
Telemedicine for Physician Certifications 3/15
Patient and Physician Representation in Program Decision Making 0/20
Reasonable Caregiver Standards 5/5
- Background Checks 2/2
- Number of Caregivers 3/3
Reasonable Physician Standards 5/5
Access to Administration Methods 10/10
- Allows Dried Flower 5/5
- Allows Edibles, Concentrates, and Other Forms 5/5
Provides Access to Minors on School Grounds 5/5
Affordability 60/100   
Sales Tax Break for Patients and Caregivers 20/20
Covered by State Insurance or Health Aid 0/20
Reasonable Registration Fees 20/20
Financial Hardship Waivers or Discounts 20/20
Donation Program 0/10
Allows Multi-Year Registrations 0/10
Health and Social Equity 57/100   
State Program Protections 25/25
Housing Protections 0/25
Access for Minors 9/10
Access in Underserved Areas 5/10
List of Qualifying Conditions is Exhaustive or All Inclusive 5/10
Allows Patients to Medicate Where they Choose 8/10
Organ Transplants 5/5
Ownership or Employment Restrictions 0/5
Consumer Protection and Product Safety 116/200   
Cultivation Operations 18/50
Quality Management Systems 0/10
Staff Training 5/10
Standard Operating Procedures 1/8
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 0/1
- Workplace Safety 0/1
- Storage 0/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 0/1
- Security 0/1
- Waste Disposal 0/1
- Water Management 0/1
- Records Management 1/1
Pesticide Usage Limitations 2/2
Environmental Impact Regulations 1/2
Required Testing 6/8
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Microbials 1/1
- Aflatoxins 1/1
- Pesticides 1/1
- Heavy Metals 0/1
- Foreign Matter 1/1
- Moisture Content/ Water Activity 1/1
Packaging and Labeling 1/3
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Pesticides 0/1
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting, and Recall Protocol 2/7
Manufacturing Operations 28/50
Quality Management Systems 10/10
Staff Training 5/10
Standard Operating Procedures 1/7
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 0/1
- Workplace Safety 0/1
- Storage 0/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 0/1
- Security 0/1
- Waste Disposal 0/1
- Records Management 1/1
Environmental Impact Regulations 2/3
Required Testing 5/10
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Microbials 1/1
- Aflatoxins 1/1
- Pesticides 0/1
- Heavy Metals 0/1
- Residual Solvents 1/1
- Homogeneity 0/1
- Foreign Matter 0/1
- Water Activity 1/1
Packaging and Labeling 3/5
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Ingredients 1/1
- Allergens 1/1
- Nutritional Content 0/1
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting and Recall Protocol 2/5
Dispensary Operations 25/50
Staff Training 20/20
Standard Operating Procedures 1/7
- Facility Sanitation 0/1
- Workplace Safety 0/1
- Storage 0/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 0/1
- Security 0/1
- Waste Disposal 0/1
- Records Management 1/1
Product Testing 0/10
- Product Meets Requirements Before Sale 0/5
- COA Disclosure 0/5
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting and Recall Protocol 4/13
Laboratory Operations 45/50
Independent or Third-Party 5/5
Laboratory Sampling 0/5
Method Validation 4/4
Quality Management Systems 5/5
Staff Training 20/20
Standard Operating Procedures 7/7
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 1/1
- Equipment and Instrument Calibration 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Sample Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Records Management 1/1
Result Reporting 4/4
Score Penalties 41/100   
Gives Regulatory Preference to Adult Use 20/20
Classifies Cannabis as a Medicine of Last Resort 0/15
Administrative or Supply Problems 0/15
Requires Vertical Integration 0/10
Creates New Criminal Penalties for Patients 10/10
Limits Patients to a Single Retailer 0/10
No System for Adding Qualifying Conditions 10/10
Imposes Bans or Limits on THC 1/5
Imposes Bans or Limits on CBD 0/5
Excerpted from ASA's 2022 State of the States Report.
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