Collective Cultivation Guidelines

Collectives are generally administered by patients and for patients, with the greatest concern for the health and well-being of the patient membership on a not-for-profit basis, where patients obtain the highest quality medicine at the lowest cost possible. Collective cultivation represents a closed network of production and access that prohibits diversion or distribution to or from non-medical sources or recipients. Collective gardens must maintain the legitimacy of their operations and membership. 

In order to ensure a safe and consistent supply of quality medicine, while also complying with public safety regulations, medical marijuana collective garden groups must follow the general guidelines set forth by the 2011 amendment to RCW: 69.51A.

1. Members are assigned to collective medicinal gardens, which may have no more than:

  • ten qualifying patients per garden;
  • fifteen plants per patient, up to a total of forty-five plants;
  • twenty-four ounces of usable cannabis per patient, up to a total of seventy-two ounces of usable cannabis.

2. A copy of each qualifying patient's valid documentation, including a medical authorization form and a copy of the patient's WA state ID, must be available at all times on the premises of the collective garden. Designated Providers must also provide written authorization from their designated patient to be kept on file with the collective.

3. All medical and administrative documents must be held confidential, unless said documents are requested by law enforcement officers conducting an investigation of the collective garden.

4. All members of a collective garden must be WA State residents.  No usable cannabis from the collective garden may be delivered to anyone other than its qualified members. All medicine allocated through the collective garden must be consumed within WA State.

5. Cannabis grown by a collective garden for medical use may be:

  1. provided free to qualified members;
  2. provided in exchange for services rendered to the collective;
  3. provided for a fee based on a prorated share of facility, equipment, supplies and labor expenses incurred as part of planting, growing and harvesting cannabis.
  4. Donations of goods, services or monetary compensation for cultivation, processing and other related expenses shall not be construed as a purchase or distribution from one party to another.
  5. any combination of the above.

Collectives must:

  1. Have the individual agree not to distribute marijuana to non-members;
  2. have the individual assign his/her legal right to possess medical marijuana to the collective garden group;
  3. maintain current membership records on site;
  4. track expiration dates on members’ medical marijuana authorizations and/or ID cards and exclude members with expired or invalid documentation.

QUALITY STANDARDS

Medical Grade cannabis is of a much higher quality than the non-medical marijuana sold illegally.  Aside from potency, the purity of the medicine is of utmost importance.  The use of potential adulterants and synthetic pesticides may present significant health hazards with repeated use.  Producers are expected to be scrupulous in researching all constituents and practices that may have an impact on patient health.  In general, organic fertilization and organic pest-control products are the preferred standard.  Mold and unsanitary conditions may have an adverse impact on patient health, particularly for those with an impaired immune system.   

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