03/13/2014 05:21 pm ET Updated May 13, 2014

Bill to Overhaul Medical Marijuana Regulations Passes Senate in Washington

The Senate in the state of Washington has approved legislation that would basically revamp the current medical marijuana program regulations.

Senate Bill 5887, which passed by a vote of 34 to 15, is designed to reduce the amount of marijuana patients are permitted to possess, diminish the number of plants each patient is allowed to grow, do away with collective gardens, and establish a patient registry.

"The bill you have is a result of bicameral bipartisan effort," Senator Ann Rivers, the legislation's lead sponsor explained. "This is the very best attempt to protect our patients and their rights while making sure we meet Initiative 502 guidelines."

Both the Washington House of Representatives and Senate are slated to discuss a final bill to merge the medical market with the recreational market.

The legislation that Representative Rivers is proposing would cut the currently permitted amount of marijuana a patient can possess from 24 ounces to a mere three. In addition, the number of plants each patient is allowed to cultivate would be decreased from the current number of 15 to a total of six.

One provision of the proposed bill would allow patients to have their possession and cultivation numbers increased if their attending physician granted them permission, with the maximum amount being capped at eight ounces for personal possession and 15 permitted plants for cultivation.

"I believe we are doing a lot for our patients in this," Representative Rivers avowed. "They were at front of mind when we were developing this bill."

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