By Anthony Martinelli

Drastic changes to Washington State’s medical cannabis law are now in effect, as of Friday, July 1st. Among the changes is an over 80% reduction in the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate, and the introduction of a patient database that some attorneys say is against federal HIPAA laws.

Under the new law – Senate Bill 5052 – patients can possess up to an ounce of cannabis, whereas they were previously allowed to have up to 24 ounces in their possession; if they join the patient registry, they can possess up to three ounces. As for cultivating cannabis, patients’ limits are dropping from 15 plants, to four, or six if they join the registry.

The new law also forces shut any medical cannabis dispensary that isn’t licensed with the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Control Board.

Seattle attorney Douglas Hiatt, founder of the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington, recently filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to overturn the new law.

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