After recommendations from the Raymond Planning Commission, who held a public meeting in May, the council held a short discussion and moved the ordinance into its second reading, with small changes.
With the absence of key personnel to provide detail to the exact changes recommended to ordinance 1827, the council discussed what they understood, dealing with some of the financial concerns around the medical marijuana industry.
The previous recommendation of raising the permit fee for collective gardens to a $500 annual payment, as opposed to a longer term one-time payment, was decided that it would also help offset the cities perceived responsibility to verify patients utilizing these facilities.
With little hands-on regulation from the Washington State Department of Health, municipalities, like Raymond, are struggling with setting proper guidelines that will best serve the community, marijuana patients and the medical marijuana industry.
It was suggested that a process fee to assist the city in their verifications of patients utilizing a marijuana collective garden or marijuana dispensary, charge in the arena of $2.50 per each new patient that will need to be verified.
The practice of medical collectives is that patients do not receive any medicine without verification each and every time that they visit a facility. Much like one would “check-in” at a doctor’s office for a visit. Patients are required to show both their prescription and a valid picture identification that is then verified with a secure database verifying the validity of the prescription and the doctor who wrote it.
The photo identification verifies that the person requesting the medication is the same one whom is present and that the prescription is written for. If any part of the verification process is in error, the patient is not allowed to get their medication at that time and must have the issue corrected. The City believes that they will also require validation of the process due to the lack of any Health Department guidance and they should be compensated for their time. In previous discussions about city verification of the patient process, the city was cautioned that they might skirt HIPAA laws.
Ordinance 1827 was moved into its second reading with the suggestion to strike any additional fees outside of the annual permit fee that will be paid by the business.
The meeting moved onto other matters asking for department head reports where Raymond Police Chief Chuck Spoor reported that it was a light Memorial Day weekend even with the additional emphasis patrols.
Mayor Bob Jungar had the only other report, which he brought to the attention of the city council a change to a change order for work being completed at the wastewater plant. With recent settling at the plant an additional $30,000 was assessed to make new repairs. Due to the scheduling of other parties involved, the Mayor wanted to bring the pending increase to the city council so that the contractor could be paid for work to this point. The motion was approved.
One last item made its way to the floor of the city council dealing with nuisance vehicles along city streets. Chief Spoor mentioned that these types of incidents are complaint driven and as they come into the office those vehicles are tagged and the owner talked to about what they plan to do with the vehicle.
The casual observer can see that the system works as some vehicles have already been moved from city streets, only a day after the council meeting.
The next scheduled Raymond City Council meeting is set for June 16 at 6 pm.