The consent agenda authorized payment for claims in the amount of $85,039.71 and payroll in the sum of $165,646.45. The discussion on 1227 was open five minutes into the meeting.
In prior action by the council, a fee had been set for patients wanting to utilize medical collective gardens in the amount of $100. By the end of the discussion the fee was stricken, seeing that it did deter from the purpose of the collective garden.
Still having issues keeping discussions specific to medical versus recreational marijuana, the council worked through the need of a fee associated to the amount of work that is involved with the marijuana business.
With some public comment noting that fees associated to collective gardens and medical marijuana dispensaries, it has caused the demise of this part of the medical marijuana arena as patients tend to go back underground for their medicine.
“I have seen dispensaries closed down from Seattle to Olympia due to having to pay an extra fee for patients to get their medicine,” said Anthony Mason, a medical marijuana patient.
Good to Grow, a Medical Marijuana Collective Garden, currently open in the Port of Willapa Harbor, was also on hand to speak to their model of the medical industry and how they feel they are their for the patients.
“Our margin is very small at the Good to Grow Collective Garden. A fee would only make it more difficult for the patients to get their medicine. If I can keep my prices down, which my patients feel we are at a good place right now, it is affordable for them,” said Richard Montoure of Good to Grow.
With a little more discussion the council agreed that the fee directed at the patient level might not be a good practice to start, but did realize that with the additional hours it takes in setting up a business and the monitoring of the on-going operation that some type of additional monies were needed.
The vote to strike the current fee associated to medical marijuana was unanimous. The council will most likely revisit this issue again, but for now, there is no longer any additional fee for medical patients.
The meeting closed with the reading of a proclamation for the VFW and the upcoming Buddy Poppy donation drive to start on May 9.