Activists turn out in Olympia as lawmakers weigh medical pot

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Medical marijuana activists are turning out in force in Olympia as lawmakers weigh a proposal for reining in the unregulated system.

The Senate's Health Care Committee is considering a bill from Republican Sen. Ann Rivers that would create stand-alone medical marijuana dispensaries that can't sell dried marijuana — just edibles and concentrates, such as hash oil. It would require testing that's at least as strict as that for recreational pot, create a patient registry, and seriously curtail collective gardens.

Supporters say the changes are needed to ensure patients have access to quality-tested medicine and because unregulated medical dispensaries are undercutting sales of heavily taxed recreational marijuana at licensed pot shops.

Medical marijuana activists say they want a regulated system, but they also want to make sure patients are protected and that marijuana doesn't become so expensive that they can't afford it.