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Washington Seeks Comments Regarding Growing Marijuana at Home

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Of the eight recreationally legal states, Washington is the only one that doesn’t allow recreational marijuana home growing. Medical marijuana home grows are permitted. A public hearing is scheduled for October 4 to allow the public to provide their input.

The public hearing will be at the Liquor and Cannabis Board headquarters at 10 a.m., according to The Olympian. The headquarters is located at 3000 Pacific Avenue in Olympia. The duration of the public hearing is not listed.

Board Director Rick Garza said, “The agency is actively engaging other states, the public, the industry and stakeholders. We know there are many perspectives to this issue and we want to ensure they are captured for our report and recommendations.”

The board must conduct a study regarding regulatory options allowing home grows for recreational marijuana users. New legislation enacted earlier in 2017 requires the study.

A recent news release said, “The study must take into account the Cole Memo, issued by the United States Department of Justice in 2013, which outlines the federal government’s enforcement priorities in states where medical or recreational marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized. The study and recommendations are due to the Legislature on Dec. 1.”

Last year, the state’s medical marijuana program was brought into alignment with the state’s recreational regulations. Medical marijuana patients may grow up to 6 plants if they are a state-registered patient. Those with a doctor’s note may grow up to 15 plants. Patients not in the state registry that wish to grow are only allowed 4 plants.

Co-ops of medical marijuana patients are also permitted to grow, however, the co-op must be a 4-patient max. Co-ops must register with the state and can grow between 24 and 60 plants, depending on the approved number of plants for each patient.

Three options for home recreational growing are under consideration:

  • 1 – Require a permit for recreational home growing – 4-plant maximum per household. Plants would have to be part of the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system and would have to meet security requirements on top of maintaining compliance with other regulations.
  • 2 – Limit of 4 plants per household following state, with proper permits, agreeing to follow all state rules and minimum requirements. Local permission would be required.
  • 3 – Maintain home grow prohibition and maintain permission for medical marijuana home grows.

Those that are unable to attend the October 4 meeting are encouraged to submit a written public comment. Those can be submitted until October 11 by emailing them to rules@lcb.wa.gov or by postal mail sent to P.O. Box 43080, Olympia, WA 98504.

Parking and seating are limited at the October 4 meeting venue.