State of Washington to Hold Public Hearing on Fate of Home Grows

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Many green-thumbed adults in the state of Washington have been dreaming of recreational cannabis gardens since voting to pass Initiative 502 in 2012, and those dreams may be drawing closer to reality.

A public hearing in Olympia on Oct. 4 could plant the seed for home cultivation in the state, as the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) will collect input from Washington residents.

A recently passed bill gave the order for the WSLCB to “conduct a study of regulatory options for the legalization of marijuana plant possession and cultivation by recreational marijuana users.” The bill requires the board to submit their findings and recommendations no later than Dec. 1 of this year.

Three regulatory possibilities for recreational home grows.

State Control

The first option strictly regulates home cultivation from the state level and develops a “regulatory framework that requires a permit and tracking of plants throughout the state, with enforcement jurisdiction shared between the WSLCB and local authorities.”

  • Anyone without a permit would be prohibited from growing cannabis in their residence.
  • This scenario would limit home grows to four plants per household.
  • Law enforcement would have the ability to seize and destroy “all plants possessed by a person if the person has more plants than the law allows.”

Local Control

The second option would delegate the oversight of home cultivation to local jurisdictions in cities and counties after the state sets a general framework of statutes. In this scenario, local jurisdictions would have the option of disallowing home grows.

  • Same four plant limit and seizure provisions as state regulatory model.
  • This option allows for recreational growers to “acquire” plants from licensed producers as long as both parties have obtained cultivation permits.

Home Cultivation Remains Illegal

All current laws governing home grows would stay in place, including provisions that allow for medical marijuana cultivation.


The WSLCB will hold the home grow public hearing during their normal board meeting on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. on 3000 Pacific Avenue. Because space will be limited, the board strongly encourages sending written comments and recommendations via email through Oct. 11 at rules@lcb.wa.gov.

Image courtesy of Allie Beckett

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5 Comments

  1. Laws need to make sense, denying or limiting an Americans right to grow any plant from a seed is anti-Christian. The bible tells us so, unless God was wrong.

    Genesis 1:29King James Version (KJV)

    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

  2. Well here’s another scenario… we allow people to produce/manufacturer beer, wine, and hard spirits in their home but need to stay within the states/federal regulations concerning the amount of alcohol made in any given year and if anyone has ever made beer knows it only takes about 1.5 to 2 months to make. There isn’t any permits required to make that just stay within the law. So why would anyone need permits to grow a plant that is known not to have anywhere near the debilitating effect as alcohol and takes more than twice the amount of time to produce some lovely flowers? It sound like big brother (state & federal officials) wants to keep tabs on everyone that grows and consumes this wonderful plant. Why do they continually think the American people are that complacent, to think the government knows best when we have constantly keep proving just the opposite? We all know the politicians are more worried about vote vs doing what the American people put them in office to do! One day the American people will say enough is enough and that day is getting closer and closer.

  3. I see the State of Washington, just like other States, focusing on this issue and making recommendations based on their fear of Federal Law. They are trying to keep the home growing from becoming illegal grow houses that are run by cartels and selling large amounts of weed out of state and this fear is putting too much unnecessary legal and clerical burden on the average citizen just to satisfy the Feds (DEA) desire to stop drug trafficking.

    Most people are going to ignore these rules and grow it anyway, just as they have been for the last 60 years.

    The real solution is to fully legalize Cannabis on a Federal level and actually going farther than ever thought – EXPORTING our finest weed to other countries! The amount of tourist dollars we could make if we had legal Pot Tourism is potentially able to pay our debt off in a couple of decades. By taking Cannabis off the Controlled Substance ACT and schedule and making it like alcohol, States can allow its home growth and make it a true commercial cash crop without fear of losing Federal funds or of Federal drug law violations.

    It is extremely important that we all focus on Federal legalization. The Federal controls, laws, prohibition, schedules, DEA oversight etc. is the REAL obstacle and it MUST be overcome once and for all.

    We need more debates in Congress, more hearings where Cannabis experts can tell the truth about this plant, where anti-prohibition cops (and there are tens of thousands) and where average, everyday citizens that use this plant can be put on record to prove how beneficial it could be if we just legalized and utilized this amazing plant.

  4. The problem other states are having with home growing is it tends to get funneled into the black market. How do you plan to stop this?

  5. Of course and as a former and long time grower I want everyone who wants to to be able to grow cannabis indoors or out as I can’t see any harm to anyone from growing a few plants for personal use (or to secretly share with friends and family though if this was mentioned it would be a deal killer for the control freaks)??? But as long as prices are as low as they are and seemingly going even lower including the appearance of fully taxed sub-$100 ounces all the way down to $10 eighths, you’ll find many former growers like myself GLADLY going the legal route and buying the many different reasonably priced cannabis products instead of risking all by illegally growing it. Low prices on legally produced and fully taxed cannabis put the black market growers to…sleep. So let’s keep the LOW prices that keeps them that way going.

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