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.
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of Allie Beckett