Home cultivation of recreational cannabis debated in WA

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Recreational marijuana home grows are still a hot button issue among Washington state residents, and regulators were not given an easy path forward after a hearing Wednesday on whether to legalize them.

Although registered medical cannabis patients are already permitted to grow up to six plants at home, personal cultivation for adult use remains prohibited, but the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is pondering a repeal of the ban.

The board, however, received roughly 500 written comments from residents who wanted to weigh in, along with three dozen people who showed up in person to lobby the panel, which must submit recommendations to the state legislature by Dec. 1, the Everett Herald reported.

Positions ran the gamut, from those worried about easier access to MJ for minors to cannabis business owners who think it’s absurd that they’re legally allowed to grow at work but not at home.

Another possibility, raised by a spokeswoman from a credit union that works with MJ businesses, is that allowing rec home grow could invite federal intervention by the Department of Justice if it’s seen as a violation of the Cole Memo.

The panel is weighing three options:

  • Rec home grows legalized with a permit and required use of the state’s inventory tracking system.
  • Rec home grows legalized without mandatory inventory tracking, but also allows further local regulations.
  • Continued rec home grow ban.

Any of those three could have a significant impact on sales figures for MJ businesses in Washington.