The Future of Growing Weed at Home Remains Unclear

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Washington, unlike every other state with legal weed, failed to decriminalize growing pot at home when the state voted to adopt recreational marijuana in 2012. Because of this, you can walk to the nearest pot shop and stock up on up to an ounce of OG blueberry whatever, but you still can’t throw a few seeds in the ground yourself, at least without a medical marijuana license.

Advocates for home-grows hoped this would change after the Washington Legislature tasked the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB)—the state agency that regulates recreational cannabis—with studying the matter and coming up with recommendations for new home grow regulations by Dec. 1.

As Lester wrote last month, the LCB came up with three options, which were then open to public comment: allowing consumers to grow up to four plants at home, but under strict state regulations, including a tracking system and permits; allowing four plants under local city or county regulations, which could still require a permit although no tracking system; or continuing to prohibit home grows entirely.

On Wednesday, just days before the deadline, the LCB decided to kick the issue back to the Legislature, and recommended any of the above options—which, in short, are pretty shitty for the average consumer, especially compared to our next door neighbor to the south, where you can buy a cute lil pet plant for yourself at plenty of rec shops.

As for what the Legislature will decide, it’s hard to tell. There are a lot of interested parties in this issue and they don’t always get along. As Bob Young points out in the Seattle Times, forthcoming “debates in the Legislature are likely to be contentious, with law enforcement opposing home grows, patients and advocates calling for more leniency, and the pot industry divided on the issue.”

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