Will Washington State Ever Allow Homegrow?

January 14, 2019

Washington state was the second state to legalize recreational cannabis via ballot initiative in 2012. Their cannabis law is a bit more restrictive than that of the other recreational states. I’m talking of course, about growing. Washington state does not allow residents to grow their own cannabis for recreational use. Growing cannabis for medical use is still allowed of course, but you have to have a medical marijuana license.

Earlier this year the Washington state legislature gave the state liquor and control board (LCB) the responsibility of researching the merits of allowing residents to grow their own cannabis at home. The deadline for any report was December first. Now that that day has come and gone, the responsibility has fallen back into the hands of the state legislature.

The options that the state liquor and control board came up with were in a word, not great. The first option was to just keep things as they were and keep growing illegal. The second option, was allowing up to four plants after obtaining a permit and allowing their plants to be tracked. The final option was to forgo the tracking system, but still require people to obtain a growing permit. To be honest, none of those options seems preferable.

There is of course, a lot of support for reversing the ban on home grows from residents of Washington state from both medical cannabis patients and legalization advocates. Law enforcement is completely against it.

Will Washington state ever allow homegrows? Image Source: High Times

It’s a Sticky Situation

It’s a sticky situation, no pun intended. On the one hand Washingtonians want to be able to grow their own weed. On the other hand, obtaining permits and using a tracking system seems needlessly complicated, and unnecessarily harsh.

Another issue that needs to be considered is the fact that any sort of tracking system would discourage people from growing in the open. This would cause the black market trade to once again flourish, as it no doubt already is. This is why some advocates, such as Kevin Oliver, the executive director for Washington NORML, say that the new rules should be accepted and adopted because they will pave the way for allowing home grows down the road. “It’s fourth-and-one and you’re either going for it, or waiting and coming back with hope for a Hail Mary,” Oliver said to the Seattle Times.

Legalizing  Homegrows Could Attract the Feds

There is some concern that relaxing the rules against home growing in Washington  could have more negative consequences. It would put the state in the spotlight of Jeff Sessions’ notoriously anti-pot Justice Department. Sessions has hinted at a coming crackdown on recreational cannabis, and changing the law to allow Washington state to grow would be just the thing to put the state in the crosshairs.Of course, the restrictions on growing make black market growing more of an issue

So the state is in quite a bit of a conundrum. They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If Washington state decides to reverse their position on growing cannabis, then it most likely won’t be for quite some time. At least not until the Trump administration is out of office. We will soon find out the fate of recreational cannabis. The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prevents the feds from going after cannabis, will expire on December 8th. Things are about to get interesting again.

Featured Image Source: Civilized

Will Washington state ever reverse its ban on homegrows? Share in the comments!


Marijuana is more than an herb, it’s a lifestyle, and Sarah is your professional hostess. Our resident “stonette” writes commentaries on the latest news, shares relevant news for marijuana lovers, and generally writes about stuff she knows other cannabis enthusiasts will enjoy. With all the... [read more]


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