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Published on Friday, December 15, 2017

Liquor and Cannabis Board releases marijuana home grow report

As directed by the Legislature, the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) studied and reported on the possibility of legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana plant possession, also known as “home grow.” The LCB gathered information for this study by researching and discussing regulatory structures with states that allow recreational home grows, reviewing news media and studies, and soliciting input from stakeholders and the public. The LCB included enforcement and resource impacts in its evaluation and considered many options to regulate home grow ranging from tightly regulated to no regulations.

The LCB study recommends three options for recreational home grow:

  1. Tightly regulated by the state with shared local and state enforcement
    • Require a state permit for home grow and include a plant tracking system
    • Enforcement jurisdiction is shared between LCB and local authorities
    • Four plant limit per household
    • Violations will result in removal and destruction of all marijuana plants
    • Plants must be purchased via a licensed retailer
    • Include security requirements to prevent youth access and theft
  2. State standards with local authority
    • Provide standards for home grow in state statute; but all authorization, control and enforcement is provided by county and city authorities
    • Allow jurisdictions to opt-in or opt-out of home grow
    • Recommends the same provisions outlined in Option 1 for plant limit, violations, plant purchases, and security requirements
  3. Continued prohibition
    • Do not allow home grow and maintain the status quo

AWC provided input supporting the continued prohibition of home grow, maintaining Washington’s compliance with the federal guidelines outlined in the Cole Memo. The memo details the U.S. Department of Justice’s enforcement priorities regarding marijuana in legalized states. Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government and the memo does not change federal law.

In the study, the LCB noted that it dismissed any regulatory options not consistent with the Cole Memo. The LCB also cited public safety as a focus for the state’s legalized marijuana system and the number one priority for the LCB.

Categories: Marijuana