John Kingsbury, co-founder of the group Homegrow Washington, said many of the concerns people express about home growing seem to relate more to large-scale cannabis operations.
Last year, the bill died in the House Appropriations Committee, which reviews budget-related measures.
Other states that have legalized recreational cannabis already allow home growing, but Washington does not.
She said many of the fears associated with allowing home growing — that it would fuel illegal activity, or create neighborhoods that constantly reek of weed — haven’t come to pass in other states.
Marijuana growing would also be banned in homes that provide day care services or host foster children.
“We also, of course, have great concern over the exposure to children,” McMahon added at a Jan. 15 public hearing.
Washington’s ban on home growing puts the state at odds with most others that have legalized recreational pot use. Of those 15 states, at least 10 allow home growing, including Oregon, Vermont, Nevada, California and Colorado. Last fall, voters in South Dakota, Arizona and Montana also approved ballot measures that legalized growing marijuana at home.
For one, the measure would create a new civil infraction for anyone who grows marijuana in public view, or whose marijuana production can be “readily smelled” by neighbors or passersby. Those offenses could result in a $50 fine, but wouldn’t go on someone’s criminal record.
House Bill 1019 would limit each adult to six home-grown plants. No more than 15 plants could be cultivated per household, limiting the ability of roommates to band together and create a small-scale marijuana farm.
“We do not want to create an environment where adults are freely growing, producing and processing marijuana at home without any training or standardization,” said Jesse Jimenez of Prevent Coalition, an organization based in Vancouver, Washington, that works to prevent youth drug and alcohol use.
As before, selling homegrown cannabis to another person would not be allowed. Landlords could also restrict renters from growing marijuana on their property, if they choose.
The measure has been introduced several times in the past, but has stalled. Kloba thinks that the number of states that have recently embraced home growing builds the case for Washington to do the same.
Right now, the state is collecting about $1 billion per year in marijuana excise tax revenues.
“What I often hear is conflation of large-scale illicit activity with what we are actually advocating for here, which is legalizing six-plant, noncommercial home gardens,” Kingsbury said.
Law enforcement officials still worry, however, that homegrown pot could be easily sold on the illicit market, or that backyard cannabis plants could prove an attractive target for thieves and burglars.
State Rep. Shelley Kloba, D-Kirkland, called Washington’s ban on home growing of cannabis “an antiquated policy.”
But it’s not clear that the state’s tax collections would be hurt by allowing people to grow marijuana at home.
Under Washington state law, qualified medical cannabis patients can already grow a limited amount of marijuana plants. But for nonpatients, growing marijuana at home is a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Washington legislators are considering a bill that would allow anyone age 21 and over to grow up to six marijuana plants at home. (Richard Vogel/AP)
More than eight years after Washington voters legalized recreational cannabis, some state lawmakers say it’s past time to let people grow their own pot at home.
He added that most people won’t choose to cultivate cannabis at home, simply because “growing it is hard, and the product is readily available in stores.”
“Our members, candidly, are not comfortable with the public safety aspects and public safety concerns associated with allowing marijuana home-grows,” said James McMahan of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, which represents law enforcement leaders.
That concern was echoed by substance-abuse prevention advocates, particularly because the bill says the state Liquor and Cannabis Board wouldn’t have authority to enforce the rules that would apply to home marijuana grows.
“I don’t see this having a significant impact on the state budget,” said state Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, who is co-sponsoring the measure.
Washington state residents have long been able to brew their own beer in their basement, or ferment homemade wine in their living room. If they want to smoke a joint to unwind, though, their only legal option is to get dressed and buy one at a store.
“It is time for us to evolve in this space,” said Kloba, the prime sponsor of the bill to allow home growing.
A bipartisan group of legislators is proposing a bill that would let adults 21 and over grow cannabis plants at home for recreational use.
The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.
If applications open again, the fee to obtain a producer license is $1381. Additionally, you will have to pay a $250 application fee to be considered.
There have been several attempts to legalize personal-use home grows in Washington state. None have been successful yet. The main reasons are fears of illegal and unwanted activities, including burglaries and exposure to children. Some even worry that neighborhoods would begin to reek of marijuana smells.
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Aside from being a medical marijuana patient, there is only one option to grow cannabis in Washington: a cultivation license.
Those who have grown cannabis for medical use may legally possess up to eight ounces if they are enrolled in the database and six ounces if not. Recreational users are only allowed to possess up to an ounce at a time.
While applications are not open to become a grower yourself, you can still shop at Piece of Mind Cannabis to get your hands on the best weed in the state. Whether you are looking for fresh flower, tinctures, concentrates, edibles, or any other infused product, we’ve got your back.
Frustrated that you have to stop by our Spokane dispensary, Bellingham pot shop, or other stores to pick up your goods? If you know you have a green thumb and wish you could cultivate marijuana, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a growing push to allow adults over 21 to grow their own cannabis in Washington. Until then, you’ll have to stick to buying weed at a dispensary.
If you are a medical patient who is not enrolled in the state’s database, you can still grow up to four plants.
We think it’s only a matter of time before personal-use cannabis cultivation is legal in Washington. Don’t get your hopes up just yet, though. We’ve seen the topic brought up and dismissed again and again since Washington legalized recreational weed in 2012.
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Our growers have decades of cultivation experience…and, for the first time ever, legal jobs.
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Shelley Kloba, a member of the Washington House of Representatives, sponsored HB 1019. A spokesperson for Kloba said:
Will growing weed in Washington ever become legal?
Regardless, it is illegal to grow any amount of marijuana plants for personal use in Washington state. Doing so is a class C felony which is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Unfortunately, Washington state is already home to a saturated cannabis market. As such, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is not currently accepting applications for new retailers, processors, or producers.
So who are the exceptions? Medical marijuana consumers and licensed cultivators can grow cannabis in Washington state.
House Bill 1019, “Allowing residential marijuana agriculture” was proposed in early 2021, only to be dropped in February. Legislators explained that it was not a high-priority topic when they were busy focusing on COVID-19 economic relief, racial equity, and climate change.
So why is it that Washington can’t follow their lead and allow residents to grow personal use cannabis?
All of our dispensaries (even our Alaska dispensary) pride themselves in sourcing the best products from the state. The growers we work with are well-versed in creating the best plants to create a variety of cannabis products.
Many other states with legal recreational cannabis allow home cultivation. Oregon, Vermont, Nevada, Colorado, and California are just some examples.
Why can’t I grow weed in Washington? What are the consequences?
Washington state has had the luxury of legal recreational cannabis since the beginning of the recreational industry in 2012. Nearly a decade later and there are still many questions regarding the rules. We often hear people ask “is growing cannabis in Washington legal?” when visiting one of our Washington dispensary locations.
Medical marijuana patients in Washington state are permitted to grow up to six plants for medical use. If there are multiple qualified patients in one household, up to 15 plants are allowed.
Plus, we are proud to have medical endorsements at select dispensaries. This means we can help medical patients find the best products for their needs and accommodate the benefits they receive from enrollment in the state’s patient database.
While we will have to wait for the topic to be reintroduced and discussed, Washington residents can rest assured knowing that the potential to grow their own weed isn’t completely off the table for the future.
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If growing you own Cannabis isn’t going to be happening anytime soon, or perhaps you’re months away from harvesting your own, check out some of our customers favorite Washington Cannabis brands!
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The bottom line for your business plan: be as descriptive as possible.
No, but the state has allotted that only so many square feet may be used in growing marijuana. It has set the initial limit at two million square feet. The kind of producer license you have will determine how many square feet of space you can use to grow cannabis. The state has broken quantities down into three tiers:
Yes, but you can only sample one gram of usable marijuana per month. The sampler must either be you or one of your employees. The sampling must be logged into the traceability database.
Step 2: Find the Right Location.
If your business operates as a corporation, you will benefit from limited liability as well. The personal assets of shareholders who have purchased stock are usually only responsible for their own stock investments. The corporation, since it is considered its own separate business entity apart from shareholders and owners, is legally responsible for itself. Debts, etc. do not fall onto the shoulders of individuals, but rather onto the corporation as a whole, separate entity. A corporation’s corporate veil can also be pierced, so you need to take in the same considerations as with an LLC when deciding which entity is right for your cannabis business.
Typically, quite a few more than a regular Washington business. Besides usual business permits, marijuana producers have to take in consideration how their activities affect the environment—you may need permits for air quality, water quality, solid waste handling, hazardous waste management and more. For instance, in some areas, you’re required to submit a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist so the state can see what kind of impact your business will have. In King, Kitsap, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, marijuana producers and processors are required to submit a pre-construction application with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency—an application that comes with a $1,150 price tag.
Not exactly. The licenses themselves aren’t transferable assets—a business can’t buy or sell a license to another business. You can, however, purchase a business entity that holds a license. When investing in or buying an already-licensed business, be sure to file a Change in Governing People, Percentage Owned and/or Stock/Unit Ownership form ($75) with the WSLCB. You may also have to submit forms (which vary depending on business entity) to the Secretary of State indicating changes in governors and owners.
In a perfect world, you could start a brand new marijuana grow business and choose the business entity type that’s the best fit for you. Unfortunately, the WSLCB isn’t currently accepting applications for new marijuana producer licenses.
What makes growing weed more difficult than other businesses is that entrepreneurs may be hard-pressed to find financing options through traditional methods. Due to federal banking restrictions, banks may not want to offer a small-business loan to a “risky” venture existing in federal gray area. As a result, you may need to seek out investors.
Registered agents are required for any business entity registered with the Secretary of State. When you hire Northwest Registered Agent as your registered agent, it’s a flat rate yearly price of $125 a year. You’ll have an online account that tracks your report due dates and when your yearly service with us is up. Any documents we receive locally for you are uploaded into your account immediately for complete viewing. If or when you get served with a lawsuit, we can email up to 4 people and your attorney at the same time for real-time complete viewing of a lawsuit. You’ll receive annual report reminders as well. Our service is the same price every year, and there are no weird fees or cancellation fees.
What kind of security requirements does Washington have for cannabis grow facilities?
At bare minimum, your shop needs to install a video surveillance camera with a resolution of no less than 640×470 pixels, and the system needs to be Internet Protocol (IP) compatible. All cameras need to be running 24 hours a day and be able to identify any individuals on the premises and any individuals approaching any of the building’s entrance points at no less than 20 feet from the premises. Copies of all footage on the premises must be kept for at least 45 days. Perimeter fencing of all outdoor grows must be in the line of sight of the cameras. In areas where marijuana is grown, the cameras need to be able to identify an individual at all times. Lights, hoods, and other grow production items cannot obscure the camera’s view.
Step 4: Choose a Business Entity.
In order to get or maintain a marijuana producer license, the rules require that your grow shop has planned protocol for each of the following:
Primarily, you need to be sure your grow location is located at least 1000 feet from any elementary or secondary school, playground, recreation center or facility, child care center, public park, public transit center, library, or game arcade that allows minors to enter. As of June 2015, counties and municipalities have the right to enact an ordinance reducing the 1000 ft buffer to a minimum of 100 ft (with the exception of elementary schools, secondary schools and playgrounds). Olympia Ordinance 7046, for example, reduces the buffer zone in the state capital to 500 feet.
How do I legally transport marijuana between licensed facilities?
We can serve as your Washington registered agent and receive all official mail and service of process, as well as keep you up to date on all that is required to keep your business entity active.
If you’re considering a sole proprietorship, realize that you personally will have unlimited liability. You are the business. There is no legal separation between you and your personal assets and the assets of your business. What this means for you is that you are personally responsible for all debts or actions on behalf of your business. Your assets are on the line in the case of a lawsuit or unpaid bills.
No. While you can hold both producer and processor licenses, retail is always separate. You can’t hold a retailer license AND a producer or processor license.
Not currently. The number of licenses is capped, and the WSLCB isn’t opening up applications for new licenses anytime in the foreseeable future.
The marijuana producer license application is only a small addendum to the Master Business License application. Even if you’re not filling out the application (if you’re investing in or buying an existing marijuana business), you’ll still need to have some of the same key information readily available, including: