The Washington State legislature will convene in January for a three-month term. During that time, they will hold meetings and committee sessions to decide on whether to pass new legislation for the state. And proponents of homegrown marijuana are buzzed that 2020 may be the year Washington elected officials finally vote to allow people to grow their own marijuana at home.
Even though Washington was the first state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana, it is one of the few states that prohibits adults from growing marijuana at home. Other states allow adults to grow a small number of plants at home. In Washington, a person has to get a note from a doctor first in order to home-grow.
During the 2019 Washington legislative session, three Seattle lawmakers sponsored a bill that would have allowed an adult to grow up to six plants at home, but the bill ultimately failed because some lawmakers believe that allowing homegrown marijuana would expand the illicit marijuana market.
LCB Weighs In
In 2017, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) studied the issue of homegrown marijuana and recommended that the Washington legislature allow it but with certain restrictions: a four-plant limit, state-issued permits, and a system to track each individual cannabis plant across the state. According to the LCB report, “home grows have operated as a cover for the illicit market and diversion and could undermine the regulated system.”
But Tacoma Representative David Sawyer said that legislators have watched and learned from other states that allow homegrown marijuana. “Colorado had a limit of 99 plants, and law enforcement had no way of taking down illegal operations.” Colorado has since implemented a six-plant limit.
Will 2020 Be the Year?
John Kingsbury is a cannabis advocate who has been working for years with lawmakers to allow homegrown cannabis, and he feels that 2020 might be the year it actually happens. “Instead of me reaching out to people, I've had legislative staff reach out to me,” said Kingsbury. In addition to the three legislators who sponsored the 2019 bill to legalize homegrown marijuana, eight other Seattle-area lawmakers have said they will support a bill legalizing it.
Marijuana Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of operating an illicit marijuana operation because you had a few potted marijuana plants, you need the expert defense of an experienced controlled-substance attorney. The Law Offices of Steve Karimi have attorneys who understand the marijuana laws in Washington and will work hard to protect your rights and clear your name. Call 206-621-8777 today or fill out a contact form to get started on a free consultation of your case.