420 with CNW – Washington Legislators Make Another Attempt at Legalizing Cannabis Homegrows

January 23, 2019 16:20:38

Washington State still remains as the only state where recreational cannabis is legal but residents aren’t allowed to grow the plant for their own use. However, this may change if the two bills introduced in the state legislature are passed, thereby allowing adults to grow a maximum of six plants for their own use.

Previous attempts to pass similar bills have met with failure, so it isn’t a foregone conclusion that the attempts this year will bear fruit.

The key difference this time round is that the two bills have bipartisan support, at least when the list of sponsors is analyzed.

One advocate of growing cannabis at home, John Kingsbury, revealed that he has been approaching numerous legislators to ask them to support the new bills. Many revealed that they couldn’t sign their names against the bills, but promised to vote in favor of the bills should they ever reach the floor of the legislature.

This new set of bills seeks to eliminate the restrictions that were proposed by regulators at the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) in 2017 when proposals to allow people to grow cannabis at home were first suggested.

Those restrictions included a cap of four plants for homegrows. The LCB also wanted people to obtain a mandatory license from the state if they wanted to grow cannabis at home. There was even a suggestion that mechanisms should be instituted to track a cannabis plant throughout the state!

The new bills propose that adults can grow a maximum of six plants and there will be no need to obtain a permit or to track the plants grown by each adult.

Critics of plans to allow residents to grow their own cannabis claim that allowing such a practice would expand the black market for marijuana and that it will be hard to regulate the industry.

However, those in favor of the proposals counter that Washington is learning from the experience of other states and can therefore pick what to apply and what to avoid. For example, the six-plant limit is a valuable requirement since it sidesteps the mistake made by Colorado when it initially allowed residents to grow up to 99 plants, a move that allowed this legally grown crop to end up on the illicit market.

Additionally, the legalization of homegrows would curb the black market since residents would resort to consuming their own produce if retail outlets and medical cannabis dispensaries ever developed shortages.

The cannabis industry, including Sunniva Inc. (CSE: SNN) (OTCQB: SNNVF) and Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD), is watching how the bills will be debated and voted on, if they get to that stage.

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