Legislature considering allowing cannabis home grows

There’s a fresh push to let people in Washington grow recreational marijuana at home.

The state legislature is considering making it legal for an adult to have six cannabis plants.

It’s already allowed in at least ten other states.

“What is being proposed here would not be a bold experiment, but rather a well-worn path. Crime hasn’t exploded in states that allow home growing and tax revenues have not suffered,” said John Kingsbury of Home Grow Washington at a legislative hearing Jan. 15.

Washington was the second state to open legal marijuana stores after voters passed Initiative 502 in 2012.

That measure did not allow home grows.

“Prohibiting home grow is an antiquated policy and it is time for us to evolve,” said Rep. Shelley Kloba (D-Kirkland).

The proposal would let anyone over 21 grow six cannabis plants, with a limit of 15 plants per household.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board would not regulate home grows and police say it would be tough for them to enforce the rules.

“We’ve seen very dangerous and violent home invasion robberies. We also have significant concerns over diversion of home grown marijuana into the illicit market,” said James MacMahon of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

Opponents are also concerned about kids.

“With home grows, youth will obviously have more access to marijuana,” said Seth Dawson of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse Prevention.

The pot shop industry is not worried about losing customers.

After all, homebrews and craft brews are good for the beer business.

“It is our hope that with the ability for people to cultivate cannabis at home, they will be more interested in the plant, its cultivation and its quality,” said Lara Kaminsky of The Cannabis Alliance.

Similar bills in the past have not made it through the legislature.