Legalizing Cannabis Personal Home Growing in Washington

home grown medical cannabis

If a person can legally buy a bottle of beer, they should be able to brew their own. If a person can buy a bag of cannabis, they should be able to grow their own. But we residents of the Evergreen State are left, if you will, seedless in Seattle.

Of all the states that have legalized cannabis, Washington is the only one that still does not let its adults, 21 and over, grow their own cannabis plants at home for either recreational or medical purposes. When the law was written and voted on in 2012, lawmakers did not include a provision for this. Granted, it was literally the first legal cannabis law in the history of the United States, and most of the world. But this oversight has stayed with Washington ever since, and it has only recently been revisited by lawmakers.

A Plethora of Misinformation

But you’ll find it hard to convince legislature to change the law. Prohibiting people from growing their own weed means more people purchasing in stores. By keeping home grows illegal, they see it as more tax money for the state.

Not only is this an egregious stance on cannabis law, it is also quite a bit of an oversight. I’ll take it back to my first analogy of home brewing beer. Any Washingtonian age 21 or over has access to home brewing supplies. Home brewing is also much, much cheaper in the long run than going to the store and buying a six pack. By that logic, pubs and liquor stores should be out of business, because everyone is brewing their own! And yet, only a miniscule amount of Washingtonians brew their own beer. This is because buying a case is much easier and more convenient.

The same can be said for cannabis. Cultivating takes time, patience, and lots of hard work. This, combined with the fact that most people don’t want to dedicate a place on their property to some large, bushy cannabis plants that will either take up a room inside, or stink up the neighborhood and arouse suspicion outside. We believe that most people would still choose the convenience of coming into Mary Jane’s House of Grass and picking up some premium weed!

Making a Change

So legalize home growing of cannabis in Washington State. It’s a mockery of cannabis legalization that we are not allowed the same freedom of other states. Those who choose to grow their own should be allowed, and those who don’t want to, don’t have to!

I encourage you to reach out and contact your state senators. Tell them that this is an important issue to you, and that your voting will be impacted by their stance on this issue. The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) makes it easy to contact them, just go here!

As always, stop into Mary Jane’s House of Grass and ask your friendly budtenders about anything cannabis related, including growing at home, medical and recreational uses, and local laws and ordinances. We’re experts, and we love to educate.

See you soon!

-Budtender Matt

How Marijuana is Regulated in Washington

marijuana regulations WA Washington State law, WSLCB

Medical and recreational cannabis are now legal in the State of Washington, but there are strict regulations in place to protect everyone involved from the growers, to the marijuana stores in Vancouver, to you, the consumer. So what rules are in place to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved?

For starters, if you’ve visited in marijuana store in Vancouver you’ll know that you must be 21 years or older to legally purchase and possess cannabis. In fact, if cannabis is sold to a minor under 18 years old, this person is subject to up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Just like alcohol, cannabis is a well-regulated substance. However, the restrictions are even more limiting. In addition to the age minimum, there are also purchasing restrictions. In Washington, if you enter a marijuana store in Vancouver or another city, you are limited to purchasing up to one ounce of recreational cannabis flower, as well as 16 ounces of solid, marijuana-infused edibles, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of concentrate. However, medical marijuana purchasers can obtain up to 24 ounces of bud and grow up to 15 plants as long as they received a valid prescription from a licensed physician, and are purchasing from a medically endorsed dispensary.

Pesticides & Fertilizer

In Washington, the organization responsible for regulating and licensing cannabis is the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. This board evolved to ensure safe growing practices, distributions, sales, and consumption. They also work closely with other state agencies.

When gardening, it’s not uncommon for farmers to use pesticides to rid vulnerable plants of harmful insects to ensure the crop survives, and cannabis is not immune to these practices. In order to protect you, the board worked closely with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to compose a list of pesticides that meet specific criteria. While the list is not an endorsement or recommendation, it is a comprehensive guideline for pesticide use.

Ultimately, pesticides are allowed if, at a minimum:

  • They are registered with the EPA and WSDA.
  • The product label states it is safe to use on food crops.
  • The pesticide is used according to the specified instructions.

To see a comprehensive list of approved pesticides, visit the Washington State University Pesticide Information Center Online.

Similarly, if fertilizer is used to bolster plant growth, the used item must also be registered by WSDA. The ones specifically omitted from the list are those labeled for turf use only.

 

At Mary Jane’s House of Grass we are committed to purity and when we vett farms, we ensure they are using 100% natural pest control solutions.

Testing for THC & CBD

In Washington, it’s not enough for a cannabis grower to just list the THC levels of their strains and then pass it straight along to a marijuana store in Vancouver. Instead, following the approval of I-502, strains are first tested by a certified third-party laboratory. However, potency is not the only test performed. The third-party labs also perform required tests for microbial analysis, pesticide analysis, heavy metal analysis, and residual solvents.

Drugged Driving

While the purchase and consumption of medical and recreational medical marijuana is legal in the State of Washington, it is not permitted for individuals to consume cannabis in public. Similarly, since it does impair one’s senses, it is also illegal to drive drugged.

Similar to rules related to drinking and driving, a driver in Washington provides implied consent and, when pulled over, if an official deems a person has been driving drugged, this person can be subjected to breath or blood testing to determine if alcohol or drugs were indeed within the person’s system while he or she was operating a motor vehicle.

If convicted, even just one offense can lead to mandatory imprisonment, a hefty fine, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. In Washington, a motorist with detectable THC amounts above 5 ng/ml is guilty of DUID.

Dispensary Locations

To ensure a safe community setting, it is required that a cannabis dispensary must be at least 1000 feet from the following locations:

  • Elementary and secondary school
  • Playground
  • Recreation center
  • Child Care facility
  • Public park
  • Public transit center
  • Library
  • Game arcade

 

However, in some instances, local government can now alter this buffer and decrease the distance from 1000 feet to 100 feet.

Environmental Permits

Air quality is regulated in tandem by various agencies and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Both the production and processing of cannabis are sources of odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can negatively impact the environment if not regulated. For this reason, growers may be required to have construction and air quality permits.

Similarly, growers may be able to discharge wastewater into local sewage treatment plants. But, if this is not allowed, a water quality permit is needed to protect surface and groundwater. They may also need a water rights permit.

Like all businesses, cannabis growers and dispensaries are subject to rules and regulations to ensure that the local environment is protected. In addition to the permits, cannabis and its waste cannot be burned and all waste that contains 10% or more THC is considered “dangerous waste” that is toxic and needs to be handled appropriately.

Before you ever step foot in your local marijuana store in Vancouver, the State of Washington imparts strict practices for growers, processors, and distributors to ensure public and environmental safety are first priority.

In addition to state requirements, at Mary Jane’s House of Grass we take things a step further and impart even stricter standards for products that come into our store. We want our customers to have an optimal experience whether they are purchasing bud, edibles, or oils. For this reason, we only offer the highest quality products developed by top-notch producers.