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Bill In Washington State Would Legalize Growing Recreational Cannabis At Home

OLYMPIA, WA – Lawmakers in the state of Washington have taken another step toward approving a bill that would permit cultivation of recreational cannabis at home, Cannabis Science and Technology reported.

On Monday, the legislature’s House Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee passed HB 2194 by a 7-4 vote.  The measure, which now goes to the House Appropriations Committee, would allow the at-home cultivation of cannabis plants for non-medical uses in the state.  People age 21 and older would be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use, or 10 plants maximum per household. Currently, only cultivation for medical uses is allowed in the state, and patients can grow six plants, or up to 15 with a physician’s approval.

Washington is among five states with legal cannabis laws that does not allow cultivation at home. “This is a long time coming,” said Representative Shelley Kloba, D-Kirkland, the main sponsor of the bill. “It really does emphasize that it is for personal use only.  Many other states have done it. It is time for us to do it.”  A similar measure proposed last year did not make it out of committee.

Those who cultivate cannabis are required to be homeowners, under the measure.  Renters of apartments or condos would not be permitted to cultivate within their home because they are not regarded as homeowners.

Over a dozen states currently allow residents to legally grow a few plants at home.  Some opponents of the previous bill proposed in Washington expressed concern that cultivation at home could cause a decline in cannabis tax revenues.  But Kloba said she did not believe the measure would be a threat to sales in the retail cannabis industry.

Growing marijuana is currently a Class C felony in Washington unless someone is a registered medical marijuana patient, carrying up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

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