Search Results for: I-502

Revised I-502 Rules Would Allow 10 Marijuana Retail Shops In Kitsap County

WASHINGTON: Under revised rules proposed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, a maximum of 334 state-licensed retail outlets for recreational marijuana — including 10 in Kitsap County — would be allowed under implementation of Initiative 502. Other licensing restrictions would prevent large commercial interests from establishing monopoly control of the marijuana production, processing or retailing sectors. [Read more…]

Bank Of America Says “Yes” To Washington’s I-502 Cannabis Money. But What About To I-502 Licensees?

WASHINGTON: It’s official. Bank of America (BOA) takes no issue with accepting I-502 money from the State of Washington. Currently, BOA holds and manages the State’s main bank accounts. While the Feds have not given a green light to banks to allow for transparent banking in the cannabis industry, BOA seems confident that it won’t run into any issues in the future by virtue of only handling the State’s pot dollars. [Read more…]

Bank Of America Says “Yes” To Washington’s I-502 Cannabis Money. But What About To I-502 Licensees?

WASHINGTON: It’s official. Bank of America (BOA) takes no issue with accepting I-502 money from the State of Washington. Currently, BOA holds and manages the State’s main bank accounts. While the Feds have not given a green light to banks to allow for transparent banking in the cannabis industry, BOA seems confident that it won’t run into any issues in the future by virtue of only handling the State’s pot dollars. [Read more…]

Cannabis Industry Ambassador-At-Large: Twenty22Many Art Auction

Twenty22Many is a Washington-based Veterans group, born out of the old Medical Marijuana Collective model that preceded recreational cannabis in Washington State.

The mission of the Twenty22Many is “By All Means Necessary – End Veteran Suicide.” Founder Patrick Saint, and other volunteer veterans are committed to raising awareness about the extremely high suicide rates among our military veterans — it is reported that 22 daily suicides occur daily in America.

Patrick and his group of Veteran volunteers turned to Washington State’s newly licensed recreational cannabis community for help. Together, they created the Twenty22Many Veteran Support Depot Program to offer vets a safe haven and access to resources.

If a veteran walks through the door of a participating retailer in need of anything, they will be given a flyer with valuable contact information on it.  Once contacted, Twenty22Many will promptly dispatch a veteran volunteer and resources to that veteran in need.  Twenty22Many Veteran Support Depot Program essentially converts participating I-502 stores into little Veteran hubs all over the state.

I grew up in a military family. Both my father and a sister served in the armed forces, and so I was especially excited to join Twenty22Many at their annual fundraiser as a guest of the founder.  The auction was held at Heylo Cannabis Extractions in Sodo Seattle.

These works are like DMT meet LSD

These works are like DMT meet LSD

The evening started off with an art auction. The featured artist was Adream, whose work is so detailed and inspiring. These works were both colorful and spiritual in some mystical way — like DMT meet LSD.

I also attended a glass blowing event earlier, hosted by Weekend Unlimited, Jerome Baker Designs and Leafly. Jason Harris of JBD Glass graciously donated a wonderful JBD bong to Patrick and Twenty22Many for auction at the evening event.

 

Jason Harris of JBD Glass so graciously donated a wonderful JBD bong to Patrick and the Twenty22Many.

Jason Harris of JBD Glass so graciously donated a wonderful JBD bong to Patrick and the Twenty22Many.

I was given the extreme honor to present Patrick with a Challenge Coin. In the military, challenge coins are often offered to visiting dignitaries or guest of a unit or platoon.  This particular coin was given to me by Four-Star General “Skip” Dreps, a well-known Veterans advocate who works with the Disabled Veterans of the Pacific Northwest. General Dreps is a good friend of Jake The Professor who always jumps at the chance to help his fellow brothers in arms.

Thank you to Heylo Canbabis Extractions, the Space Shuttle, and Twenty22Many for helping us understand the needs of the veterans community and offering us an opportunity help.

Patrick Saint and Twenty22Many need our support to carry out this very important mission. I invite you to work with us to reduce suicide rates within the Veterans community.  Please reach out to Twenty22Many in Olympia to participate in this life saving program.

 

Meet Jake The Professor: Cannabis Industry Ambassador At Large

By David Rheins

WASHINGTON: Jake Dimmock wears a lot of hats. Literally. He also juggles a lot of roles and responsibilities in Seattle’s cannabis community: posing with customers and VIPs as the face of swanky pot shop Diego Pellicer; making the scene as the well-dressed social media gadfly Jake the Professor, broadcasting his live reports from canna events large and small.

2017-12-17 20.05.44

Jake with artist Michael Guttsen at the Dope Industry Awards

A seminal figure in Seattle’s cannabis scene – Jake was co-founder of Seattle’s best-known MMJ dispensary, Northwest Patient Resource Center (NWPRC), with John Davis, and a longtime patients advocate and caregiver long before pot was legal or fashionable.  When Washington migrated its medical marijuana dispensaries into the newly created I-502 adult use system, Jake transitioned smoothly serving as budtender extraordinaire first at Uncle Ikes, and later Diego Pellicer.

Jake with MJBA Papers copy

MJBA Cannabis Industry Ambassador at Large

With his vast knowledge of cannabis, his southern charm, his natural ease with people and multi-generational appeal, Jake the Professor was a natural to be named the first “Cannabis Industry Ambassador at Large” for the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA).  As the association for cannabis business’ first Ambassador at Large, Dimmock will represent the trade group at high profile events and functions.

 

Jake and Bang Kitty Bang

Jake and Bang Kitty Bang

On any given day, thousands tune in to watch Jake The Professor on Instagram – donning his sartorial splendor and brushing out his impressive white beard as the charismatic king of social media, the charming Southerner holds court from the retail floor at Diego Pellicer’s, as cannabis VIPs from former Presidents to PinUp Girls come by pay homage and get their photo snapped.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMM4P2OvgFg&w=560&h=315]

Dimmock has recently taken his act on the road, serving as host of Jerome Baker’s Bongzilla in Las Vegas during the recent Champs Show.

jake the professor with mints

He has been approached to be the “face” of a number of legal cannabis products and is considering his options as legal cannabis expands coast to coast.

Look for upcoming appearances by Jake The Professor and fellow canna celebrity Bang Kitty Bang at the Bongzilla party in Seattle on 4/21.

Bonzilla

Kokane Launches ‘Don’t Go’ With Hi-Tunes High Rise Video

WASHINGTON: How much higher can you get?  Well, if you are socially-conscious hip hop artist Kokane, the answer is 39 stories high above the Seattle waterfront.

Signing the deal with Hi-Tunes

Signing the deal with Hi-Tunes

Kokane and crew — Seattle producers — Chris Pack, Zac Levine and Milo Eubank — were recently spotted shooting a music video on the highest outdoor patio in Seattle — the HQ of Hi-Tunes — where they were cutting the deal to become the first song released on the Hi-Tunes platform.

The campaign was the brainchild of Hi-Tunes founder Scott McKinley, who was inspired by a “Higher” a tribute song that the artist wrote about his deal with Hi-Tunes. “Our video shoot with the Legendary Kokane was a huge success,” McKinley told MJ News Network. “The whole day fell in place beautifully — from the weather to the network of people that showed up — we couldn’t have asked for a better shoot.”

Kokane Launches ‘Higher’ With Hi-Tunes High Rise Video Shoot

Kokane Launches ‘Don’t Go’ Featuring Snoop Dogg With Hi-Tunes

As part of the historic music distribution deal, “Don’t Go” featuring Snoop Dogg , will be marketed along with two kief pre-rolls, and sold through Washington legal pot shops.  A special QR code on the label sends consumers to the Hi-Tunes web site where they can stream and download the song, and participate in other band engagements.  The release is scheduled to debut at i-502 retailer Emerald Leaves, where the climax of the video – a fan meet and greet — will be shot.

 

at the Hi-Tunes HQ

at the Hi-Tunes HQ

Hi-Tunes is leveraging digital technology to create innovative distribution channels linking artists with a vast array of marketable products.  By embedding their music into a multitude of consumer purchases, Hi-Tunes provides musical artists with new revenue streams generated from their music sales, plus greater ability to target specific audience segments, and gain valuable insights into consumption behavior and market dynamics.

 

Personal Cultivation Of Cannabis: Constitutional Concerns And The Cole Memo

By Bailey Hirschburg

The following is one section of a report presented by Washington NORML to the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) regarding their study of regulatory options for home growing. WA NORML’s full report, “Personal Cultivation of Cannabis: A look at policy alternatives” can be found here:

The study was mandated by recently by law (SB5131), and directs a “study of regulatory options for the legalization of marijuana plant possession and cultivation” by the LCB, directing the use of guidelines from a 2013 Department of Justice memorandum outlining federal expectations of state-legal marijuana policies as a guide. Written by then-deputy Attorney General James Cole, this document is widely referred to as the “Cole Memo.”

The LCB is taking public comment on their regulatory options, found here . Email your comments to rules@lcb.wa.govby October 11th to see they’re included in the study’s public response.

EXCERPT:

When Washington legalized adult possession in 2012 through I-502, only the state of Alaska had any decriminalization of personal cultivation. Today, seven states have as well as the District of Columbia have legalized not just possession and use, but some form of cultivation. All are been treated as complying with the Cole Memo, meaning a compliant policy is not only feasible, but common.

Many of the Cole Memo’s priorities are sensible and existed in the intent and language of Washington’s legalization initiative before the memo was issued, including prohibiting access to minors, stringently regulating impaired driving, and studying legalization’s social impacts. However, basing state law on this document over other arguments is untenable. It clearly reads: “This memorandum is not intended, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter civil or criminal.” The Washington State Senate Committee Services’ published guide to legislators fails to directly address this statement in it’s summary of the Cole Memo. Combined with the abnormal size of SB5131, this means some lawmakers may not have been clear on the risks inherent in basing a study about rights on a non-binding opinion of commercial markets.

Furthermore, the memo offers a relevant example of where state enforcement typically supersedes federal action. “the Department of Justice has not historically devoted resources to prosecuting individuals whose conduct is limited to possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use on private property. Instead, the Department has left such lower-level or localized activity to state and local authorities and has stepped in to enforce the CSA only when the use, possession, cultivation, or distribution of marijuana has threatened to cause one of the harms identified above.”

The Cole Memo aside, a simple argument for allowing home growing is found in Washington’s Constitution “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” Washington Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson noted “The broad language in article I, section 7 will always require that official interferences with the private affairs of residents are governed by precise and predetermined legal principles. But by allowing for disturbances made with the authority of law, the framers also allowed future generations to play a role in shaping their privacy rights, provided the relevant constitutional limitations are respected.”

This right to privacy is woven into our civic fabric, and fairly extends to a plant adults can and do possess in homes across the state. The scent or appearance of marijuana is no longer a crime, and the state lacks a compelling interest in policing small gardens. The cultivation and use of cannabis doesn’t damage or block another’s rights. The state can only continue this practice with a clear explanation of why constitutional law allows this authority.

The Cole Memo guidelines are largely sensible, and based on the priorities of I-502. Some sections discuss specific issues in depth, but most would not be impacted by legal home growing. As of September 2017, those guidelines are:

1. Preventing distribution to minors. (Included in I-502, see “Impact on Youth”)

2. Preventing the revenue from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels. (Included in I-502, see “Intent of I-502”)

3. Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to other states. (Not addressed in I-502. (Home growing poses minimal threat due to the costs in transporting and risks for arrest in distributing. Though law enforcement typically calculates seized marijuana value on final street price per individual sale, growers not distributing themselves often sell in less-profitable wholesale price. See “Academic Findings on Personal Cultivation”)

4. Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity. (Not addressed in I-502. Because the sight and smell of marijuana is no longer a crime, nor are cooperative or medical marijuana grows, this will be an issue of concern regardless of legalization of home grows. However, clear guidelines for police and the public assists in focusing investigatory resources on active threats to the guidelines. See “Marijuana Legalization and Nosy Neighbor States”)

5. Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. (Not addressed in I-502. If all adults can grow cannabis in private it will reduce the likelihood of violent crime in/around marijuana licensees or currently illegal personal cultivation sites.)

6. Preventing drugged driving and other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use. (Included in I-502 in the form of revenue directed to public education and research. Home grows offer a source of safe cannabis that doesn’t require driving after purchase of a seed/plant clone. Rates of impaired driving have never been examined based on a consumer’s sourcing of cannabis.)

7. Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands. (Included in I-502, Washington state continues to receive marijuana eradication funding from the DEA. By licensing production and processing Washington continues to focus on larger-scale, criminally organized public grows. Cultivating fewer than 20 plants on public lands is not common, but risk of arrest means those growing for themselves are motivated to do so away from their own property. See “Impact on Law Enforcement” & “Impact on Other Issues”)

8. Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property. (Included in I-502, as the initiative highlighted the difference between federal and state laws and created appropriate areas of possession and use it made the risk of possession or use on federal property less appealing. Home growing continues that trend.)

Finally, even with the best of intentions, legal challenges to a law based on a memorandum is potentially fatal to an entire law. It’s unclear if the state could even show the memo as evidential in court.

Report: Teen Marijuana Use, Treatment Admissions Fall In Washington State Post-Legalization

WASHINGTON: The regulation of adult cannabis use in Washington is not associated with any increase in teens’ marijuana consumption or abuse rates, according to a report to the state legislature compiled by researchers at the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

Authors reported that rates of current marijuana use and lifetime marijuana use have fallen among young people since lawmakers enacted legalization in 2012. These declines were most pronounced among 8th and 10th graders.

Among adults, rates of cannabis use have increased. However, there has been no corresponding rise in adults’ use of alcohol or tobacco, or in the number of adults seeking treatment for marijuana abuse during this time period.

Researchers concluded: “We found no evidence that I-502 enactment, on the whole, affected cannabis abuse treatment admissions. … [and] we found no evidence that the amount of legal cannabis sales affected youth substance use or attitudes about cannabis or drug-related criminal convictions.”

Separate studies from Colorado and Oregon similarly report that the enactment of adult use marijuana regulations has not adversely impacted youth use patterns in those states.

David Rheins Keynote Address At Indiana Cannabis Chat 1.0

The following is a transcript of MJBA Executive Director David Rheins’ keynote speech at Indiana Cannabis Chat 1.0, last week’s educational mixer held at the historic Antelope Club in downtown Indianapolis.  The event was produced put by the Indiana Libertarian Party of Marion County, and sponsored by Curved Papers.


Thank you, it is an honor to be able to address this historic first Indiana Cannabis Chat 1.0 event.

As Chris mentioned, my name is Dave Rheins. I am the founder and executive director of the Marijuana Business Association, or MJBA.  MJBA is a national trade organization serving the legal cannabis industry.  We represent hundreds of licensed cannabis businesses and the many professional services companies upon whom they rely.  We support grassroots communities in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and New York/New Jersey with plans to add more as new legal states like California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine come online.

We host professional networking meetups, educational panels, seminars and workshops, host job fairs and vendor fairs, and run several cannabis-related media sites, including MJHeadlineNews, Marijuana Channel One and the MJNewsNetwork.

I am a Hoosier, born and raised in Indiana.  I grew up in Indianapolis, graduated North Central and Indiana University, where I studied Journalism and English.

I spent my professional career at the intersection of popular culture, technology and commerce at places like Rolling Stone, SPIN and AOL Time Warner.  My work with the MJBA is a natural part of that continuum.  Pot Culture is Pop Culture.

MJBA was founded in 2012, before Colorado or Washington passed their historic voter initiatives legalizing adult personal use of cannabis, creating the first regulated pot marketplaces.

After 80 years of prohibition, our challenge was to create, from the ground up, a system of producing, processing and retailing a heretofore illicit product. Not only did we need to put in place the mechanisms of a whole new marketplace, we needed to reintegrate the underground cannabis industry and lifestyle into the mainstream economy.  Normalization is our greatest challenge.

Legalization came by way of voter initiative, not legislation. Meaning that the people and not the political parties heralded in this enormous societal change. In fact, no major politician supported Washington’s I-502 or Colorado’s Proposition 64. And when both passed, the state was mandated to create a system for regulating, taxing and supervising this nascent industry.  Every new legal state has had to create a system of commerce – and a regulatory schema that worked.  Each of the 8 legal states has its own idiosyncratic set of rules and regs, and within each state, counties and municipalities add their own layer of rules and taxes, or in some case opt out of legal pot altogether.  Your participation in the education and advocacy in your community is crucial.

The challenge has been enormous, made only more difficult due to the complexities of federal prohibition – which restricts the growth of the industry by inhibiting its access to those things it needs to grow: everything from simple banking and commercial capital, to medical research.  Legal cannabis businesses operate at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to taxation.  IRS Code Section 280-E restricts these state-regulated and legal businesses from deducting anything beyond simple COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), and the resultant high tax level making profitability elusive indeed.

Federally, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.  Federal prohibition has resulted in a crazy-quilted patchwork of state industries, no two alike, as every state government, and every community within these legal jurisdictions decide what legal cannabis will look like.  And it is here that there is the greatest opportunity for the entrepreneur and independent investor.

It is at the state and local level that decisions are being made as to what legal products will be available, how they are grown, tested for quality and safety, packaged, distributed, advertised, marketed, sold and taxed.  Decisions about potency, are being made by local participants in each community.  Early entrants are uniquely being given the opportunity to define the marketplace.  While our cannabis revolution is national, and indeed international in scope – the biggest opportunities are local.

 Indiana will have the opportunity to build the legal cannabis marketplace that works best for its citizenry.

Let’s level set the business opportunity.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, A total of 29 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs.  In addition, 17 states allow use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical reasons in limited situations or as a legal defense. Those programs are not counted as comprehensive medical marijuana programs.

Indiana’s House Bill 1148 would legalize the use of cannabidiol for patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The oil is derived from the cannabis plant but would be allowed to contain only up to .3 percent THC.

Eight states and the District of Columbia now have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use.

The legal cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in our economy. Tens of thousands of new licensed cannabis companies have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and generated hundreds of millions in new tax revenues.

According to New Frontier Data, legal consumer spending across North America grew 34 percent in 2016 to $6.7 billion and can be expected to grow at a 27 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years, to $22.6 billion in 2021

“While the uncertainty created by the mixed signals coming out of the Administration may cause a temporary dip in some valuations of cannabis companies and some more risk-averse institutional investors and multinational companies may continue to stay on the sidelines, it won’t impact the growth of the market much at all,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of ArcView Market Research. “No matter what the administration does, states will continue to issue cannabis licenses to a long line of applicants and licensed cannabis outlets will continue to have long lines of consumers ready to purchase this product from regulated establishments.”

More facts:

  • North Americans spent $56.1 billion on legal and illicit cannabis products in 2016, about half of the $105 billion they spent on beer. But only $6.7 billion of that was spent legally and 87 percent of that came from just five states and Canada;
  • Growth in legal cannabis sales has already eroded the illicit market. This erosion will greatly accelerate in 2018 with the arrival of legalized adult-use programs in North America’s two biggest markets, California and Canada. Meanwhile, the 20 states without legal cannabis programs contributed nothing to the accelerating erosion of the illicit market;
  • Voters in Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota passed medical cannabis initiatives in 2016.  This means that 63 percent of Americans can legally obtain cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation;
  • Voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine passed adult-use measures in 2016. This more than tripled the portion of Americans that will be able to purchase cannabis without a doctor’s recommendation in their home state to 21 percent; Compound annual growth rates above 50 percent since adult-use legalization in Colorado and Washington drew significant new segments of the investment community into the legal cannabis industry in 2016, driving triple-digit gains in public stocks and double-digit gains in capital raised by operating companies and a growing group of cannabis-focused investment funds;

For Hoosier investors who want to capture some of the industry’s rapid financial growth, but aren’t able or don’t want to get involved with plant-touching firms that grow or sell cannabis and products still prohibited under federal law, lots of opportunities exist.   Here are some of my favorites:

    • Real Estate
    • Logistics/Distribution
    • Software
    • Security
    • Lighting
    • Soil
    • Hardware: big ag tech for growers, extraction machines for processors, and point of sale for retail; consumer products (vapes and accessories)
    • Nutrients and hydroponics
    • Testing, Labs & Quality control
    • Genetics
    • Packaging
    • Branding, Marketing and promotion
    • Business Intelligence
    • Professional services – Legal, Accounting, Business planning
    • Investment – penny stocks, equity and debt investment

Hemp is the most immediate opportunity for Hoosiers.

According to Vote Hemp approximately 9,650 acres of hemp crops were planted in 15 states during 2016 in the U.S., 30 universities conducted research on hemp cultivation, and 817 State hemp licenses were issued across the country. This hemp cultivation is legal in 32 states, which have lifted restrictions on hemp farming and may license farmers to grow hemp in accordance with Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, the Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research amendment.

Historically: Indiana has had a long and proud hemp history.  In 1930, it was the third largest crop grown in the state. And in 1940, there were six hemp processing plants in Indiana alone.

Hemp was grown widely until the 1970s Controlled Substances Act. 2 acres of hemp were cultivated in Indiana last year for research purposes.

Today:  Indiana Hemp Law   Year Passed: 2014 Summary: Senate Bill 357 authorizes state regulators to begin the process of licensing farmers to grow hemp commercially.The American Farm Bureau led by the Indiana Farm Bureau recently endorsed ending the federal prohibition on industrial hemp at its annual meeting in January.

Most recently, the US House of Representatives approved language in the federal Farm Bill to allow pilot studies specific to hemp cultivation to take place in states that have authorized them. Indiana’s farmers ought to be able to take advantage of this pending change in federal law.
Statute:
 Ind. Code § 15-15-13-7 (2014)

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Indiana’s first medical cannabis legislation in April. It legalizes cannabidiol or CBD – for the treatment of epilepsy.

How will Growing & Processing of CBD be governed in Indiana?

Kentucky grew more than 2500 acres of hemp last year, making it the second largest producer behind Colorado. The Hemp CBD representing $130 million in sales in 2016 with growth at a 53% AGR (Adjusted Growth Revenue).

CannaFest Destiny:

A recent editorial in the Indy Star from Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, whom I understand will be in this same hall tomorrow, acknowledges that legalization is sweeping the country and the unstoppable trend is headed this way.  Legalization is coming to Indiana, sooner than you think.

The question for you thought-leaders in the audience should be HOW to get in on the ground floor of this emerging market.  We suggest that you start by 1) Getting Informed 2) Getting Connected  3 )Activating attend conferences, organize more Cannabis Chats and join groups – political and business.


See related article: http://mjnewsnetwork.com/events/cannafest-destiny-tour-stops-at-first-church-of-cannabis-in-indy-on-june-13th-2018/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grow-less In Seattle: A Tale Of Two Home Growing Bills

By Bailey Hirschburg

WASHINGTON: If you’ve been following legalization in Washington,  you probably know that we’re the only one of the eight legal states (plus the District of Columbia) that does not allow adults to grow their own cannabis at home.

Initiative 502’s authors decided to drop home grow, in an effort to broaden its appeal. Washington’s initiative passed in 2012 with 56% of the vote — the same as Colorado whose law includes personal cultivation — a missed opportunity.

In the years that followed, political action in Olympia focused first on setting up the first crop of licensed growers, processors, and retailers. Then, legislators turned their attention to reforming the state’s medical marijuana laws, eliminating largely unregulated collectives in favor of registered co-ops, and offering the largest cannabis gardens and biggest retail discounts to patients registered with Washington’s Department of Health.

Nearly four and a half years after Washington picked a new approach to personal cannabis use,  we’re only now talking about personal cultivation and so there was a lot of anticipation coming into the Commerce and Gaming Committee’s hearings on house bills 1092 and 1212 last Monday. The two home grow bills are basically the same, both legalizing cultivation for adults 21 and older. HB1092, sponsored by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23rd), has been discussed and promoted more in the greener corners of the internet.

Appleton has been supportive of cannabis reform for several years, and is known as a genuine ally. Her bill is short and straightforward, and allows houses with more than one person over 21 to have up to 12 plants while retaining up to 48 ounces of harvested cannabis. Based solely on plant count, its easy to call Appleton’s bill the best one.

But HB1212, sponsored by Rep. Brian Blake (D-19th), while allowing only 6 plants and 24 ounces per house, has some benefits Appleton’s bill lacks. First, it legalizes sharing and gifting of cannabis between adults, a little-enforced, but still felony offense in the state. Blake’s bill would also allow adults, patients, and caregivers to contract with laboratories directly to have their cannabis plants scientifically tested for potency and contaminants. Both sharing and individual testing would benefit patients and recreational growers.

HB1212 also restructures possession offenses for cannabis generally, possession of more than six plants but less than 18 would be a civil infraction for every excess plant. Over 18 plants is a misdemeanor, and 40 or more is a felony.

Rep. Blake’s legislation has two more benefits, first, Blake sits on the Commerce and Gaming Committee, well positioned to push for its passage. The second is more speculative, but when there are two bills dealing with cannabis, I’ve found he conservatively worded is more likely to gain support.

At Monday’s hearing many of those speaking in support were patients and their families. Also present were cannabis licensees and industry representatives. Those speaking in opposition were Rick Garza from Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board and Seth Dawson representing Washington Association for Substance Abuse Prevention.

As a lobbyist for Washington NORML PAC, I was the only person to testify as a recreational consumer and prospective grower. My argument was similar to those made by others: the rest of the legal states already allow for home grow; it keeps police resources focused on large scale trafficking and violent crime; and most of us won’t be Cannabis Cup level master growers.

But I made one more argument that no one else did. Section 7 of our state constitution reads “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” Maybe the state once had a valid interest in violating homes for a plant, I said, but not when voters rejected prohibition. You don’t have to like cannabis to agree that our constitution thinks the homes and affairs of its citizens should be sacred.

Following the hearing several committee members said they were interested in passing one of the bills, a republican member said he was more likely to support 1212 than 1092. If the majority of the committee votes “Do Pass” on either bill it will advance to another committee, eventually having to pass the house, and do the whole process again in the state senate.

No state has legalized personal cultivation outside of the ballot box, so just making the case to one committee in one chamber of the legislature brings Washington one step closer to making cannabis history.

Watch the hearing on TVW:

Contact members of the Commerce and Gaming Committee here and urge passage of either HB1092 or HB1212.

  • David.Sawyer@leg.wa.gov
  • Shelley.Kloba@leg.wa.gov
  • Cary.Condotta@leg.wa.gov
  • Brandon.Vick@leg.wa.gov
  • Andrew.Barkis@leg.wa.gov
  • Brian.Blake@leg.wa.gov
  • Jessyn.Farrell@leg.wa.gov
  • Bill.Jenkin@leg.wa.gov
  • Steve.Kirby@leg.wa.gov
  • Cindy.Ryu@leg.wa.gov
  • Jesse.Young@leg.wa.gov