The U.S. federal government has notified officials in Chelan County, Washington that using the federal water supply to cultivate state-legal cannabis is illegal.
The U.S. Department of Interior issued a letter to Chelan County’s Department of Community Development, stating the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation cannot allow the use of water from the Columbia Basin Project for the production of marijuana, because cannabis remains a federally-prohibited substance.
Chelan County Commissioners Ron Walter, Keith Goehner and Doug England joined News Radio 560 KPQ‘s Steve Hair for a conversation about the letter and how extensive of an impact this may have on the region’s professional pot farmers.
“If you’re [growing cannabis] under an irrigation district that has federal funds involved, it would preclude you from using that water,” said Commissioner Goehner.
The Lake Chelan Reclamation District issued an email several months ago reminding farmers that “it was not legal to use Lake Chelan Reclamation water for growing marijuana,” Commissioner England said.
The Columbia Basin Project is an extensive irrigation network in Central Washington; the largest water reclamation project in the United States, it’s made possible by the Grand Coulee Dam.
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