Despite widespread optimism in the cannabis community that the time for home grows in Washington had finally come, the two home grow companion bills in the state’s House and Senate have failed to advance past key legislative deadlines.
HB 1131 and SB 5155, both bi-partisan bills, would have allowed Washingtonians over the age of 21 to grow up to six cannabis plants at their private residence. The bills died after a last-ditch effort by state Sen. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) to insert the language of the home grow bill into other cannabis proposals on the Senate floor.
The development continues to leave Washington as the only state with adult-use cannabis access where citizens cannot grow their own cannabis plants.
“It really came down to some of the Democratic leadership continuing to block our reform. Thankfully some of our strongest opposition, namely Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, will be stepping aside next year, so we are hopeful we can advance these same bills in the 2020 legislative session with a more cannabis friendly Speaker.” — Don Skakie of Homegrow Washington, in an interview
Home grow was originally excluded from Washington’s legalization proposal as a strategy both to push consumers toward buying from state-licensed stores, thus generating more taxes for the state, and to make legalization more attractive to on-the-fence voters.
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