On October 4th, 2017, the Washington State Liquor and Control Board (WSLCB) held a public forum for an hour and 27 minutes, to hear the public’s testimony on cannabis homegrow regulation. 31 people stood in front of the regulatory body to speak their hearts and minds; some seemed to have ulterior motives and one who appeared not in touch with reality.
26 people testified to the three options presented by the WSLCB laid in their media release are unacceptable. Activist, patients, members of the industry, and private citizens all testified that there should be no regulation for what is considered homegrow, even though I would argue that plant limits are regulation, but in this scenario, it is the acceptable type of regulation.
The WSLCB also stated in their release that the Cole Memo needs to be referenced when considering options for regulation, but the Cole Memo itself says it will not be referenced nor is it concerned about grows for personal consumption, its worries about gangs and cartels, not Joe Blow.
Of the three that were blatantly against homegrows, 2 of the testimonies were from the banking industry and one from a woman who seemed coherent but when she spoke it was incoherent with no sound argument.
No surprises came when the banking industry testified with reefer madness; citing stretching law enforcement manpower ( which you won’t have to worry about it if it’s legal). Children’s access (Children get weed like they get liquor from willing adults); and diversion (which should rest on the shoulders of recreational, not my home). One statement stood out though. When Russell Rosendal of Salal Credit Union said that the three credit unions that are openly part of the cannabis industry have kept 500 million off the streets, so far. It seems to me that the banks are only looking at 500 million reasons why I shouldn’t grow, instead of my freedom or inalienable rights.
Two testimonies that made me roll my eyes were by people in the industry; one was from JinxProof. Who testified that if a person grows a bad plant (how will they know unless they learn from experience) that instead of smoking the plant they will turn it into BHO via “blasting it”, to me this left too much reefer madness in the boards mind along with playing on their ignorance since there are other ways to make concentrates. The next was from Jamal Hackler, he said nothing as wrong as Jinx, but together these are talking about certification programs that should apply to the recreational market, not my homegrow. Though as a point of contention, I would like to say that if there was to be a farmer creating a certification program in the State of Washington, that there could only be one choice and that’s Farmer Tom Lauerman, the only federally recognized organic cannabis farmer.
There was one surprise testimony, and that was from Randy Simmons, the former Deputy Director of The WSLCB, the man who started the cannabis portion of the WSLCB. Randy gave a tear-jerking testimony of how he supports unregulated homegrow after watching his wife die from cancer treatments knowing that cannabis could have helped her. He notes that Washington having unregulated homegrows is a small step towards the normalization of cannabis, ending ignorance and giving people chances.
The consensus of the rest of the testimonies was that the WSLCB regulate homegrows like homebrew. With the homebrew structure, one is allowed a certain amount of gallons with no authorities at all. As I sat there and listened to the opening statements and the following testimony, it occurred to me that there could be one more option, that the WSLCB regulate homegrows like medical.
The WSLCB neglects Washington’s previous 20-year medical marijuana history, and with that, there was a market. At one time Washington had homegrows but instead existed as medical marijuana. At one time I was able to walk into a dispensary, buy some flower, some concentrate, an edible, a plant, and seeds. At one time an open market existed, and people still walked away as millionaires, hell some are part of the I502 industry but regardless the market does not get hurt by homegrows.
What if the WSLCB regulated homegrows like it presently does medical marijuana, where the individual will be allowed to grow up to a certain amount like 14, but if I want to exceed that amount, it is then I would apply for a permit? This to me would be a meeting of the medical and recreational by expanding a type of enforcement already in place.
If you’re a Washington State resident there is still time to send your input to the WSLCB, just click here by October 11th and if you have time, watch the hearing to see how others word their argument but in the end let them know you support homegrows.