Most legal states are vertically integrated, with farms allowed to sell to end users in some form. This isn’t the case in Washington State, but discussions are in the works for everything from farm-to-consumer cannabis to legal home growing.
Rick Garza (director of the Washington LCB) and Steve Marks (director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission), stirred up a lot of questions and debates within the cannabis industry this past month. The conversation started during the 2019 Cannabis Collaborative Conference when Garza stated that Washington will consider allowing small producers/farms to sell directly to the consumer.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, “Both marijuana czars [Rick and Steve] spoke of coming changes to each state’s program in response to ongoing oversupply issues that are causing problems for cannabis companies. Garza attributed some of the financial difficulties facing small farmers to the lack of vertical integration in the market.”
If it were to pass, this would allow smaller farms to sell their products much like how wineries and breweries can. The idea of going to a farmers market outside of town and buying some local homegrown pot is very enticing for some users, and could suit many farms.
Responses flooded comment boards on multiple media platforms with feedback ranging from positive to negative. Some stated that “Big Business” won’t let that happen. Others are very excited about the possibilities that such a change could offer.
It brings a lot of questions to the table. While the future of any legislation is still unknown, there are sure to be many obstacles along the way for any direct to consumer cannabis programs in Washington.
A Bill for Homegrown Legalization?
Another topic with Washington cannabis laws is the two bills that were introduced this year which would give adults twenty-one and over the right to grow up to six plants at home for personal use.
The bill which you can read here, goes into detail on what the bill actually is and what is proposed. John Kingsbury, an advocate with Homegrow Wahington told The Stranger,
“I am absolutely convinced that if we get this to the floor we can get it passed, Home grow advocates want cannabis to be treated just like wine or beer. You don’t need a permit from the state to brew a beer at home, so why should you need one to grow a couple of cannabis flowers?”
The article (full story) goes into more detail about the bill and how it does not require permits or tracking requirements from the LCB when it comes to homegrown pot.