Don’t let Fear of the Feds Block Civil Liberty Home Grow

by Dominic Corva, Social Science Research Director

My previous two posts addressed the barriers to change embodied in the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s regulated home grow feasibility study; and offered the comments of I 502 architect Alison Holcomb as material evidence that their language concerning the “spirit of I 502” is objectionable and must be removed before submitting to the legislature.

It’s important to remember as the public hearing approaches, that the WSLCB is asking for feedback on their regulated home grow options, not asking for public input on how to do home grow. Thus, how you respond is very important. There’s room to note that civil liberty home grow, which is what is normal in 7 other states and the nation’s capital, is the only way forward for home grow.

But it’s always important to push back against the arguments presented against home grow, in the feasibility study but also, the words being spoken by stakeholders against home grow to whom the WSLCB listens disproportionately, on account of the lobbying dollars and expertise.

The Feds are not coming after State-compliant legal cannabis businesses

I’ve said it before, at the beginning of the year when now-fired White House staffer Sean Spicer sparked a panic, and I’ll say it again — and you should say it to the LCB.

The Feds are not coming after State-compliant legal cannabis businesses

That’s right. Seven States and the District of Colombia have civil liberties home grow and The Feds are not coming after State-compliant legal cannabis businesses.

Don’t let Washington State’s industry lobbyists tell the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board that they will. Because they won’t, no matter what Jeff Sessions “quips” about (as Cole memo author James Cole characterized it very, very recently).

The most influential industry voice to the WSLCB is the Washington Cannabusiness Association, or WACA. Their spokesperson was quoted last week objecting to home grow, regulated or otherwise, on the fearful grounds that doing so might invite Federal intervention against Washington State’s legal market. I’ve covered this argument before, but see for yourself how WACA is using that argument in its response to the feasibility study:

“If you ask licensed pot growers and retail owners, many of them are opposed.

“Our members are very concerned about the possibility of loosening regulations to allow the general public to grow cannabis at home,” Aaron Pickus said.

Pickus is speaking for The Washington Cannabusiness Association [WACA], which represents about 70 marijuana companies. The groups says they are more worried about the feds than any financial impact to the industry.”

Unfortunately, WACA is not the only industry group that refuses to support home grow. Even industry groups with (some) leadership that insists on civil liberty home grow, like the Cannabis Farmer’s Council (CFC), has to follow the direction of its membership, consisting of producers who may view home grow as competition.

In fact, the Cannabis Alliance is the only industry group pushing civil liberty home grow to the WSLCB and the Legislature. I will be posting their letter to the WSLCB concerning home grow shortly.