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washington state weed growing laws

Home Grow Regulatory Options

Sec. 24. (1) The state liquor and cannabis board must conduct a study of regulatory options for the legalization of marijuana plant possession and cultivation by recreational marijuana users. In conducting the study, the state liquor and cannabis board must consider the federal guidelines provided by the Cole memorandum, issued by the United States department of justice on August 29, 2013, which allows individual states to implement marijuana legalization policies, provided such states enact strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems that address public safety, public health, and law enforcement concerns as outlined in the memorandum.

(2) Not later than December 1, 2017, the state liquor and cannabis board must provide the appropriate committees of the legislature written findings and recommendations regarding the adoption and implementation of a regulatory and enforcement system for the legalization of marijuana plant possession and cultivation by recreational marijuana users, in light of the guidelines set forth in the federal Cole memorandum.

(3) The study, findings, and recommendations required under this section must be done through the use of the existing resources of the state liquor and cannabis board.

Home Grow Regulatory Options

1. Strictly Regulated Recreational Home Grows

  • Allow recreational home grows under a strict state regulatory framework that requires a permit and tracking of plants throughout the state, with enforcement jurisdiction shared between the WSLCB and local authorities.
  • Absent a permit, growing marijuana for any purpose is illegal.
  • Require tracking of all plants in the traceability system to help prevent diversion.
  • Limit of no more than 4 plants per household.
  • Include a statutory provision that allows law enforcement to seize and destroy all plants possessed by a person if the person has more plants than the law allows.
  • Include a statutory provision to allow recreational growers to acquire plants from licensed producers so long as the person possesses a valid permit.
  • Include requirements for security, preventing youth access, preventing diversion, etc.
  • Include the same restrictions that apply to medical marijuana patients on processing marijuana in recreational home grows (no extraction with combustible materials. See WAC 314-55-430).

2. State Framework, Local Authority Recreational Home Grows

  • Allow recreational home grows under a regulatory framework based on statewide standards set in statute, but authorized, controlled, and enforced by local jurisdictions (counties, cities).
  • Include statutory requirements for security, preventing youth access, preventing diversion, etc. (Cole Memo).
  • Require a permit to possess plants. Absent a permit, growing marijuana for any purpose is illegal.
  • Limit of no more than 4 plants per household.
  • Include a statutory provision to allow recreational growers to acquire plants from licensed producers so long as the person possesses a valid permit.
  • Include a statutory provision that allows law enforcement to seize and destroy all plants possessed by a person if the person has more plants than the law allows.
  • Include the same restrictions that apply to medical marijuana patients on processing marijuana in recreational home grows (no extraction with combustible materials. See WAC 314-55-430).
  • The Legislature may choose to allow local jurisdictions to “opt-in” for or “opt-out” of allowing recreational home grows, similar to the approach the Legislature took with marijuana licenses and registered medical marijuana patient cooperative grows.

3. Prohibit Recreational Home Grows.

  • Do not allow recreational home grows. Maintain current status.
  • A regulated market is in place and widely available throughout the state.
  • Home grows for medical purposes, including cooperatives, are currently allowed under state law.
  • Allowing recreational home grows may provide a cover for the illicit market. This has been seen in other states that permit home grows for both medical and recreational purposes.
  • Recreational home grows may contribute to diversion, youth access, etc., primary considerations under the guidelines set in the Cole Memo.

Home Grow Regulatory Options Sec. 24. (1) The state liquor and cannabis board must conduct a study of regulatory options for the legalization of marijuana plant possession and cultivation by

Washington Laws and Penalties

  • Conditional Release
  • Drugged Driving
  • Expungement
  • Legalization
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentence
  • Medical Marijuana
Offense Penalty Incarceration Max Fine
Possession
1 oz or less (private possession/consumption) No Criminal Penalty None $0
1 oz or less (public consumption) Civil Penalty None $100
1 oz – 40 g Misdemeanor 24 hours* – 90 days $1,000
More than 40 g Felony 5 years $10,000
*Mandatory Minimum
Sale or Distribution
Any amount Felony 5 years $10,000
To a minor at least 3 years younger Felony 10 years $10,000
Within 1000 ft of a school, school bus stop or in a public park, in a public housing project designated as a drug-free zone, in public transportation, and other locations is punishable by double fines and imprisonment.
Cultivation
Any amount Felony 5 years $10,000
Within 1000 ft of a school, school bus stop or in a public park, in a public housing project designated as a drug-free zone, in public transportation, and other locations is punishable by double fines and imprisonment.
Hash & Concentrates
16 oz or less marijuana-infused product solid form No Criminal Penalty None $0
72 oz or less marijuana-infused product liquid form No Criminal Penalty None $0
7 g marijuana concentrate No Criminal Penalty None $0
Possession of more than 40 g Felony 5 years $10,000
Manufacture, sale, delivery or possession with intent Felony 5 years $10,000
Subsequent offenses carry greater penalties.
Patients may possess hash and concentrates for medical use. See details section.
Paraphernalia
Advertisement Misdemeanor 24 hours* – 90 days $1,000
*Mandatory Minimum
Civil Asset Forfeiture
Vehicles and other property may be seized.
Miscellaneous
Knowingly maintaining a structure used for drug offenses Felony 5 years $10,000
Controlled substances homicide Felony 10 years $20,000
Parents of a minor to whom a controlled substance was sold or transferred have a cause of action against the seller.
Juveniles will have their driving privileges revoked.

Penalty Details

Marijuana is a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance under the Washington Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.204 Web Search
Possession for Personal Use

The adult possession, in private, of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use (as well as the possession of up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form) is not subject to criminal or civil penalty. The public consumption of marijuana is subject to a civil violation and fine. Any consumption of cannabis while one is in a moving vehicle is defined as a traffic infraction. Traffic safety laws further require that the possession of cannabis in a moving vehicle must be located in a sealed container in either the trunk, glove compartment, or some other area that is inaccessible to the driver or passengers.

Possession of one ounce to 40 grams is a misdemeanor, punishable by a mandatory minimum of 24 hours and maximum of 90 days in jail. A mandatory fine of $250 is imposed for the first offense, and a mandatory fine of $500 is imposed for the second or subsequent violations. This is in addition to a possible fine up to $1,000. The imprisonment will not be suspended or deferred unless it is determined that it “will pose a substantial risk to the defendant’s physical or mental well-being or that local jail facilities are in an overcrowded condition.” The mandatory fine may not be suspended or deferred unless the defendant is found to be indigent.

Possession of more than 40 grams is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. An additional mandatory $1,000 fine applies to first time offenses and a $2,000 fine to second or subsequent offenses.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.4014 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.4013 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.425 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search
Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute any amount of marijuana is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. There is an additional mandatory fine of $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 for a second or subsequent offense.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.401 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search
Sale or Distribution

Retail sales of cannabis by state-licensed entities to those over the age of 21 are regulated in this state. Marijuana sales by unlicensed entities remain subject to criminal penalties.

Sale or distribution of any amount of marijuana is a C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. An additional mandatory fine of $1,000 applies to first offenses and $2,000 fine to second or subsequent offenses.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.401 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search

Distribution by a person aged 18 years or older to a person less than 18 years who is 3 years the distributor’s junior is a class B felony punishable by an imprisonment term double that for sale (10 years total) and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.406(2) Web Search
Cultivation

Cultivation for either personal use or distribution is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. An additional mandatory fine of $1,000 applies to first offenses and $2,000 to second or subsequent offenses.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.401 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search
Hash & Concentrates

Washington’s definition of marijuana includes “all parts of the plant Cannabis,” including “the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.” Under this definition hashish or concentrates, which are compounds made from the resin of the plant, would be considered marijuana.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.101(q) Web Search

Possession of 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form; 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or 7 grams of marijuana concentrate is not subject to criminal or civil penalty.

Possession of more than 40 grams of hashish or concentrates is a class C felony punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 5 years and/or a fine no greater than $10,000.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.4014 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.425 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.4013 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021(1)(c) Web Search

Manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, hashish or concentrates is a class C felony punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 5 years and/or a fine no greater than $10,000.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.401(c) Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021(1)(c) Web Search

Selling hashish or concentrates is a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 5 years and a fine no greater than twice the value of the hashish or concentrates. Subsequent offenses for selling hashish or concentrates is a crime punishable by a mandatory term of imprisonment for 5 years and a fine no greater than twice the value of the hashish or concentrates.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.410 Web Search

Hashish and concentrates can be used medically in Washington since hashish and concentrates are considered a marijuana product.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.51A.040 Web Search

Selling, manufacturing, transferring, or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, or transport hashish or concentrates within designated areas is a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 10 years and/or a fine no greater than $20,000 or four times the value of the hashish or concentrates. There is an affirmative defense available allowing the accused to prove that the offense was entirely within a private residence. The designated areas are:

  • within schools;
  • within 1,000 feet of school grounds
  • within school buses;
  • within 1000 feet of a school bus stop;
  • within public parks;
  • within public housing projects designated drug free zones;
  • within -public transit vehicles
  • at a public transit stop center;
  • within civic centers designated drug free zones;
  • within 1,000ft of any civic center designated a drug free zone.
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.435 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.410 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.412 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021(c) Web Search
Paraphernalia

Advertisement of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum of 24 hours and maximum of 90 days in jail and a fine of not more than $1,000.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.412 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.425 Web Search

Sale or giving of drug paraphernalia is also a class I civil infraction punishable by a $250 fine.

  • Washington Rev. Code §7.80.120 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.4121 Web Search
Sentencing

Drug offenses are sentenced according to drug offense seriousness level and a drug offense sentencing grid.

  • Washington Rev. Code § 9.94A517 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code § 9.94A518 Web Search

First time marijuana offenders may have the imposition of the standard sentence waived with conditions. For violations which involve a small amount of drugs (as determined by the judge), the offender may have the standard sentence waived in lieu treatment or a prison-based alternative.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9.94A.517 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §9.94A.660 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §9.94A.662 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §9.94A.664 Web Search

Suspension of sentencing is available for all drug offenses, at the discretion of the court. Conditions to this probation may include paying fines and reporting to a probation officer.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9.92.060 Web Search

Any person convicted of a second or subsequent offense is subject to double the term of imprisonment authorized for the offense and double the fine authorized for the offense. However, this does not apply to certain possession offenses. A second or subsequent offense is any offense of this statute committed by a person with a prior conviction under this statute or any statute of the United States or any state relating to narcotics, marijuana, depressants, hallucinogens, or stimulants.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.408 Web Search
Forfeiture
Criminal

Vehicles and other property may be seized for violations of the Washington Uniform Controlled Substances Act if certain conditions are met. A seizure of property commences a forfeiture proceeding in which the law enforcement agency must give notice to the owner and others with an interest in the property within 15 days. After notice has been served, those with an interest in the property have 45 days in the case of personal property and 90 days in the case of real property to respond, or else the items will be deemed forfeited.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.505 Web Search
Civil

Private or state actors may file an action for damages and forfeiture of property involved in delivery, cultivation, or possession with intent to deliver or cultivate marijuana.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.82.100 Web Search
Miscellaneous
Involving a person under the age of 18 in a drug offense

Involving a person under the age of 18 (compensating, soliciting, or threatening) in a transaction to cultivate, sell, or deliver marijuana is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. An additional mandatory fine of $1,000 applies to first offenses and $2,000 to second or subsequent offenses.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.4015 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search
Knowingly maintaining a structure used for drug offenses

It is a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000 to knowingly maintain a structure (including homes and vehicles) that is resorted to by persons using controlled substances in violation of the law for that purpose, or which is used to sell or store substances. An additional mandatory fine of $1,000 applies to first offenses and $2,000 to second or subsequent offenses.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.402(f) Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search
Civil damages

Parents or legal guardians of a minor to whom a controlled substance was sold or transferred have a cause of action against the person who sold or transferred the substances. Damages may include costs of rehabilitation services for the minor, forfeiture of any money made in the transaction, and attorney’s fees.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.414 Web Search
Controlled substances homicide

A person who delivers a controlled substance, which is subsequently used by the person delivered to and results in their death, is guilty of a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000. An additional mandatory fine of $1,000 applies to first offenses and $2,000 to second or subsequent offenses.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9A.20.021 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.415 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.430 Web Search
Revocation of juvenile’s driving privileges

Juveniles (age 13-21) will have their driving privileges revoked for any offense under this statute. For the first offense, the privileges will be revoked for 1 year or until the person reaches 17 years old, whichever is longer. A second or subsequent offense will result in the revocation of privileges for 2 years or until the individual is 18 years old, whichever is longer.

  • Washington Rev. Code §46.20.265 Web Search
  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.420 Web Search
Violations committed on or in certain public places or facilities

Cultivation, sale, delivery, or possession with intent to cultivate, sell, or deliver marijuana in a school, on a school bus, within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop or school grounds, in a public park, in a public housing project designated as a drug-free zone, in public transportation, and other locations is punishable by a fine that is twice that authorized for the offense and/or imprisonment for a term that is twice the amount authorized for the offense. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place exclusively within the confines of a private residence and the transaction did not involve profit.

  • Washington Rev. Code §69.50.435 Web Search
Chemical dependency

If the court finds that the offender is chemically dependent and this has contributed to their offense, the court may order the offender take part in rehabilitation.

  • Washington Rev. Code §9.94A.607 Web Search
Mandatory Fee

Any individual convicted, sentenced to a lesser charge, or given deferred prosecution under WA’s DUID statute must pay a $200 fee to compensate the State for the drug test, in addition to any fine imposed by the Court. This fee applies to each individual conviction but may be waived for poverty.

Washington Laws and Penalties Conditional Release Drugged Driving Expungement Legalization Mandatory Minimum Sentence Medical Marijuana Offense Penalty