Washington: LCB Says Patients Can Grow 4 Plants Each, Up To 15 Per Household

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Multiple authorized medical cannabis patients living in the same residence in Washington state can grow up to four plants each, up to a total of 15 plants, without being on the patient registry, according to information received from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board on Thursday.

In answers to a Washington state medical marijuana patient advocate, Brian E. Smith of the WSLCB clarified the home growing rules for patients in the state. Only medicinal patients with a physician's authorization are allowed to cultivate cannabis in Washington without an I-502 cultivation license.

A qualifying patient not entered in the medical marijuana authorization database (Washington's euphemism for a patient registry) is allowed to grow up to four plants and possess up to six ounces of useable marijuana in his or her domicile, according to the LCB. This possession limit is per patient (RCW 69.51A.210) (3)).

"If multiple qualifying patients reside in the same housing unit, no more than 15 plants may be located in that housing unit," Smith told patient advocate Tracy Linderman Sirrine of Patients For Patients Medical. "The production and/or processing of marijuana cannot be in any portion of the house that can be readily seen or smelled from a public place or the private property of another housing unit (RCW 69.51A.260).

As written above, two patients living together, or three for that matter, can grow up to 4 plants without having to register. However, as also mentioned above, there can be no more than 15 plants in a domicile (residence).

This means that if you had four patients living in the same residence, they would be limited to 15 plants total, rather than being able to grow 4 each (total of 16). To illustrate that further, if there were 5 patients in one residence, the residence still could not have more than 15 plants total unless the patients register as a collective, which in turn cannot have more than 4 members.

· One patient per household: Limited to 4 plants
· Two patients per household: Limited to 8 plants
· Three patients per household: Limited to 12 plants
· Four patients and above per household: Limited to 15 plants

Any household with more than 4 plants would need to register, am I correct?
Yes. Your assessment is correct (RCW 69.51A.210(3)). This answer was based on assuming that there was only one patient residing in the domicile. See above additional answer for more clarification. Also, the below list may be helpful to you as it compares what registered cardholders can do versus what a non-cardholding patient can do:

Cardholding Patient:
• May purchase 3 times the recreational limits (3 oz. flower)
• May possess 6 plants and up to 15 if authorized by prescriber
• Purchases at endorsed retail stores are not subject to sales tax
• Arrest protection
• May participate in a cooperative

Non Cardholding Patient:
• Restricted to purchasing the recreational limits (1 oz. flower)
• May only possess 4 plants*
• Purchases at retail stores are subject to sales tax
• Affirmative defense only
• May not participate in a cooperative (unless they decide to register, then they get what is detailed in the “Cardholder” section above).

*Note: this is only in cases where one patient resides in a domicile. The first answer above illustrates what non-cardholding patients who live in the same household can do.

Private patients who do not submit to the patient registry are not subject to the same conditions as those who do register, including home compliance checks as collectives are required to do, according to the LCB.

"However, if there was a complaint from a neighbor or some other condition that would notify the LCB or local law enforcement that a person had more plants than allowed under the law, then there may be an investigation surrounding that," according to Smith.

Graphic: Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board