Can You Grow Marijuana Recreationally in Washington?

In short, the answer is no. No, you cannot recreationally grow marijuana in Washington state. While you can obtain permission to grow your own medical marijuana at home, this is not the case for personal use. Some attempts to legalize the cultivation of marijuana for personal use have been made, but they have been unsuccessful.

It is illegal to home-grow marijuana for personal use or sale, and it is illegal to sell and process marijuana without a license. Processing marijuana includes making edibles or other marijuana-infused items. Only those with a grower, processor, or retailer license should be involved in the cultivation of marijuana.

What is an I-502 License?

An I-502 License is a license that allows for the possession, production, and sale of marijuana, neutralizing criminal and civil penalties for the activities the license allows. In Washington, you can apply for an I-502 license if you are looking to start or take over a marijuana business. You still cannot home-grow marijuana for personal or recreational use with this license.

There are three categories that you can be licensed in:

  • Producer, grows marijuana for sale to marijuana processors; allows for production, possession, delivery, and distribution
  • Processor, processes, bundles, and labels marijuana or marijuana-infused items for sale to marijuana retailers; allows for processing, packaging, possession, delivery, distribution
  • Retailer, sells marijuana or marijuana-infused items at sanctioned retail outlets; allows for sale

You cannot be licensed in all three categories. You can be both a producer and processor, but you cannot be licensed as a producer and retailer not can you be licensed as a processor and retailer.

When you apply, you will have to submit to a criminal history record check, and you are subject to random checks even after you’ve obtained a license. While those with a criminal record are allowed to obtain a license, Class A, B, and C felonies have time factors and can affect the determinations the Liquor and Cannabis Board will make when reviewing your application.

How much is an I-502 License?

To apply for a license with the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board, you will have to pay a $250 license application, and the annual renewal will cost around $1000 for each license category.

What are the Charges for Growing Marijuana without a Permit?

If you are caught growing marijuana at home, you can face Class C Felony charges, which are punishable by up to 5 years in jail and/or $10,000 in fines. Additionally, if you are found cultivating within 1000 feet of a school or school bus stop, in a public park or public housing development within a drug-free zone, or on public transportation, you can be subjected to double the fines and imprisonment. And this is for any amount of marijuana.

With possession charges, you may face a misdemeanor charge for possessing more than one ounce to forty grams of marijuana. However, with cultivating, the amount of marijuana is a non-issue. You will face Class C Felony charges regardless of the amount of marijuana you were growing.

You may also face possession and/or possession with intent to sell charges and forfeiture of the property where you were growing. There may be additional fines and penalties for second-time offenders as well.

With our 150+ years of litigation experience, our attorneys at Hester Law Group are equipped to fight for you. If you or a loved one are facing possession charges or have been detained for a drug crime, contact us online or call our office at (253) 300-3034.