Liquor Control Board staff: Allow outdoor marijuana grows

Jun 19, 2013

Licensed outdoor marijuana grows may be allowed in Washington after all.

Staff at the state’s Liquor Control Board said Wednesday they’ve been persuaded by potential growers to consider alternatives to energy-intensive indoor pot production.

Meanwhile, medical marijuana patients rallied at the state Capitol in opposition possible new restrictions on them.

It’s been a little over a month since Washington’s Liquor Control Board issued proposed regulations for the state’s new recreational marijuana market. Since then, the Board has received more than 800 comments, some calling for more stringent regulations, others telling the board to back off a bit.

Many of the comments had to do with the proposal that marijuana only be grown indoors or in enclosed greenhouses. Now chief rules writer Karen McCall says her mind has been changed. 

Medical marijuana patients rallied at the Washington Capitol in opposition to giving the Liquor Control Board jurisdiction over medical cannabis.

“With the proper security, we feel that outdoor grows would work as well as indoor grows,” McCall said.  

McCall says one advantage of sun-grown pot is a smaller carbon footprint. She will now advise her bosses at the Liquor Board to allow outdoor grows.

Meanwhile, at the state Capitol, medical marijuana patients rallied against a legislative proposal to give the Liquor Control Board authority over medical cannabis as well.

Patients worry the Board would recommend the medical product be taxed. Some lawmakers argue it makes sense to put the Liquor Board in charge so it can integrate the medical and recreational marijuana markets.