Washington State Marijuana Farms: Big or Small, Industrial Sized…Or Homegrown?

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“Let us produce our own,” urged Dawn Darington of Choice Wellness Center in Seattle. “Let it be fresh, local, organic and small.”

George Washington (the state’s namesake) must be doing bong rips from his grave… As the Skagit County officials debate whether to grow weed in large or small scale, one thing is for certain — marijuana will soon be cultivated in the great state of Washington

Big or small, industrial sized…or homegrown, no matter how you slice it Skagit County’s medical marijuana cultivation is getting a lot of attention recently. A recent public hearing held by the Washington State liquor control Board got an earful of ideas. Whether or not any of them will see the light of day remains to be seen.

Most of the 42 commenters at Tuesday’s forum, held by the state Liquor Control Board at McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon, mentioned small growers, whether in passing or in passionate appeals to board members who were taking testimony.

Let us produce our own,” urged Dawn Darington of Choice Wellness Center in Seattle. “Let it be fresh, local, organic and small.”

This was the fifth in a series of public forums about how to implement Initiative 502, the measure voters passed in November legalizing marijuana with certain restrictions. Other forums have been held in Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver and Spokane. More forums on this topic are planned for Tacoma, Yakima and Bremerton.

Many speakers also brought up the potential economic boost legal marijuana could bring to the state, or at least to cities with retail marijuana stores.

The law allows people to possess small amounts of the drug and tasks the state Liquor Control Board with setting up a system to license cannabis producers, processors and retailers. Until that system is in place and shops open Dec. 1, growing, selling or buying marijuana remains illegal.

Former State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen attended the forum and said she found many of the ideas interesting, particularly about pricing, quality and product testing. Haugen was defeated in the 2012 election and now hopes to be appointed to a position with the Liquor Control Board.

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