Panel to consider limiting households to 12 marijuana plants

  • By Molly Dischner
  • Monday, March 2, 2015 11:22pm
  • News

JUNEAU — A House committee is trying to determine how much pot can be grown at one house.

The House Community and Regional Affairs Committee will consider a 12-plant limit for each house as part of its bill addressing municipalities’ role in regulating marijuana.

The voter initiative allows an individual to possess up to six plants, three of which can be mature.

An aide to Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, chair of that committee, said municipalities have raised concerns about how many plants can be grown at a household with multiple people, and the limit was meant to provide clarity.

However, a memo from Legislative Affairs’ legal services division said that limiting the number of plants allowed in one home could be an infringement of personal privacy rights and violate equal protection rights.

The state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control board has also weighed in on the matter, but it came up with a different answer. In a frequently-asked-questions page on its website, the board said that each household can only have six plants, based on the state’s possession laws.

In a January memo, the Fairbanks North Star Borough also recommended that the state make it clear that each individual be considered in possession of all the plants in his or her household, which would effectively limit each house to six plants.

The committee is considering the limit as part of a bill that addresses municipalities’ ability to get involved in regulating the new marijuana industry and other personal-use concerns.

The bill also includes opt-out provisions for villages and other small communities that cannot currently prohibit the new industry under the wording of the initiative. Initiative sponsors have said they support the effort to enable those communities to opt-out.

The committee is expected to discuss the bill on Tuesday.

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