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State Pot Growers Near Ellensburg May More “Dry” Than “High”

No federal water for pot growing in Washington state
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Due to marijuana still being illegal at the Federal level,  any licensed pot growers in Kittitas County might not be growing anything.

For many farmers in the Kittitas County and Ellensburg areas,  irrigation water comes from the Yakima River Basin resivoirs.  These just happen to be under federal jurisdiction.

The attorney for the Kittitas Reclamation District has informed farmers they won’t be allowed to use irrigation if it’s being utilized to grow marijuana – even if they’re a state licensed growing facility.

The Bureau of Reclamation, a federal agency, says since pot is still illegal with the feds,  that law includes supplying any resources used to make an illegal substance.

The Daily Record Newspaper in Ellensburg reports Thursday this applies to the ENTIRE 60,000-acre irrigation district. Federal officials said county governments cannot enforce any local rules concerning publicly operated irrigation districts, especially if they are overseen by the federal government.

Some 2,600 customers, including numerous farmers, are within the district.  Officials aren’t sure what actions to take if a farmer says they’re taking water, for example, to grow alfalfa, but then actually use it for marijuana.

It is not yet known if any Kittitas County growers have applied for a grower’s license.


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