D.C. Condo Built to Include Marijuana Grow Closet

Washington developer Eric Hirshfield was building a four-level condo in the Park View area earlier this year when was selecting amenities. He equipped the home with a wet bar, a wine fridge -- and a closet to grow plants, including marijuana, indoors. 

Hirshfield said he thinks more D.C. residents will seek grow closets as more time passes since some marijuana possession became legal this year, as Urban Turf was first to report.

“I think this is going to be the new wet bar of 2015,” he said.

The closet in the home that sold for more than $800,000 is equipped with power, lamps that simulate sunlight, an exhaust fan, a drainage system and a lock and key so it's childproof.

Once his home hit the market, other developers began reaching out with similar designs, but not enough nerve to go through with the plans.

Marijuana comes out of the closet but isn’t completely accepted

In late February, a law legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana was enacted in D.C. Residents over the age of 21 are able to have as much as two ounces of marijuana, transfer as much as one ounce to another person of the legal age without the exchange of money, and grow as many as six marijuana plants at home.

However, it is still illegal for D.C. residents to buy and sell marijuana.

“You can possess and you can consume, but you can’t sell,” said Hirshfield. “How are you supposed to get your stash? Well, you can grow.”

The owner of the store Let'sGrowDC, Chris Washburn, said his business has spiked since the law passed.

"Whether it's people looking to grow legal cannabis in their house or just organic gardeners who want to be more self-sufficient, it's a huge movement," he said. 

Developer gives green light to grow

Hirshfield plans to create grow closets in future developments, including in Mount Pleasant and Petworth. 

He said he will continue to outfit closets and bonus rooms with the facilities to grow plants. It will then be up to the property owners to decide how they would like to utilize the space.

The new owners of the home in Park View plan to use the closet to plant seeds for an herb garden in January and February so they can replant the blooms outside by March or April.

“The novelty of [having a grow closet] hasn’t quite worn off,” said Hirshfield “but I would say there is more growing happening than people may realize.”

It costs about $500 to set up equipment to grow plants inside, Washburn said. If you don't own your home, you need the consent of your landlord.

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