SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – It has been more than five years since voters made recreation marijuana legal in Washington.
But, if you're not licensed to grow or sell marijuana it's still very much illegal. Investigators said a recent bust on North Bowdish Avenue in Spokane Valley proves people are still trying to skirt the rules. In this case, we are talking about someone who should know better because the suspect already has a legit pot growing center in Airway Heights.
From what court papers said it was no small effort having this pot operation inside a tiny garage. It required thousands of dollars every year and authorities think it has running since 2014, the very year that licensed pot sales became legal.
Neighbors of the Spokane Valley home said the smell of pot was inescapable and often drifted through their yards.
It is there that authorities believe a licensed pot producer, Perry Failing, took on some extracurricular growing. Failing, is the co-owner of 5 Star Cannabis, a licensed marijuana producer out of Airway Heights. Court documents said a tipster told them that Failing was using a home and its garage for the sole purpose of growing weed.
Washington's Liquor Control and Cannabis board examined electricity use there. In court documents, it is written that average electricity costs for the two car, detached garage were $530 a month. By comparison, the house on the property is triple the size of the garage and yet total power costs were far less.
Agents said they the windows of the garage were also covered with black plastic to prevent anyone from seeing inside.
Authorities said they also discovered that Child Protective Services had received three complaints from this home, each one alleging that Failing's toddler was being exposed to marijuana smoke. Failing is now facing a charge of manufacturing a controlled substance.
State authorities said they are currently in the process of revoking the license for his legit pot business.
As for why authorities think this may have happened. They said Failing tried to set up a second pot business at the house in question but that the state denied him a license.