Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
While the US cannabis scene has considerably broadened general access to medical and adult-use cannabis, the rules governing the home-growing of the cannabis plant are still relatively strict. Laws vary from state to state, including whether you can grow cannabis legally for adult or medical use, how many plants you can cultivate, the maturity of the plant, and much more.
In this article, we explain which states legally allow you to grow cannabis at home and what laws and tips to keep in mind when you’re thinking about raising your cannabis plants.
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Where Is It Legal to Grow Cannabis?
First, the question of legality: our state-by-state breakdown of regional regulations explains where and how many cannabis plants you can legally grow in your home.
Laws governing growing and possession limits vary from state to state. In some regions, you must inform the state’s medical marijuana program organization that you intend to grow and track your plants. Other states only let you grow when granted permission from a recommending physician or the state itself.
One general rule of them when it comes to at-home cannabis cultivation: keep your plants in an enclosed space and hidden from public schools. Discretion is required as a part of the majority of at-home growing laws.
In Alaska, adults 21 and older may grow up to six (6) total cannabis plants for medical or adult use but only can have three mature plants at any given time. Multiple adults 21 and over living in a single residence bumps the number of mature plants allowed in that building to 12, with no more than six mature or flowering.
In Arizona, licensed patients and their caregivers who reside further than 25 miles from a medical marijuana dispensary may legally grow up to six cannabis plants.
In California, those aged 21 and older may grow up to six plants for adult use, with no more than six plants allowed in any residence. Medical cannabis patients can obtain a grower’s recommendation, which allows them to cultivate their own plants with no growing limit and are instead allowed to grow the number of plants they need within 100 square feet to treat their qualifying condition. Keep in mind that local jurisdictions can set their own growing caps. You can get your grower’s recommendation from Leafwell.
In Colorado, individuals 21 and over can grow up to six cannabis plants for medical or adult use but only can have three mature plants at any given time. Medical marijuana patients may petition to grow more. Caregivers with more than one patient can grow up to 36 plants, serving up to five patients.
In Hawaii, it’s legal for medical marijuana patients to grow up to ten cannabis plants in a single residence for their use. However, patients must register as a cultivator with the state before growing their plants.
In Illinois, medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can cultivate up to five cannabis plants simultaneously for personal use. Recreational cultivation is not permitted, and growing five or fewer plants for recreational use is a misdemeanor that comes with a fine.
In Maine, adults can grow up to six mature cannabis plants for medical or adult use, with up to six mature plants or 12 immature plants in a single residence.
In Maryland, adults 21 and over can grow up to two plants in a single household. Medical patients may grow two more plants, not exceeding four plants in a single household.
In Massachusetts, adults 21 and over can grow up to six cannabis plants for medical or recreational use. The state allows up to 12 plants per residence regardless of the total number of adults over 21.
In Michigan, those 21 and older can grow up to 12 plants in their home. Caregivers who attend to up to five patients can grow a maximum of 60 plants, totaling 12 per patient.
In Minnesota, adults 21 and older can grow up to eight plants, with no more than four being mature, in a locked, enclosed space in a single residence.
In Missouri, medical cannabis patients and caregivers can grow up to six flowering marijuana plants, six nonflowering marijuana plants (over 14 inches tall), and six clones (plants under 14 inches tall) at any given time in a single enclosed facility. Growers must apply for a separate Patient Cultivation Card and pay a $53 fee. The card is separate from a medical marijuana card.
In Montana, residents may grow up to four mature cannabis plants or 12 seedlings in their homes at once for medicinal use. If two medical marijuana patients reside in the same dwelling, they may grow eight mature plants and eight seedlings. All adult patients must report the locations of their home grows to the Montana Department of Public Health.
In Nevada, adults who reside more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary may grow up to six plants per person or 12 for the household for recreational use if permitted by the property owner.
Medical marijuana patients may only grow cannabis at home if the closest dispensary is more than 25 miles away from their residence and the patient cannot travel. Patients growing in their homes before July 1, 2013, can continue growing their plants legally.
In New Mexico, licensed medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can legally grow up to 16 cannabis plants, with only four mature at any given time.
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Certified New York medical marijuana patients at least 21 can cultivate up to six cannabis plants — three immature and three mature female plants — at their private residence, but only for personal use.
In addition, designated caregivers 21 or older caring for a certified patient can cultivate the same number of mature and immature cannabis for the patient’s use. A designated caregiver can grow up to six plants per patient but cannot grow more than 12 plants at any time.
Once trimmed, a certified patient or caregiver can have up to five pounds of cannabis at their residence.
In Oklahoma, medical marijuana patients can grow up to six mature cannabis plants and six seedlings in their homes.
In Oregon, it’s legal for adults 21 and older to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use, whether recreational or medicinal. Caregivers may grow up to eight cannabis plants, but only six can mature at any time.
In Rhode Island, medical cannabis patients and caregivers may cultivate up to 12 plants and seedlings indoors in their homes.
In Vermont, adult residents may grow a maximum of nine cannabis plants at once, with no more than two plants mature at any given time.
In Virginia, adults at least 21 may grow up to four plants per household (not per person) according to specific requirements.
In Washington, medical marijuana patients with a physician’s recommendation — but not a medical marijuana card — can grow up to four plants. That number increases to six plants with a valid medical marijuana card from the state, but residents can grow up to 15 plants with authorization from a physician.
In Washington, D.C., adults older than 21 may grow six cannabis plants for recreational use, with three plants at maturity and three as seedlings. No more than 12 plants are allowed if multiple adults reside in one home. Medical marijuana patients are not permitted to grow their cannabis plants legally.
Why You Should Grow Your Own Cannabis at Home
There are several reasons a medical marijuana patient or adult user would prefer to cultivate cannabis at home.
First, a home grower knows precisely what’s inside their cannabis, how it was raised, what nutrients it received, and what the curing process entailed. There’s no question of quality because growing your cannabis at home enables you to understand what’s happening at every step of the cultivation process.
Medical marijuana patients or adult users far from their nearest dispensary also benefit from the ability to cultivate cannabis at home. While home growing is a lengthy process, it eliminates the need to travel long distances, particularly when traveling may be cumbersome or challenging for medical users.
How to Grow Cannabis Plants at Home
When it comes to growing cannabis plants at home, there are various factors to consider to raise your plants.
Depending on your home situation, you can grow your plant indoors or outdoors. However, most states specify that cannabis plants must be obscured by the public, which may influence your growing environment decisions.
Plants can grow from seeds or cuttings from an existing plant, called cannabis clones. Cannabis plants take anywhere from 50-60 days to reach full maturity, be ready for harvest, and take another 10-14 days to dry and cure before consumption.
The Bottom Line
While many complicated laws govern the growing of cannabis at home, we hope this guide provides a handy breakdown of the rules in each state. Connect with a Leafwell physician if you’re curious about more growing tips or want to understand how medical cannabis can improve your wellness.