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 use 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 own cannabis plants.
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 organization that runs the state’s medical marijuana program that you intend to grow and track your plants. Other states only let you grow when granted permission, either from a recommending physician or from 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 of them 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 one residence at a time. 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; 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 at one time 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 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 who reside there.
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 Missouri, medical cannabis patients must apply through the state and pay a licensing fee to grow up to six cannabis plants at home.
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 a total of 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 home before July 1, 2013, can continue growing their plants legally.
In New Mexico, licensed medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can grow up to 16 cannabis plants legally, with only four mature at any given time.
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 be mature at any given time.
In Rhode Island, medical cannabis patients and caregivers in Rhode Island 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 Washington, only medical marijuana patients are permitted to grow cannabis at their place of residence. Patients can grow up to six plants, but the total can be increased up to 15 if recommended by the patient’s physician.
In Washington, DC, adults older than 21 may grow up to six cannabis plants for recreational use, with three plants at maturity and three as seedlings. If multiple adults reside in one home, no more than 12 total plants are allowed. Medical marijuana patients are not permitted to grow their own cannabis plants legally.
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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 and how it was raised, what kind of 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 who are 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.
You can grow your plant either indoors or outdoors, depending on your home situation. However, most states specify that cannabis plants need to be obscured from view by the public, which may influence your growing environment decisions.
Plants can grow from seeds or cuttings from an existing plant, also referred to as cannabis clones. Cannabis plants take anywhere from 50-60 days to reach full maturity and be ready for harvest and take another 10-14 days to dry and cure before consumption.
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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. If you’re curious for more growing tips or understanding how medical cannabis can improve your wellness, connect with a Leafwell physician to learn more.