Home cultivation is by far one of the most crucial parts of cannabis legalization. Some argue without home cultivation, there is no legalization, there’s just commercialization. Home cultivation offers an inexpensive, safe, and consumer-controlled way to access cannabis. If you’re wondering ‘can I grow my own marijuana?’ keep on reading.
The benefits are especially true for medical marijuana patients, as cannabis is not covered under health insurance. In newer medical cannabis markets like Missouri, a monthly supply of flower (four ounces) costs patients at least $800 out of pocket, usually closer to $1,000. Though these prices normally level out, it can take several years before seeing a true impact. A lack of dispensaries means home cultivation is the only option for patients in many parts of the country.
Like all regulatory aspects of legal cannabis in the United States, each state has its own laws regarding home cultivation. This goes for minimum age requirements, allotted amounts for consumers, and the number of cannabis business licenses allowed in each state or jurisdiction. Some states don’t even have a medical cannabis program, while other states like California are generating $4.4 billion in retail sales in just one year. Home cultivators must abide by their state and local laws to remain in compliance with growing cannabis at home. Local counties and jurisdictions are able to opt out of allowing home cultivation in some instances.
Where Is Home Cultivation Allowed?
Medical cannabis is legal in 38 states and recreational cannabis is legal in 18. Not all legal states allow home cultivation though, even if both a medical and recreational program are in place. Home cultivation is allowed in:
- New Mexico
- New York (Not allowed yet, will be permitted no later than 18 months after the first adult-use retail sale)
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
The remaining states either don’t have a medical or recreational program, or their existing programs don’t allow residents to grow cannabis at home. Some of the above-mentioned states, like Virginia, Colorado, and California, allow home cultivation for personal use, not just for medicinal purposes.
How Many Cannabis Plants Can I Grow At Home?
Most states allow eligible home cultivators to grow at least six plants total, but many states allow for more. Also, most states with a home cultivation program have a caregiver program, too. Caregivers can cultivate cannabis on behalf of licensed medical marijuana patients, but they must register with the state. Terms and conditions about how the patient receives the medicine from their caregiver depends on each individual patient/caregiver relationship.
In Hawaii, medical marijuana patients can grow up to 10 plants at one time. Arizona patients who live more than 25 miles away from a licensed cannabis dispensary can grow up to 12 plants at one time. California allows residents who are at least 21 years old to grow up to six plants for personal use, but no more than six plants are allowed in a single residence at one time. For medical marijuana patients, there are no limits when it comes to how many plants are able to be cultivated at home.
- Alaskan residents can grow up to six cannabis plants for recreational consumption
- Colorado residents over the age of 21 can grow up to six plants at one time, with as many as three flowering
- Maine residents who are at least 21 can grow up to six mature cannabis plants, for either medicinal or recreational purposes
- Massachusetts residents 21 and over can grow up to six plants for medical or recreational reasons. Even if more than one adult lives at the residence, only 12 plants total are allowed
- Illinois doesn’t allow for personal home cultivation, but medical cannabis patients can grow up to five cannabis plants at one time for themselves
How To Legally Grow Cannabis At Home
Medical marijuana patients who are cultivating at home need to apply with their state. Those who are over the age of 21 and able to grow cannabis plants for personal use don’t need to take further action with their state, however, certain rules must be followed. In California, for example, home cultivation laws aren’t in every jurisdiction.
In Sacramento, home cultivation is allowed, but violating their 6-plant rule is subject to a $500 fine for each plant over the limit. Local and state laws are different, so contact local government offices if there are questions. Each state and county usually has localized information on their website, most often listed under the Frequently Asked Questions section of the site.
Some states require medical cannabis patients to submit separate home cultivation applications, detailing what their home grow setup is like. Applicants typically have to acknowledge their home grow is in a locked room only the patient has access to and provide other information. Children also can’t have access to the room where plants are growing and in states like Missouri, home-cultivated medical cannabis must be clearly labeled with the patient’s name.
Reach out to Heally to apply for a medical marijuana card and start cultivating at home in your state.