Cannabis Cultivation: Your Guide to Legally Growing at Home
In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 215. This gave medical patients the ability to use medical cannabis legally. Since then we’ve had 32 additional states legalize cannabis, this is including using cannabis for recreational use.
Because of this progression, interest in at home cannabis cultivation has steadily increased. While it may be tempting to just dive in and start growing. Let’s take a look at the legal aspect of growing your own cannabis at home.
Marijuana Cultivation Laws
Legal states all have different regulations on home cannabis cultivation. For example, a state might be legal for medical use of marijuana but do not permit a patient to grow their own at all. Some of these states include Florida, Delaware, Maryland, and Illinois.
We will review some of the most common cultivation laws seen across the nation. However, it is always advisable to double-check your particular state’s regulations if you have further concerns.
Recreational Growing Laws
Like in California, Colorado, Alaska, and Michigan many states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis. And many more to potentially pass legislation in 2020. In these states, many of the home cultivation laws are the same.
All recreational states have enacted a legal age of 21 or over to both purchase and cultivate marijuana legally. Some states do have different regulations for medical patients but we’ll get to that later.
It also seems that six plants per person and up to twelve per household is standard in most legal states. Of those six per person, only three can be mature and flowering. There are a few states that are exceptions like in Maine you can have six mature plants, and 12 immature plants per person.
Medical Cannabis Cultivation
Since medical cannabis is such a broad subject well be breaking this one down a bit. Since most medically only states also require a grow card to grow your own medical cannabis well be exploring this subject in depth. We will also cover the typical requirements for medical cultivation in most legal states.
Personal Medical Grow Cards
In states like Hawaii and Arizona, you must have a grow card in order to grow cannabis in your home and it must be for personal medical use. This means you must have a recommendation to use cannabis from your doctor, and have a state medical card to even apply for a grow card.
However, if you meet these prerequisites the process of applying is fairly simple. Some states like Missouri charge an application fee to process your paperwork. After the fee is paid basic information like your (or your caregivers) name, the address the cannabis will be cultivated at, and how you plan to meet the cultivation requirements.
Again most states have similar regulations on medical cannabis cultivation. These include growing restrictions, plant limitations, and limits on where it can be grown.
Most states require medical patients to grow their plants in a locked enclosure where the plants are not able to be seen by the public, and only the patient or caregiver has access to it. For indoor growers this can be an unused closet in your bedroom that can be locked.
Outdoor growers can use any structure that is closed in on all four sides and can not be climbed over or dug under. This structure would also have to be able to lock so only the patient has access. The plants should also be hidden from view from the outside of the structure.
It is also required by most legal states to restrict the number of plants one patient or caregiver can grow. Some states say that patients can only grow a thirty days supply according to their recommendation at one time. While others give specific amounts like in
Arizona a patient can grow up to twelve plants at one time with their grow card.
How to Grow Marijuana
Now that you know the basics of the legal aspects we will show you how to grow your cannabis while meeting state requirements. While it may seem complicated to stay within the requirements and grow quality cannabis it is possible and fairly easy.
Finding Your Grow Space
While keeping in mind the general requirements, find a spot that only you have access to and is capable of being locked. As we mentioned earlier a closet is a wonderful option to start with. This makes controlling the temperature and light your plants get easier and you
stay within regulations.
While growing outdoors remember to pick a spot where your plants are going to get the maximum amount of sunshine available each day. This is vital to the growing process and can affect the amount of usable marijuana your plant will yield. A sunny corner of a fenced-in garden with a lock would be ideal.
Next, you will want to choose which growing medium you’ll use for your cannabis. This is like a hydroponics system or just a seed in dirt.
There are many different mediums to choose from and each has its own advantages.
This gives you the freedom to explore different methods and find which works best for you.
If your going to be growing your cannabis outdoors this isn’t as much of an issue. But if your growing your cannabis indoors you will need some kind of lighting system.
There are many different kinds of grow lights. Not all of them are expensive or use massive amounts of energy. If you’re a beginner to growing cannabis get a light that has a timer to mimic the sun.
These types of lights make it easy to give your plant enough light, but you will need to manually ”tell” the plant to start flowering.
This is simply giving the plant less light per day to simulate fall so buds start to form.
Air Temperature Needs
Typically marijuana needs warm temperatures to survive, so if you live in a colder climate you may need to grow indoors. You can also help regulate temperatures with the lights, and with fans. It’s also a good idea to keep a thermometer in your grow area to monitor temperatures
to increase quality.
Without proper air temperatures, the cannabis quality could be more like CBD. But don’t fret, if you make this mistake you can still use it. Many products can be made from CBD plants like winterized CBD oil, or you can use the CBD to smoke it just won’t have as powerful effects.
It’s important to know how much water your plants are getting. Overwatering can lead to root rot, and under watering can lead to dehydration. Either of those can lead to a lost plant.
You should typically water your plants with water that has a 6.5- 7.0 Ph balance for the best quality of usable marijuana. This especially true if using a hydroponic system to grow your cannabis.
Harvest, Dry, and Cure
After you have successfully brought your plant through the growing stages it’s time to harvest your crop. But this process is a bit more complicated than it sounds. It’s important to remember the drying and curing process.
When drying your cannabis most growers would suggest hanging the buds harvested upside down in a dark closet or room. The temperature should be kept from 60-70 degrees and low humidity. This helps with preserving the smell and flavor of your cannabis.
After ten to fifteen days your buds are dried out. Now it’s time to cure them, this step is crucial to increase potency and shelf life.
To cure your cannabis start by trimming your buds if you haven’t already done so. Then you want to store the trimmed buds in an air-tight container, most growers use a quart-sized mason jar. You will then store the container in a cool dry room for one to two months.
It’s important to open the container every few days or so while curing. This allows moisture to escape and replaces oxygen in the jar. If you smell an ammonia smell your buds are to wet to cure, and are developing mold.
Other Things to Consider
In many states where cannabis cultivation is legal, you must hang a certificate or license up where you are growing your cannabis. Keep this in mind while choosing a place to grow your cannabis.
We hope you found this guide helpful. Don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends, and check out the other great post on our blog.