Cannabis legalization has expanded across the country in the last few years. Multiple states have legalized access to not only medical patients but also for full recreational sale and use.
For many cannabis connoisseurs, the thought of growing their own cannabis is appealing and a way to learn more about this lovely plant. Some may also choose to grow to spend less money at a dispensary, or for their own convenience. However, it should also be noted that depending on whether you want to grow in or outdoors, the cost of equipment might outweigh the money you are looking to save.
To begin, first, check to see if cannabis is legal in the state you live. This may differ depending on the purpose for consumption, as well as the amount you intend to grow.
Read below to learn which states have legalized growing cannabis as of April 20, 2023.
Which States Allow Growing Cannabis Plants at Home?
In addition to having varying marijuana cultivation laws across U.S. states, there may also be extra laws subject to local regulations.
Generally states that allow home growing limit the number of plants within a household. Cannabis plants grown independently must be in a secure, enclosed space on private property, which is away from schools, parks, or anywhere else minors (under age 21) gather. Because cannabis is still considered illegal under federal law, using or growing cannabis on federal land is strictly prohibited.
For a quick reference:
States allow you to grow marijuana indoors for medical or recreational purposes:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
States that allow you to grow marijuana only for medical use :
Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah
See the full breakdown and descriptions for each below:
Alaska is considered the great white North and allows adults to grow a total of 6 cannabis plants that can be for medical or recreational use. If there is more than one adult living in a single-residence home, you may grow up to 12 plants. Note that a single owner can only have 3 flowering cannabis plants, and a household with multiple adults cannot have more than 6 flowering plants at one time.
With its abundant sunshine, Arizona is a great place to grow the heat-loving cannabis plant. Yet, Arizona law only allows licensed medical marijuana patients or their direct caregivers to grow up to 6 plants. This is only allowed if the patient resides more than 25 miles away from the nearest dispensary. Otherwise, the patient must get their cannabis through a dispensary.
California laws dictate that any adult can grow 6 plants, though no house may have more than that, regardless of the number of adults living there.
Rules differ for medical marijuana patients, who may get a grower’s recommendation, allowing them to have as many plants as they want, within a 100 ft. space. California is a big state, and these rules can vary by county, so double-check before you start planting!
Colorado is another state considered a cannabis pioneer. It allows adults to grow up to 6 cannabis plants, as long as only 3 are flowering. Medical marijuana patients can work with the state to grow more, and licensed caregivers can grow up to 36 plants for 5 patients.
Aloha! Hawaii allows medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis – up to 10 plants per house. However, despite the island’s laid-back reputation, the state regulates private cannabis growing and requires all patients to register. Some locations even require displaying the number of plants on a sign on the roof, to be checked by helicopter!
Recreational cannabis use is legal for adults in Illinois, but growing your own cannabis plants is not. Illinois allows cannabis growing for medical marijuana patients and their caregivers. Additionally, there are laws limiting growing no more than five cannabis plants at a time.
In Maine, recreational and medical cannabis adult users may have 6 flowering plants or 12 non-flowering plants per house. Vacationland indeed!
Massachusetts allows adults (21+) to grow 6 cannabis plants for recreational as well as medical use. If there are many adults living in a residence, you can have up to 12 plants, but no more.
In Michigan, caregivers of up to 5 medical marijuana patients can grow up to 60 cannabis plants, or 12 per patient. Recreational users who are 21+ can grow up to 12 plants in their private residences.
Missouri has legalized recreational marijuana, but the rules for growing your own are more complicated. Only medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can grow their own, and only after they have been approved for a [Patient Cultivation Card](https://health.mo.gov/safety/cannabis/patient-cultivation.php#:~:text=Licensed patients may obtain a,a single enclosed locked facility.) and paid the $50 fee. After that, they may have the following: 6 flowering marijuana plants, 6 non-flowering plants, and 6 smaller clones. All of the plants must be inside a single closed facility.
Many were surprised by the cowboy states’ legalization of cannabis for recreational and medical use in 2022. Yet, growing your own plant is still only allowed for medical patients. The Montana Department of Public Health requires that all patients report their cannabis-growing activities. A single medical marijuana patient may have 4 flowering plants or 12 immature cannabis plants in their private home. If two medical marijuana patients share a home, the number of mature plants allowed goes up to 8.
Nevada, the home of free-wheeling Las Vegas, has legalized marijuana for recreational use. But for those who want to grow, you must live more than 25 miles from a licensed cannabis dispensary. Those households can have 6 plants per adult or 12 in total. The same rules apply to medical patients.
Medical and recreational marijuana is legalized in New Mexico. It’s important to note that individuals may have up to 8 ounces. Yet, only medical marijuana patients/caregivers can grow their own cannabis plants. They may have 16 cannabis plants, but only 4 mature plants at any one time.
New York state allows medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis at a private house with up to 6 plants, 3 mature, allowed at any one time. This cannabis may only be for personal medical use. Caregivers can grow 6 plants per patient as well, with no more than 12 plants at any time. Caregivers are also only allowed to have 5 pounds of trimmed cannabis in their homes.
Oklahoma also only allows medical marijuana patients to grow their cannabis. Patients can have up to 6 mature plants and 6 clones in their private homes.
Oregon has recreational cannabis with some of the best prices in the country. It also allows adults to grow 4 plants. Caregivers of medical marijuana patients can grow up to 8 plants, with only 6 maturing at a time.
Rhode Island is another state with legalized cannabis. Cannabis can be smoked in public but only where cigarettes are permitted. Only medical marijuana patients and caregivers can grow their own, but they can have up to 12 plants indoors.
Vermont allows its adult residents to have up to 9 cannabis plants at one time, under the condition that no more than 2 are mature and flowering.
Virginia does not allow for the legal sale of recreational marijuana. Residents may own up to an ounce and use it for recreational purposes. They may not sell what they grow. Adults can have up to 4 plants per household, regardless of how many adults live there.
Washington State differentiates between a physician’s recommendation and a Medical Marijuana card. Washington’s medical marijuana patients can grow cannabis at home with a physician’s recommendation. Those patients may have 4 plants (per patient), or 6 if they also have a medical marijuana card from Washington State. A physician’s recommendation permits residents to have up to 15 plants.
Washington, D.C. legalized recreational cannabis use for adults.
Laws allow them to grow up to 6 plants for recreational use with only 3 being mature at one time. A private house with many adults can grow up to 12 plants. Medical marijuana patients can grow their own plants in Washington D.C.