Where is it Legal to Grow Weed in the US? Marijuana Cultivation Laws

Marijuana has been one of the most controversial plants of the last century and of this. It has been highly stigmatised and subjected to a lot of cultural appropriation. That has led to a lot of people having very mixed ideas about the cannabis plant. In the present day, only 16 out of the 50 states in the United States have not legalized weed in any form. States like Idaho, Indiana, Kansas etc. are least likely to legalize weed in the near future.

The US has different marijuana cultivation laws, recently, California and New York have allowed the use of cannabis. Some states have approved home growing of recreational cannabis, like Hawaii and Maryland. Some states have approved only home growing of medical cannabis, e.g., Arkansas and Florida. Some states where marijuana still remains illegal.

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Although cannabis has become accepted nationwide, a natural increase in the number of states allowing home cultivations should have happened. Home cultivation of the cannabis plant is still highly regulated. Since 2020, a variety of initiatives have started coming up and it seems more plausible that more states will soon allow for home cultivation. Marijuana cultivation laws in states that allow either recreational or medicinal growing include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado etc.

Home Growing Allowed For Medical or Recreational 

Medicinal cannabis is allowed to grow in whichever state the recreational cannabis is allowed to grow. However, recreational home growing of course has a little more restrictions as compared to medical growth. Medicinal use of cannabis has become more acceptable by the society at large. Depends on the state that you live in and the general perception of weed, you can be administered marijuana for a sore foot, or to ease out the pain of cancer.

States that allow you to grow marijuana indoor for medical or recreational purpose:


It is interesting to note that in the 1990s Oregon, California, Washington were national leaders in growing Marijuana. Oregon was also a pioneer in relaxing the marijuana cultivation laws.

States that allow you to grow marijuana only for medical use :

These states have a lot of regulations involved when growing at home. Most mandate the number of plants that can be grown for patients or caregivers. The laws may even be subject to local regulations.

Marijuana flag in front of capitol america

What you really need to know about Marijuana Cultivation Laws

The sale and consumption of weed with more than 0.3% THC is illegal in the USA. Although several laws have provisions for the use of such weed, it is still illegal under federal law. Cannabis had been stigmatised for many years in the USA and was illegal to grow. Industrial hemp is required to be grown under a special permit obtained from the government. It wasn’t until 2014 that Universities and State Agriculture departments were authorized to research the industrial uses of the plant. In December 2018, after the passing of the farm bill, hemp was legally allowed to grow in the country. However, growing it for individual use, as under marijuana cultivation laws, has a lot of restrictions.

How much cannabis can you legally possess?

In most states where marijuana is legal for recreational purposes, you have to be at least 21 years old. You can even possess up to one ounce legally on a person at a given point in time. According to the marijuana cultivation laws, you can grow above 12 cannabis plants. However, some states allow people to grow up to 25 plants for personal use in a private residence like Alaska.

An overview of home growing marijuana:

As some states have different rules for the home growing of cannabis, there are some regulations which are required to follow. There are various advantages and disadvantages of growing marijuana. So before beginning to plant cannabis, you should do a thorough research about plant types, climate, and other requirements. However, you need to be sure that you are growing the plants according to the rules.

Conforming to marijuana cultivation laws, you have to be 21 years age to grow cannabis plants in any state of the US. You can only grow a certain number of plants or have a designated area in some states where you can grow weed for recreation. In California, you can only grow 6 cannabis plants per adult above the age of 21 for recreational and medical use. 

The different types of authorizations for growing marijuana

For Medical: Cannabis has now been recommended in varying doses to patients. They help with various conditions and are very effective. Various states have marijuana cultivation laws regarding medical growing of cannabis. Either the patients themselves can grow the plants or professional caregivers are allowed to grow for their patients. Medicinal marijuana is a sector that has highly been regulated. You can only grow weed if you have a certain kind of permit card like the MMJ card. Other states, like Nevada, have a unique law, based on convenience. The marijuana cultivation law for medicinal Marijuana mandates that adults who live 25 miles or further from a licensed Nevada dispensary may grow up to six plants per person indoors or 12 per household for recreational use if the property owner allows it. Medical marijuana patients may only grow cannabis at home if the closest dispensary is more than 25 miles from their home, patient can’t travel to a dispensary, the strain or amount needed to treat the patient isn’t available at a dispensary in their county, or the patient was already growing at home before July 1, 2013.

For Recreational: Each state has a certain limit on plants, e.g., Alaska allows 6 plants per adult of 21. A certain premise can only have a limited number of plants, regardless of the number of adults. In Alaska, only 12 plants can be grown on a premise. Permission from the land owner is required.

For Medicinal and Recreational: As stated, different states have different laws. Where cannabis can be grown for recreational purposes, by default allows the growing of it for medicinal use. People who have the correct card or permit can ask to grow more than the permissible limit of recreational growth. In California, there is no limit to the number of plants that you can grow. You can grow as many as you want in a designated area of 100 square feet.

Set of medical marijuana products

Medical Cannabis Approved but No Home Growing Allowed

For many years medical practitioners have been pushing for legislations that allow for using cannabis or extracts for medicinal purposes. Although marijuana has undergone a lot of stigma, the benefits of medical marijuana are endless.

States that allow medical cannabis but prohibits home growing:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

These states mandate that the patients pick up their required dosage from a dispensary as required by producing a card. The first state to legalize medicinal Marijuana was California all the way back in 1996.It is the last state to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana. New York legalized the medical use of cannabis as recently as 2014. They have now legalized recreational marijuana as well in 2021.

Important things to know before growing cannabis at home

Growing Marijuana Now

No Medical, No Recreational, No Home Growing Allowed

Some states in the USA haven’t still been able to fully understand the potential and benefits of the cannabis plants.

Here are the states that have made the cannabis completely illegal:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

States like Texas don't have consumption of weed as a common phenomenon. Even other conservative states as listed above, view weed with a lot of misinformation and distaste. These states believe that people who consume weed are outsiders and must be removed before society is harmed.

About growing marijuana in Canada

It is legal to own around 30 grams of marijuana or more than an ounce of weed anywhere in Canada. The states have various different rules for consumption, growing and selling of cannabis. States like Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have strict laws to smoke marijuana at a designated area.

However, according to the federation legislation, a person can grow cannabis, by procuring seeds from a provincially regulated retailer. Canadians can grow up to 4 plants per residence, for personal use. If you want to sell them you will need a special license.

What do you know about growing marijuana in Canada?

The future of the marijuana cultivation

The world is moving fast and it is hopeful that states will eventually legalize weed and also its cultivation sooner than expected. Although the steps will be small. States that allow medicinal marijuana cultivation, may allow recreational use. Those that allow medicinal marijuana may allow cultivation and so on. Lastly March 31st, 2021 the State of New York has become the most recent state to legalize home growing.

The world is slowly progressing towards decriminalization of weed. The biggest step being the United Nations that recognizes cannabis for medical use, by removing it from the list of dangerous drugs !

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