In which states can you grow your own recreational or medicinal cannabis?
As more states approved medicinal and recreational cannabis in recent years, one might think that the number of states where cannabis can be grown at home would increase proportionally. However, this is not the case. Almost the same number of states allow home growing today as it did three years ago.
Today there are only 16 states that have not legalized medical cannabis and / or adult cannabis. Of the 34 states and Washington, DC that have legalized medical cannabis and / or cannabis for adults, more than half (18 states, including Washington, DC) allow cannabis to be grown at home.
With a plethora of legalization initiatives for multiple state votes in November, the market can be expected to continue growing, and over time, more states can allow some type of home cultivation for individuals. Until then, let’s take a look at what each state allows for home grown marijuana.
States that enable home growth
The rules of each state are slightly different when it comes to personal cannabis cultivation. Significantly, some states that have approved adult cannabis make no distinction between recreational and medicinal cultivation, while other medical marijuana patients allow more growth than recreational users, and others only allow medicinal cultivation by individual residents.
Cultivation of medical or recreational homes allowed
States that have approved the cultivation of recreational or medicinal cannabis include:
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- Washington, DC
It is interesting to note that Illinois is the only state that allows legal recreational cannabis, but does not allow home cultivation.
Medicinal cannabis approved, but not allowed to grow yourself
Among the states that have approved medical cannabis but not adult cannabis (with and without operational programs), the following do not allow medical patients to grow at home:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- new York
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
No medical, no recreational, no house cultivation allowed
States where cannabis is not legal in any form and therefore not grown at home include:
- North Carolina
- South carolina
- South Dakota
State home growing rules for recreational and medicinal cannabis
At the time of this writing, the home growing rules in the United States focus on the number and maturity of cannabis plants to regulate how much cannabis can be grown in their dormitories. Below is a quick rundown of the rules for home growing in all 17 states as well as the District of Columbia that allows it.
For the most up-to-date home growing regulations by state, see NORML’s State Laws page, Marijuana Policy Project’s State Policy page, or NCIA’s State-by-State Policies page.
Alaska – Medicinal and recreational crops allowed
Adults 21 and older can grow up to six recreational or adult cannabis plants, but they can only have up to three mature (flowering) plants at a time. If multiple adults aged 21 and over are living in a dormitory, a maximum of 12 plants are allowed in that dormitory, and no more than six of them can be mature.
Arizona – Medical waxing allowed
Patients (and caregivers) living more than 25 miles from a licensed pharmacy can grow up to 12 cannabis plants.
California – Medicinal and Recreational Cultivation Allowed
California allows adults 21 and older to grow up to six plants for personal use, and no more than six plants can be in a dorm at a time. Medical cannabis patients do not have growing peaks. Instead, they are allowed to grow what they need to treat their ailments in an area of 100 square feet. However, local jurisdictions may set their own upper limits.
Colorado – Medicinal and recreational crops allowed
Adults 21 and older can grow up to six cannabis plants for recreational or medicinal use, but no more than three of these plants can be mature at any one time. Medical marijuana patients may ask to grow more. In addition, caregivers with more than one patient (they can have up to five) are allowed to grow up to 36 plants.
Hawaii – Medical waxing allowed
Medical marijuana patients in Hawaii can grow up to 10 cannabis plants at a time for their own use, but must register with the state as a cultivator prior to growing.
Illinois – Medical waxing allowed
Medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Illinois can grow up to 5 cannabis plants at a time for their own use. Recreational cultivation is not allowed. Growing five plants or fewer by unregistered medical patients will be considered a violation and will result in a $ 200 fine.
Maine – Medical and Recreational Cultivation Allowed
In Maine, adults ages 21 and up can grow up to six mature cannabis plants for recreational or medicinal use. A single residence can have a maximum of six fully grown plants and 12 immature plants.
Massachusetts – Medical and recreational crops allowed
Massachusetts adults 21 years of age or older can grow up to six cannabis plants for medicinal or recreational purposes. There is a limit of 12 plants per residence regardless of how many adults live there.
Michigan – Medical and Recreational Cultivation Allowed
People 21 years or older in Michigan can grow up to 12 plants in their dorms. Nurses registered with the state can care for up to five patients and grow a maximum of 60 plants (12 per patient).
Missouri – Medical waxing allowed
Medical cannabis patients in Missouri, who pay the required license fee, can grow up to six cannabis plants at home.
Montana – Medical waxing allowed
Adult Montana residents can grow up to four adult cannabis plants or 12 seedlings at a time in their home for medicinal purposes. If two licensed medical marijuana patients live in the same apartment, they can grow a total of eight full-grown plants and eight seedlings. However, patients must report to the Montana Department of Public Health that the locations of their home are growing.
Nevada – Medical and Recreational Cultivation Allowed
Adults who live 25 miles or more from a licensed Nevada pharmacy can grow up to six plants per person indoors or 12 per household for recreational use, if the owner allows. Medical marijuana patients are only allowed to grow cannabis at home if the nearest pharmacy is more than 40 km from their home, the patient cannot travel to a pharmacy, and the load or amount required to treat the patient is not in a pharmacy in their pharmacy is available county or the patient grew up at home before July 1, 2013.
New Mexico – Medical waxing allowed
Medical marijuana patients and caregivers in New Mexico can grow up to 16 cannabis plants, and four of those plants can be mature.
Oklahoma – Medical waxing allowed
Medical cannabis patients in Oklahoma can grow up to six full-grown cannabis plants and six seedlings in their dormitories.
Oregon – Medicinal and recreational crops allowed
Adults 21 and older can grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use. Caregivers can grow up to eight plants, but only six of those plants can be mature at any one time.
Rhode Island – Medical waxing allowed
Both medical cannabis patients and caregivers in Rhode Island are allowed to grow a maximum of 12 plants and seedlings indoors in their dorms.
Vermont – Medical and Recreational Cultivation Allowed
Vermont residents are allowed to grow a maximum of nine cannabis plants at a time, but no more than two plants can be mature.
Washington – Medical waxing allowed
Only medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow cannabis in their Washington dormitories. The maximum number of plants a single patient can grow is six plants, but the number can go up to 15 plants if the patient’s doctor recommends it.
Washington, DC – Recreational crops allowed
Adults in the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older can grow up to six recreational cannabis plants at a time. A maximum of three of these plants can be mature and three can be seedlings. If multiple adults live in a dormitory, no more than 12 plants are allowed. Personal cultivation of medicinal cannabis is not permitted in Washington, DC
Key takeaways on where in the U.S. people can legally grow their own cannabis
In an article I wrote for the Cannabiz Media blog in February 2017 that discussed where to grow your own marijuana, I found that there were only 16 states where people could grow their own medical marijuana , and only eight states where people could grow their own adult cannabis.
Fast forward to November 2020 – three years later – and the numbers haven’t changed much. Today you can grow cannabis for recreational and / or medicinal purposes in 18 states (including Washington, DC) (up from 16 in 2017). However, you can only grow it in eight states if you are not a medical cannabis patient.
With new cannabis laws pending and coming into effect in the coming months and years, could more states begin providing some form of home growth for patients or consumers who use adults? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.