Where is it Legal to Grow Marijuana at Home in the US?

Growing your own marijuana at home is an interesting and exciting journey. If you think about it, cannabis cultivation is just a more rewarding form of gardening, which is known to relieve stress and promote relaxation. More importantly, you are growing powerful medicine that can heal a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain to seizures, and maybe even cancer. Just imagine, once you get a seed of this medicine, you can grow it as many times as you like with just some soil, fertilizer, water, and light. It is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Unfortunately, complications brought about by modern society has imposed a limit on this freedom to grow. It is a good thing though that science has brought to light the many benefits of cannabis because the impact it can make on a person’s quality of life presents such a compelling reason to relax this restriction.

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Legal Shmegal

Legalities are often confusing. There are so many “if” and “buts” to deal with and unfortunately, this is true for marijuana laws in the US. At the federal level, both medical and recreational cannabis is still illegal. However, there are already a good number of states that allow both and even home growing. Confusing? You bet it is.  

Are the feds gonna come after you?

Not quite. It’s interesting to know that federal laws still trump state laws as written in the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. However, the federal government is very unlikely to prosecute a regular Joe for marijuana possession. Rather, they go after bigger fish like dispensaries and companies. Low-level offenses are often left to state authorities and in states where cannabis is legal, it ceases to be a problem. 

So what exactly is legal for me to possess?

Just because you’ve read that marijuana is legal in a particular state doesn’t mean that all forms of it in any amount would be legal. First off, there is a difference between medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana. Aside from this, there are also specific rules on growing marijuana at home and these are different per state. Additionally, not all states that allow possession will allow home growing. 

What state should I move to?

Before you bid your weed hatin’ state adieu, if you do live in one, you may want to know first that there may be a good chance that it will be legalized in the near future. When you look at the key cannabis legalization milestones in the past decade, it resembles dominoes falling one after the other. In a way, the proverbial foot is already in the door. All that’s needed now is for the public to see the overwhelming benefits that the legalization of weed will bring to the economy and society so the scales can be tipped in favor of marijuana.

But if a few years is too long a wait for you, here are the states that allow its residents to grow marijuana at home and the conditions that must be followed for its cultivation to be legal. If your state is not listed below, it means it’s too square for growing marijuana.

States where home growing weed is legal

Alaska

Alaska is pretty chill with weed. Residents 21 years old and up can grow as many as 6 plants. However, only 3 of the plants can be mature and flowering at any one time. Also, no more than 12 marijuana plants are allowed in a home regardless of how many adults live there. Learn more about growing cannabis in Alaska.

Arizona

Arizona adults are now allowed to grow their own for both medical and recreational purposes. Adults may now grow up to 6 plants for themselves and up to 12 per household. Learn more about growing cannabis in Arizona.

California

Good guy California allows its residents to grow up to 6 plants for recreational use but the rules for medical marijuana are not the same for all counties. In some counties, you even cram as many plants that you can within 100 square feet of your home for medical purposes. 

However, your plants must not be visible to the public if you are growing outdoors. Growing inside your home is also not allowed unless there is no feasible alternative. It must be done in a garage or greenhouse away from public view. Learn more about growing cannabis in California.

Colorado

Residents aged 21 and up in the second state to legalize marijuana can happily grow up to 6 plants with three mature and flowering at any one time. This is both for recreational and medical marijuana, but a caregiver can claim up to 5 patients and grow up to 36 plants. Learn more about growing cannabis in Colorado.

Hawaii

The Aloha state is a pretty cool dude. Hawaiians are allowed to grow an “adequate supply” of medical cannabis, which is 10 plants and below if they are registered patients and caregivers. The plants must be grown only in one location that is owned by the 329 Card holder. Learn more about growing cannabis in Hawaii.

Illinois

If you are ill with any of the qualifying conditions in Illinois’s medical marijuana program, then you register and grow up to 5 plants at a time. Learn more about growing cannabis in Illinois.

Maine

Maine is the man when it comes to growing weed since it allows residents 21 up to grow three mature plants, 12 immature plants, and an unlimited number of seedlings for recreational use. Registered medical marijuana growers can even have as much as 6 mature plants. Learn more about growing cannabis in Maine.

Massachusetts

You can grow marijuana en masse in Massachusetts. Bay State residents 21 up can grow 6 plants for themselves. However, only up to 12 mature plants can be grown in a residence with two or more adults. Likewise, the plants have to be kept away from public view. Learn more about growing cannabis in Massachusetts.

Michigan

Weed is sure to be great in the Great Lake State since Michigan residents of legal age can grow up to 12 plants. All cannabis plants should be kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Learn more about growing cannabis in Michigan.

Missouri

Missouri’s marijuana laws are kind of sour. While residents of legal age who are qualified to grow under the state’s medical marijuana laws can grow up to 6 flowering plants, it’s still a felony to get marijuana seedlings or seeds in Missouri or from one of the 32 other states with legal marijuana. Learn more about growing cannabis in Missouri.

Montana

Adults in Montana can now grow as many as 4 mature plants and 4 seedlings for personal use, with a limit of 8 plants per household. This was the legal home cultivation limit previously granted only to qualified patients registered in the state’s medical marijuana program. Learn more about growing cannabis in Montana.

Nevada

Nevada has a big “but”. What I mean by this is that although Nevadans can grow up to 6 plants per person and 12 per household, they can only do so if they are not within 25 miles of a state-licensed retail marijuana store. Likewise, the plants have to be kept away from public view. Learn more about growing cannabis in Nevada.

New Mexico

Adults aged 21 and older may grow up to 6 marijuana plants for themselves with a limit of 12 per household now that New Mexico is the 17th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, patients who qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program and their registered caregivers are allowed to grow up to 16 plants, but only four of those should be flowering. Learn more about growing cannabis in New Mexico.

New York

New York is poised to become a mega-marijuana market within a few years now that it has finally legalized recreational cannabis under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), adults 12 and over may possess up to 3 ounces of weed or 24 grams of concentrate and cultivate up to 6 plants per person or 12 per household.  This is especially good news for patients in the state’s medical marijuana program who were previously not permitted to grow their own.  Learn more about New York’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Oklahoma

Growing in OK is ok only under the state’s medical marijuana program. A legally-aged person registered in the program can have up to 6 mature plants and 6 seedlings only. Learn more about growing cannabis in Oklahoma.

Oregon

Kind of odd that for a state where medical and recreational marijuana are both legal, Oregon residents are only allowed to grow up to 4 plants per residence. Learn more about growing cannabis in Oregon.

Rhode Island

Like most in our list, Rhode Islanders can only grow their own if their condition qualifies for their state’s medical marijuana program. Surprisingly enough, registered patients are allowed to grow 12 flowering plants and 12 seedlings, which is amazing. Learn more about growing cannabis in Rhode Island.

South Dakota

South Dakota made history in 2020 when its voters approved the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana at the same time. Come July 2021, adult residents will be allowed to grow up to 3 plants for themselves and a maximum of 6 per household. Medical users will be able to grow 3 plants or more depending on the recommendation of their physician.

Vermont

Vermont definitely lived up to its moniker “the Green Mountain State”. But like Oregon, the number of mature flowering plants residents can keep is limited. In fact, while it is legal to own 9 plants, only two can be mature at a given time. Learn more about growing cannabis in Vermont.

Virginia

The Old Dominion State made history this year after becoming the first Southern state to legalize recreational marijuana and also allow home cultivation. Virginians will be allowed to grow up to 4 plants per household once the law takes effect on January 1, 2024. Learn more about growing cannabis in Virginia.

Washington

It’s all good in Washington. Residents who are registered in the state’s medical marijuana program are allowed to grow up to 6 plants. This can even increase to 15 per household if the patient’s healthcare practitioner can show that the patient requires more than the presumptive amount. Learn more about growing cannabis in Washington

Washington DC

Popularly known for its “weed gift economy” D.C. offers potheads a pretty sweet deal. Any resident of legal age can grow up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants in their homes and up to 12 plants can be grown if a house has more than 2 adults. Learn more about growing cannabis in Washington DC.

States where home cultivation of weed is illegal

Alabama

The Alabama Senate recently passed a medical marijuana bill filed earlier this year. However, advocates criticized it for being narrow, since it only allows physicians to recommend cannabis medication to patients with chronic or intractable pain in cases where “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.” In terms of recreational use, it is still a Class A misdemeanor to carry pot for personal use at present. This is punishable by up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $6000. Learn more about Alabama’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Arkansas

The Natural State may have a medical marijuana program but it doesn’t allow pot cultivation of any kind. Furthermore, possession of 4 oz or less is already a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a 1-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $2,500. Learn more about Arkansas marijuana laws on home growing.

Connecticut

Although the Constitution State has a medical marijuana program and has decriminalized the possession of small amounts, it is still illegal to grow at home in the state. While possession of 0.5 oz or less is only a civil penalty that gets only a $150 fine, cultivation of 1 kg and less is already a felony which starts at 7 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Learn more about Connecticut marijuana laws on home growing.

Delaware

While the First State does have a medical marijuana program, it doesn’t allow any kind of home cultivation and those caught with weed can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor or civil violation. Learn more about Delaware marijuana laws on home growing.

Florida

The Sunshine State also has a medical marijuana program but prohibits home growing. It is a misdemeanor to possession of up to 20 grams and you can get up to a year in prison with a fine of up to $1000. Additionally, your driver’s license may also be suspended, though the severity of the punishment may vary for every city. Learn more about Florida’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Georgia

Georgia’s marijuana laws only allow qualified patients to possess low-THC oil for their conditions. The possession of one ounce or less is already a misdemeanor which is punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $1000 or public works not to exceed 12 months. Learn more about Georgia’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Idaho

Unfortunately, the Gem state has made both medical and recreational weed illegal. Obviously, this means home growing is prohibited as well and possession of anything more than 3 ounces is considered a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000. Learn more about Idaho’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Indiana

The Hoosier State likewise frowns on anything cannabis, may it be for recreational and medical purposes. Possession at the very least is a Class B misdemeanor that gets up to 180 days prison time and/or a $1,000 fine. Learn more about Indiana’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Iowa

Unfortunately, a medical cannabidiol (CBD) program is the best thing the Hawkeye State has to offer, so no cannabis cultivation of any kind. First offenders caught with any amount of marijuana will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Learn more about Iowa’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Kansas

Weed is not welcome in the Sunflower State. First-time offenders caught with less than 450 grams will get a misdemeanor charge punishable with a 1-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500. Learn more about Kansas’ marijuana laws on home growing.

Kentucky

Even though the Bluegrass State is known for growing hemp, any form of marijuana is illegal here. Thankfully enough, the punishment for possession is relatively lighter compared to other anti-cannabis states. Although 8 oz or less will get you a misdemeanor, the penalty is only 45 days in prison and a maximum of $250 fine. Learn more about Kentucky’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Louisiana

Although the Pelican State has a medical marijuana program, home cultivation is still not allowed. The penalties for first-time possession are relatively light compared to other states: 15 day jail time and a $300 fine. Learn more about Louisiana’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Maryland

Legalization efforts seem to be gaining momentum in the Old Line State. Although home growing is still illegal, possession of 10 grams or less had already been decriminalized and reduced to a civil infraction in 2014. Maryland has also had a medical marijuana program since 2013. Learn more about Maryland’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Minnesota

The North Star State already has a medical marijuana program and is looking to pass one of the most progressive marijuana bills in the country but until then, it might take a bit of time before home growing is made legal in the state. At present, possession of 42.5 grams or less of marijuana is still considered a misdemeanor with a fine of $200. Learn more about Minnesota’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Mississippi

The Magnolia State’s marijuana laws are somewhat odd. Both medical and recreational cannabis is still illegal, which means no home growing. However, possession of small amounts has been decriminalized since 1978. If you get caught with 30 grams or less, you may only need to pay a fine of $100 to $250. Learn more about Mississippi’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Nebraska

The Cornhusker State is so uptight about weed that it even tried to sue Colorado for its marijuana laws. Although home cultivation has always been illegal in Nebraska, those who get caught with 1 oz or less for the first time will only have to pay a fine of $300. Learn more about Nebraska’s marijuana laws on home growing.

New Hampshire

The Granite State has had a therapeutic cannabis program since 2013 but still prohibits home cultivation to this day. However, it did decriminalize marijuana in 2017 and now the amount of three-quarters of an ounce only gets a fine of $100. Learn more about New Hampshire’s marijuana laws on home growing.

New Jersey

In 2020, New Jersey residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Despite this, it is still illegal to grow cannabis at home, even under the state’s medical marijuana program. Cultivation of anywhere from 1 ounce to less than 5 pounds (approx 10 plants or less) is a crime in the 3rd degree. This will land you in prison for 3-5 years with a fine of up to $25,000. Learn more about New Jersey’s marijuana laws on home growing.

North Carolina

The Tar Heel State is still very much against weed so don’t expect it to permit home cultivation anytime soon. Even medical marijuana is only allowed under narrow exceptions. While possession of 0.5 oz or less only gets a $200 fine, those caught growing less than 10 pounds will be charged with a Class I felony punishable by a 3 to 8-month prison sentence. Learn more about North Carolina’s marijuana laws on home growing.

North Dakota

The Peace Garden State legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and it remains to be seen if the latest bill that seeks to legalize recreational use will be approved. At present, possession of 0.5 ounces or less gets no jail time but carries a fine of $1000. Learn more about North Dakota’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Ohio

The Buckeye State may have decriminalized marijuana way back in 1975 and legalized medical in 2016 but it still illegal to home grow in the state at present. The penalty for possession of small amounts (3.5 oz or less) is surprisingly considerate: no jail sentence, a $150 fine, but with suspension of driver’s license from 6 months to 5 years. Learn more about Ohio’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Pennsylvania

Residents of the Keystone State still aren’t allowed to grow weed at home but they do have access to medical marijuana. However, the penalties for possession and cultivation are quite steep. Get caught with 30 grams or less and you will be charged with misdemeanor punishable by a 30-day prison sentence with a $500 fine. Meanwhile, growing is a felony that gets 2.5 to 5 years in prison and $15,000 in fines. Learn more about Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws on home growing.

South Carolina

The law comes down heavy on those caught growing marijuana in the Palmetto State. Although possession of 1 oz or less is just a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in prison and a $200 fine, cultivation of 100 plants or less is a felony that gets a 5-year prison sentence and a $5000 fine. Learn more about South Carolina’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Tennessee

The Volunteer State is staunchly anti-cannabis that even the first effort to decriminalize possession ended up getting repealed just a few months after. In fact, possession of a mere 0.5 oz to 10 lbs is already a Class E felony that gets 1 to 2 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5000. Learn more about Tennessee’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Texas

There had been numerous attempts to push for decriminalization and legalization in the long history of marijuana in the Lone Star State, but all that Texans have at present is the Compassionate Use Program that gives qualified patients access to low-THC marijuana. Penalties for possession are also steep, with 2 oz or less already a misdemeanor punishable with 180 days in jail and a $ 2,000 fine. Learn more about Texas’ marijuana laws on home growing.

Utah

The Beehive State is known for being conservative but surprisingly, it does have a medical marijuana program but its new Medical Cannabis Act no longer allows home growing. At present, possession of even less than 1 oz is already a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months jail time and a maximum fine of $1000. Learn more about Utah’s marijuana laws on home growing.

West Virginia

The Mountain State approved a medical marijuana program just a few years ago but it’s not likely to legalize home cultivation anytime soon. Possession penalties are stiff, any amount counts as a misdemeanor that can get you 90 days to 6 months jail time and up to $1000 in fines. Learn more about West Virginia’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Wisconsin

Don’t even try cultivating weed in the Badger State where all forms of marijuana is illegal. Growing 4 plants or less (200 grams and less) is automatically a Class 1 felony that is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 3.5 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Learn more about Wisconsin’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Wyoming

The Cowboy State does not tolerate marijuana in any form. Cultivation, at the very least, is a misdemeanor that gets up to 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Learn more about Wyoming’s marijuana laws on home growing.

Conclusion

As you may have noticed, even though state laws allow weed to be “legal” there are still a lot of restricting conditions that accompany it. Some of the most common prerequisites for handling and growing weed legally are the following: 

  • Be of legal age.
  • Some states require a permit to grow, some do not.
  • Marijuana laws may vary per city, county or locality. 
  • Plants should be kept away from public view.
  • Never sell if you’re not an authorized marijuana business. Especially not to a minor.
  • Only give marijuana to a minor if you are the legal guardian and are authorized to do so under your state’s medical marijuana program.
  • There is a limit to the plants that can be grown per household, regardless of the number of adults living there.

So if you are planning to grow your own, make sure to do diligent research prior. Log on to your state’s website and send an email if you have to. Otherwise, you might be in for a nasty surprise. 

Thinking About Growing Your Own?

Check out this post where I go into the details about equipment, seeds and the reasons why I got started in this journey.

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