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Growing weed in an apartment complex is a tricky subject. While many cannabis users have had no problems growing marijuana in their rental unit, in some cases, growing cannabis can create problems with your neighbors and landlord. Nevertheless, there are many tips and tricks to grow weed successfully in an apartment.
Is Growing Weed in an Apartment Legal?
Let's start with the most crucial factor to consider before you start growing weed in an apartment. Marijuana users must be familiar with the latest local and state laws, as well as any rental agreement provisions about the home cultivation of cannabis.
Local and State Laws
Local and state laws regarding home cannabis cultivation vary by region. For example, some states entirely ban medical and recreational marijuana cultivation. Other states restrict the number of plants a person can grow and where they can grow them. In California, for example, recreational marijuana laws allow adults over 21 to grow up to six plants at home.
When it comes to growing weed in your apartment, its legality is more complex than growing weed in your house. Generally, rental agreements and leases do not allow you to grow cannabis in your apartment.
Currently, cannabis is a federally illegal Controlled I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Schedule I substances include heroin and LSD, which have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Landlords may consist of a provision prohibiting federally illegal activities like growing pot.
Even though home cultivation and medical cannabis use may be legal in your state, city, and county, setting up a cannabis garden can violate your rental agreement. In rare cases, you may be able to grow weed in your unit if your landlord allows it, but this is not the norm.
In your rental agreement, there may be a provision that prohibits modifications to the rental property, including changing light fixtures or installing exhaust systems through the wall.
When growing cannabis indoors, you increase the electricity usage to regulate temperature, humidity, and lighting. Equipment related to cannabis cultivation can cause water damage or become a fire hazard from the grow lights, especially high-intensity bulbs.
The consequences of violating a rental agreement may vary by the property manager and state and local law. While you may not get evicted immediately, you may face court appearances or eviction if you continue to engage in this illegal activity.
Choosing an Apartment-Friendly Cannabis Strain
Indoor cultivation can limit the space you have to grow, especially when growing in a grow box, grow tent, or closet. If you are limited in vertical or horizontal space, here are a few factors to consider when choosing apartment-friendly cannabis strains.
Indica, Sativa, or Autoflowering Strains
Indica strains are great for apartment grows. They usually grow short and bushy instead of tall and skinny like sativa plants. Autoflowering strains are also good since they grow shorter and faster than most strains and automatically flower after a few weeks without changing the lighting cycle.
Low Odor Strains
If you're planning to grow pot in your apartment, choosing low-smell strains can ensure you have a lower risk of getting caught growing marijuana and disturbing your neighbors.
Low-odor strains include:
- Durban Poison
- Master Kush
- Northern Lights
- Jack Herer
- Strawberry Cough
- Granddaddy Purple
Where to Grow Weed in an Apartment
Apartments vary in layout, square footage, and height. Choosing the right grow space for your cannabis requires considering various factors. Here are the most common places to grow weed in an apartment and their pros and cons.
A closet provides a tiny and contained space to hide your cannabis plants and create a mini grow environment.
- Suitable for small plants and gardens
- May require the entire closet, limiting your space for clothes and other items
- May need to be lined with reflective mylar
- May be too confined for plant management
- Limits the number of pot plants that can be grown
Growing weed in your balcony can be done but is much riskier and not recommended if you want to keep your grow hidden from nosy neighbors and landlords.
- Requires less energy an indoor growing
- Can get light from sunlight and proper airflow
- Reduced ability to control the smell
- Requires extra consideration to keep plants away from public view
- May not get optimal sunlight intensity and exposure
A grow tent is a popular choice for many growers. Grow tents are relatively affordable, easy to set up, and provide a self-contained space where you can give your plants the right amount of pest protection, light, air flow, water, and nutrients. It also eliminates light leaks.
- Easy to install
- Suitable for small gardens
- Excellent for pest control
- Provides a sealed environment to prevent light leaks
- Limits the space to grow cannabis compared to a complete grow room. although grow tents come in a variety of sizes
- Smaller tents do not allow much room for movement and access
For some marijuana growers, a grow box is a popular alternative to growing weed in a closet or a grow tent. Grow boxes are self-contained cabinets that are specifically designed for growing plants, herbs, or cannabis.
- Comes with everything you need to grow cannabis
- Simple to set up
- Great for beginners or busy growers
- Provides more effective light and odor containment than a tent or closet
- More expensive than other options
- Does not allow much room for variation in grow lights or other equipment
Filtering the Cannabis Smell
Managing the intense aroma of cannabis with various odor control methods is important to avoid becoming a public nuisance to neighbors and your landlord and breaking your lease terms. Filtering the cannabis smell also keeps your grow secret, which reduces its risk of being stolen or tampered with.
Setting up an exhaust system with an activated carbon filter can significantly reduce the odor of your apartment's grow room. An exhaust fan pulls stale air from your grow room or grow tent environment and passes it through a carbon filter to trap the odor.
Ventilation in your grow space is essential for keeping your plants healthy. A proper ventilation system ensures your plants get a consistent supply of fresh air and that stale air is being removed consistently.
Good airflow prevents your room from becoming too hot or stuffy for your plants. High humidity can increase the risk of mold and mildew formation across your garden. A dehumidifier can maintain optimal humidity levels.
Choosing the Right Grow Lights: Why LED Are the Best
When growing weed in an apartment building, using light-emitting diodes (LED) grow lights is your best option. While LEDs may cost more upfront, they can provide energy savings over the long run.
Here is why LEDs are great for an apartment garden.
- Lower energy bill: LEDs are much more energy-efficient than alternatives like high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs. LEDs can keep your energy bills down and keep landlords from noticing any suspicious energy usage.
- Run cooler than HID bulbs: Compared to HID bulbs, LEDs run much cooler, which can help manage the temperature in your apartment.
Soundproofing Your Grow Space
Soundproofing your grow room, grow box, or growing space is a critical aspect of keeping your garden noise-free and unobtrusive.
Grow boxes are usually soundproof but grow tents and closets may need soundproofing to reduce equipment noise from fans, pumps, and other devices.
Learn How to Grow Weed Like a Pro at CTU
Learn how to legally and effectively and legally grow marijuana in your home by enrolling in Cannabis Training University’s online marijuana college. Learn the latest marijuana laws, where to buy cannabis seeds and what to look for, how to give your plants the proper airflow, how to manage the lighting cycle, how to control humidity levels, and how to have a successful harvest. Learn more about our legacy cannabis education.
Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.