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How many marijuana plants can you grow in California? If you plan on growing cannabis in California, there are few things to keep in mind. California allows for the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis. Home cultivation limits vary based on program, as well as city and county laws.
Here's a breakdown of the number of marijuana plants you can grow in the state and local restrictions.
How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Grow in California as a Medical Patient and Caregiver
Under Proposition 215, qualified patients and caregivers can legally grow medical cannabis for personal use with a recommendation from a licensed physician. As long as you're growing for personal use, you're legally allowed to grow cannabis in an area that's 100 square feet.
Generally, patients can grow up to 6 mature marijuana plants and 12 immature plants, or an amount consistent with their needs upon a licensed physician's approval.
For caregivers, the grow area limit is 500 square feet. Caregivers are able to assist up to 5 patients.
Qualifying patient grow limit: Up to 6 plants (12 per household); Up to 100 sq. ft. grow area per residence
Caregiver grow limit: Up to 500 sq. ft. grow area per residence
If you want to start growing cannabis as a medical patient, check out our resource on how to get a medical cannabis card in California.
How Many Marijuana Plants Can a Recreational User Grow?
Under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), adults over 21 years of age may grow up to 6 cannabis plants. The law limits the number of plants grown per residence to 6. Growing more than this amount can result in criminal penalties.
Recreational user grow limit: Up to 6 plants per household
Storage & Handling Requirements
Cannabis grown from your plants must be stored in a specific way. If you grow more than 1 oz of usable cannabis material, you must:
- Keep your bud at home
- Keep it in a locked space
- Make sure it's not visible from a public place
Violations of these rules are punished with a fine of up to $250.
Local Government Restrictions
In spite of the medical and recreational cannabis laws in the state, local governments can restrict or ban cannabis cultivation within their jurisdiction under local nuisance laws.
While local laws can prohibit personal-use gardens, they can't ban indoor cultivation if it's “fully enclosed and secure.” Some cities or counties may require a permit to grow cannabis.
You can find your local ordinance code online. Just follow these steps:
- Google search the name of your city or county + “code” or “municipal code”
- Click on the link to your city or county municipal code website
- Search for “marijuana” or “cannabis”
Not all municipal codes are up-to-date. Check with your city or county’s council or board for the most recent ordinances.
Tenants are subject to landlord restrictions. An owner has the right to prohibit cannabis cultivation on the premises. They can also ban cannabis smoking on the property. Landlords may prohibit cannabis cultivation due to the smell, smoke, and intended property modifications.
Marijuana Cultivation Penalties
Growers between the ages of 18 and 20 that legally grow 6 plants or less can receive a $100 fine. Growing more than 6 plants is a misdemeanor punishable by $500 and/or 6 months in jail. Repeat offenders with violent or serious prior convictions (including sale to minors under 18) can get charged with a felony.
For Personal Use ONLY
Cannabis grown at home should only be for personal use. Under the law, you're allowed to give a certain amount to a qualifying patient or adult. However, selling your cannabis, especially to a minor, can result in serious criminal charges.
Possession of cannabis for illegal sale or distribution of any amount is a misdemeanor. A felony can be charged for the following:
- Third-time offenders
- Offenders with 2 prior violent felony strikes and registered sex offenders
- Knowing sale to minors under the age of 18
- Employing persons 21 or under to help sell, grow, transport, etc
Illegal sale, furnishing, administering, giving away, transporting for sale, or importing into the state is also a misdemeanor. Felony charges are reserved for repeat and violent offenders, or those who sell to minors.
Before the legalization of adult-use cannabis, medical patients weren't limited to the amount of cannabis they could grow. A physician could prescribe the need for a large amount of cannabis depending on the condition. However, local cities and counties still had the ability to ban personal cultivation outdoors.
Buying Cannabis Seeds and Clones
Medical patients and adults over the age of 21 can buy cannabis seeds and clones from licensed retailers. In addition, you can buy individual seeds or seed packs from online seed banks that ship to the US.
Learn to Grow Weed
Interested in learning how to grow cannabis at home? Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis training program.
Explore basic and advanced growing techniques in hundreds of videos and thousands of ebook pages. Get one-year access to the curriculum and learn at your own pace. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a computer, smartphone, or tablet. It’s that easy.