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How to Get a Marijuana Growing License

Last Updated: July 28, 2022By Joshua Mezher

outdoor cannabis plants

Wondering how to get a marijuana growing license in your state? Well, if your state is one of the 33 that have already approved medical marijuana, you may not need a license to grow for your own personal use.  

Growing cannabis for profit is a different story. 

Why You Need a Cannabis Cultivation License

In California, Nevada, or Oregon, you don’t need a license to grow cannabis, even if you don’t have a medical cannabis card. You will, however, need a marijuana growing license to grow for profit. 

For medical states that allow cultivation for personal use without a cannabis growing license, there are serious limits to the amount you may grow at one time. You also may not grow for profit without a specific license. 

The good news is, getting started is easy. Anyone with a green thumb and a love for pot can grow cannabis. The simplest way in the 33 medically approved states is to get a medical marijuana card. Most of these states allow cultivation for personal use. That means you cannot sell or distribute what you grow to others. 

As long as you’re not growing marijuana to start your own full-blown business, you don’t need a marijuana growing license in those 33 states. However, you must stay within the growing limits. 

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How Much Cannabis Can You Grow Without a License?

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Most states that have approved the use of medical cannabis also allow people over the age of 21 to grow the plants for personal use. In most cases, all you need is a valid medical marijuana card. You also need to understand your state’s specific growing regulations and laws.

Remember, you cannot cultivate cannabis for profit without a marijuana growing license. However, some states have loopholes that allow cardholders to gift other cardholders. If you plan to do this, study your state’s medical cannabis laws thoroughly, or consult a lawyer. 

Related: How to Grow Cannabis: 11 Pro Tips for 2022!

15 States Allow Adults to Grow Cannabis Without a Cultivation License

Note: All cannabis growers must be 21 years old or older. Recreational means growers without medical marijuana cards. Medical refers to cardholders who want to grow cannabis for personal use.

The following 15 US states allow adults over the age of 21 to cultivate medical cannabis for personal use (with limitations):

1. Alaska Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – No more than 2 adults may grow per household, cultivating up to 6 plants each. Up to three can be mature plants. Cannot transport over 1 ounce at a time.

2. Arizona Growing Limits

Medical Only – Cultivation is only allowed if you live over 25 miles away from the closest medical cannabis dispensary. No more than 12 plants per household. Must be in a locked, enclosed facility.

3. California Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – No more than 6 plants grown per household with no medical marijuana card. California medical cardholders may cultivate up to 6 mature or 12 immature plants. No one can possess over 1 ounce at a time.

Related: When to Plant Pot Outside in California

4. Colorado Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – Up to 6 plants per person. No more 3 can be in the flowering stage. The household limit is 12 cannabis plants. Recreational users may possess 1 ounce or less. Colorado medical cannabis patients may possess no more than 2 ounces.

5. Hawaii Growing Limits

Medical Only – Up to 7 plants allowed per household. May not possess over 7 ounces at any given time.

6. Maine Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – State residents may grow up to 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants at a time. No one can possess over 2.5 ounces at a time.

7. Massachusetts Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – May cultivate up to 6 mature plants. Plants must be grown where the public cannot see it.

8. Michigan Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – May cultivate no more than 12 plants per securely locked, enclosed facility. If grown outdoors, the structure must be stationary and enclosed on all sides using wooden slats, chain link fence, or other material affixed, attached or anchored to the ground to prevent general public access. 

This land must be rented, leased, or owned by the grower. Only the grower may have access. Your plants must not be visible by the naked eye from someone at ground level, in a permanent structure or adjacent property.

9. Montana Growing Limits

Medical Only – Up to 12 seedlings or 4 mature plants allowed at one time if growing for your own personal use. If a registered caregiver is appointed, the cardholder may possess no more than one ounce of usable cannabis for the patient’s consumption. 

When two or more cardholders reside in the same household, and neither has name providers as registered caregivers, up to 8 seedlings or 8 mature plants are allowed in total.

10. Nevada Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – Without a Nevada marijuana growing license, you must live at least 25 miles away from the nearest dispensary to cultivate cannabis in this state. Nevada medical cannabis cardholders can grow up to 12 plants per household, while recreational users may cultivate up to 6 per adult per household, but no more than 12.

Exception: If you cultivate a specific strain of cannabis not available at your local dispensary, Nevada encourages the cultivation of that particular strain.

11. New Mexico Growing Limits

Medical Only – May possess no more than 8 ounces of usable cannabis at one time. However, with a New Mexico Personal Production License (PPL), medical users may grow up to 16 plants, with no more than 4 being mature at one time.

12. Oregon Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – Up to 18 seedlings or 6 mature plants allowed during cultivation per household. May possess no more than 8 ounces of cannabis per person.

13. Rhode Island Growing Limits 

Medical Only – Rhode Island cardholders may cultivate no more than 12 plants at one time. Must all be grown at the same location, which must be indoors. More than one cardholder may grow cannabis cooperatively in both non-residential and residential settings with these restrictions:

  • Residential Limit – 24 seedlings or 24 mature plants and up to 10 ounces of usable cannabis
  • Non-Residential Limit – 48 seedlings or 48 mature plants and up to 10 ounces of usable cannabis

14. Vermont Growing Limits

Medical & Recreational – May grow up to 9 plants, with no more than 2 being mature. Possession of over 2 ounces of usable marijuana is not allowed.

15. Washington Growing Limits 

Medical Only– May cultivate up to 4 plants for personal use and possess no more than 6 ounces of usable cannabis at a time per medical cannabis patient. However, limits increase when the patient is entered into Washington State’s medical marijuana authorization database

Once registered with the medical marijuana authorization database, state residents may grow up to 6 plants per household and possess no more than 8 ounces of usable cannabis. Limits can go up to 15 plants per domicile and 16 ounces of usable pot per person if the patient’s healthcare provider specifies this amount on the authorization.

Washington State allows medical cannabis patients and their designated providers to purchase clones, seeds, and immature plants from licensed providers. 

Related: The Legality of Growing Weed

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How to Get a Marijuana Growing License in California, Oregon & Nevada

marijuana grow room

Most medical cannabis and legalized states allow adults over 21 to grow marijuana for personal use. Only some of these states allow consumers to grow cannabis commercially for profit. So, if your goal is to launch a for-profit business, you need a marijuana growing license to do it legally.

California, Oregon, and Nevada allow you to grow cannabis without a license. However, all three states also enable everyday people to cultivate plants on a commercial level, as long as you have a grow license issued by the state.

How to Get a California Marijuana Growing License

In the Golden State, cultivation licenses are issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) through the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing system. CDFA ensures public safety and the protection of the environment by regulating the state’s legal cultivators. 

California’s track-and-trace system is also managed by CalCannabis. It keeps track of all commercial level marijuana and weed products from the time they’re cultivated to the moment they’re sold. 

Call (833) CAL-GROW for details via phone.

Getting a California Grow License Online Fast

With a medical marijuana card, a California resident may cultivate no more than 12 immature or 6 mature plants at one time. However, with an addendum, your medical doctor can modify this limit, increasing it up to 99 plants per state resident.

This is known as a California Grower’s Recommendation. The go-to site for this is Online Medical Card. They email your approved medical cannabis evaluation immediately. Expect a hard copy to arrive in the mail within three working days. 

How to Get a Nevada Marijuana Growing License

In the Silver State, they use cultivation facilities. These facilities can legally do the following in the State of Nevada with a valid cultivation license:

  • Grow cannabis 
  • Process cannabis 
  • Package cannabis
  • Sell cannabis to cannabis product manufacturers, other cultivation facilities and pot dispensaries 

Note: Nevada’s legal cultivators are NEVER allowed to sell weed directly to consumers.

Getting a Nevada Grow License Online

Nevada’s pot grower’s licenses are issued by the state’s Department of Taxation via Marijuana License Applications. They are submitted online. 

Applications are currently on hold. Notifications will be sent out by the Nevada Taxation Department 45 days before the application period opens back up. Click here to get notifications when the online applications are available again. 

In the meantime, you can still grow up to 6 plants per household as a recreational user. If you are a Nevada medical cannabis cardholder, you can cultivate up to 12 without a state growing license.

How to Get an Oregon Marijuana Growing License

The Beaver State’s pot cultivation licenses are issued by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Oregon’s SB218 permits the Commission to decide when licenses for marijuana production are available based on market supply and demand.

Getting an Oregon Grow License Online

Currently, Oregon’s already licensed growers are meeting consumer demands within the state. The Commission will no longer process New Producer Licenses until after January 2, 2022, unless demand changes. 

However, if you’re buying a cannabis production company and license from someone else, this rule doesn’t apply. Simply submit a Change of Ownership to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to complete the purchase. 

Either way, you can still grow up to 6 mature cannabis plants and 18 seedlings per household without a cannabis growing license in Oregon.

How to Grow Cannabis on a Budget

marijuana plant

Although growing marijuana for profit is a great idea, there are simpler and more inexpensive ways to grow cannabis. Remember, cannabis is a plant, just like any other garden variety plant. It’s also commonly called weed because of how vigorously it grows and thrives. When you grow cannabis yourself, you not only have a great hobby, but you also have direct access to plants that can calm the brain and help heal the body.

To grow top-grade, high-quality weed, you need good soil and lots of sunshine or light. The more light that your plants get, the better the quality and the larger the yield. You could spend a lot of money on an expensive grow room setup, but we believe that the natural light that comes from the sunshine itself is the best light source for growing marijuana.  

a Pot for Pot has everything you need to nurture your cannabis plant from seed to harvest. Our Superb Soil is a unique blend of more than 18 various ingredients. It’s designed to provide your plants with all the nutrients they need to grow from clones or seeds to beautiful plants filled with buds. 

We believe that growing cannabis should be easy. That’s why we make it so you only need a little motivation, determination and a little elbow grease. With a Pot for Pot, there’s no need to worry about grow lights or grow rooms. You don’t even need a green thumb when using our pots and soil. Plus, if you're growing in one of the states mentioned above, getting started is as simple as dropping some seeds in the soil. The easiest way to get started is to try our seedling starter kit!  Or if you want to continue your grow journey through harvest, try our Complete Grow Kits.

Related: The Costs of Growing Marijuana

Frequently Asked Questions about marijuana growing license

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Cannabis Dispensary?

Just a hypothetical estimate: The cost of opening a cannabis dispensary ranges from $150,000 to $1 million which may include: $200,000 for staffing, $80,000 in rent (Annual), and $30,000 for up-front fee for renovation.

How much does a dispensary owner make a year?

A dispensary owner can make up to $200,000 annually

How much does a dispensary pay per pound?

According to Confident Cannabis: Indoor of average quality: $1,000-$1,500. Indoor of top shelf quality: $1,500-$2,000 (Wholesale Prices)

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