As cannabis reform continues to spread across the United States, we are seeing a marketplace increasingly driven by business interests. This is the eighth installment in our series looking at how the changing landscape of cannabis policy affects a key group of often-overlooked stakeholders: medical marijuana patients who choose to cultivate their own supply of cannabis. Go here for the home grown laws in Washington and Oregon, here for the laws in California and Alaska, here for the home grown laws in Michigan and Illinois, and here for the laws in New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, here for the laws in Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada, here for Colorado and Montana, and here for the laws in Arizona, DC, and Massachusetts. Though there are undeniably many benefits to the expansion and professionalization of the commercial cannabis industry, it is also important to account for these small-scale medical marijuana producers that started it all.
2016 saw many states approve recreational or medical cannabis reforms. Though progress has been limited at the federal level, the tide of public opinion and state policy is increasingly clear. As part of our series on home cultivation of marijuana, what follows is a round-up of November changes to home cannabis cultivation in multiple states.
The new recreational marijuana states:
California. The first state to legalize medical marijuana has now embraced recreational cannabis with the passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016. The old law exempted qualified patients from prosecution if they cultivated no more than 100 square feet of marijuana for their own personal, medical use. Primary caregivers were permitted to grow up to 500 square feet.
The new law requires that amounts of marijuana possessed by people 21 years or older in excess of 28.5 grams be kept within or on the grounds of a private residence. The law allows no more than six living marijuana plants to be “planted, cultivated, harvested, dried or processed” within a single residence at one time. The state law also protects localities’ ability to pass laws regulating home cultivation within their jurisdictions.
Nevada. Nevada also voted to legalize recreational cannabis this November by passing its Question 2, though it had previously permitted medical marijuana. Nevada’s new law permits possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. It also allows home cultivation for individuals who live more than 25 miles from a registered marijuana dispensary. These individuals may grow up to six mature cannabis plants at a time.
Massachusetts. Massachusetts voted to approve legal recreational marijuana by passing Question 4 this year. The state allows persons 21 years of age and older to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana at their home and grow up to 6 marijuana plants, up to 12 per household.
Maine. Like most of the other states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, Maine’s new law, Question 1, allows adults over 21 to cultivate up to 6 mature cannabis plants and possess as many as 12 immature plants. Outdoor grows are more heavily regulated.
The new medical marijuana states:
Florida. Unfortunately for green thumb patients and master growers alike, Florida’s Amendment 2 does not currently permit home cultivation of marijuana as part of its new medical marijuana program.
Arkansas. Arkansas’ Issue 6 also does not permit home cultivation of medical marijuana. Look here for more of our thoughts on Arkansas medical marijuana.
North Dakota. North Dakota’s Measure 5 allows qualified patients who live at least 40 miles from the nearest registered dispensary to grow their own.
Montana. Voters in Montana approved I-182 in November to permit medical marijuana in the state. Qualified patient home growers are allowed a total of 4 mature plants and as many as 12 seedlings. Patients are allowed to possess one ounce of usable marijuana.
Even as the tides of federal cannabis policy become increasingly uncertain, these states evidence that the times are indeed changing, and this holds true for growing your own as well.