How Many Plants Can You Grow in California: State Cannabis Laws

Understanding exactly how many plants can you grow in California can be challenging. The laws are continuously changing, and many of those laws vary depending on the county that you live in.

Other factors get taken into consideration when cultivating your cannabis in California such as doctor recommendations and holding a medical marijuana ID card.

We have broken down some of the generalized laws so that you will have a better understanding of what you can do when it comes to cultivating your marijuana in the state. 

Growing Marijuana in California

There are many dispensaries found in various counties within California where residents can purchase generalized and mass-produced weed of multiple strains. However, if buying from dispensaries isn’t what you want to do, the law states that an individual can grow a maximum of six plants in their home legally, even without a medical marijuana ID card.

Growing Marijuana in California

While you are allowed to grow those six plants in your home, there are still laws that you are subjected to following. It’s not simply planting the seeds and cultivating them, so let’s take a look at some of the finer details:

  • Minimum age: The minimum age to grow in California is 21. The process is treated similarly to state alcohol consumption laws.
  • Maximum plants: The law says that regardless of their stage in the growing process, you can grow in your home a maximum of six plants. While there are states that allow you to have additional plants that aren’t blooming, California isn’t one of them. The rule is likely set to prevent uncontrolled home cultivation from impacting the water supply.
  • Places to grow: Growing has been legalized in California, but it is something that needs to be kept private. You need to be growing within the confines of your home or on your personal property. Growing openly in your backyard where others can see them might be inconsiderate if your neighbors aren’t okay with it. It’s also illegal to grow in your backyard if you live next to a public establishment such as a park or a school.
  • Your rights: Growing up to six plants in California is your right. However, if you live in a county that prohibits it, you need to keep the cultivating within your home for it to remain legal. California laws are more restrictive than other states such as Colorado, but they provide many rights to home growers.
  • Carrying weight: According to the state laws, you can carry a maximum of 28.5 grams of marijuana. That number doesn’t include what you have in your home, as it’s legal to keep the amount that you harvest from your six plants. To ensure that you stay within your legal rights, make sure that you don’t carry too much at one time.
  • Distribution: Just because you have the right to grow a maximum of six plants in your home, doesn’t mean that you can legally sell what you harvest from those plants. Selling your yield remains illegal in the state. 

California Medical Marijuana Growing

Californians who hold a medical marijuana ID card have more benefits when it comes to cannabis. Some of the said benefits include not having to pay the state sales tax when purchasing. What many don’t realize though is that the number of plants you can grow if you hold one of these cards might increase depending on your condition. If you require a certain amount of THC per month for your condition, six plants might not meet the requirements.

California Medical Marijuana Growing

When you have a medical marijuana ID card, it’s possible to obtain a grower’s recommendation that states you need to grow more than the legal amount appointed to the generalized public. That being said, other factors come into play such as:

  • It’s not possible to receive a specific, doctor’s appointed license to grow more than six plants in your home. All you can receive is a grower’s recommendation.
  • Grower’s recommendations only allow you to increase the amount of cannabis that’s required for your medical condition.
  • Even with a grower’s recommendation, you cannot sell the marijuana that you harvest.
  • The recommendation doesn’t let you start a collective. That area of law is affected under the “sunset clause” which is to be repealed on January 9, 2019.
  • The most important factor of a grower’s recommendation is it does not protect you against getting arrested or even being prosecuted. All it does is provide you with a defense that says you needed to grow more plants because your condition requires it. However, the argument does not always work, and it’s imperative that you consult with an attorney before cultivating more than the maximum. 


The essential thing that you can do is take a look at the laws in your county and compare them to the state laws. There are many sources available to you to provide you with the right answers to your how many plants can you grow in California question. If you are just a general person looking to grow cannabis in your home, you’re safe with the six plants as long as you meet the age of requirement.

If you need to grow more, consult with the physician with whom you obtained your medical marijuana ID. Keep in mind that you should never grow more without having the grower’s recommendation, consulting with an attorney, and thoroughly understanding the risks involved.

1 Comment
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