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Growing Marijuana In California

Growing Marijuana In California

California can now legally grow up to six marijuana plants at home, including all of the harvest from those plants.

Every adult Californian can now legally grow marijuana. It is an event that was destined to occur. Before you get started growing, though, there are some rules.


Here’s what you should know:

  1. The minimum age is 21
  2. Possess no more than 6 plants at a time
  3. Grow only where you live, where it cannot be seen and lock it
  4. Carry no more than 28.5 grams, leave the rest at home
  5. Cities can prohibit outdoor growing, but not indoor growing
  6. If you're in trouble with the law, call Michael Heicklen. He focuses on family and business law for the cannabis community

If you want to start growing in California, make sure to download my free marijuana grow bible

The Finer Details of Growing Laws in California

Those were the basics, below are a few more details about each point.

  1. The minimum age is 21. Marijuana is now treated similarly to alcohol, so no underage growing. While teenagers love growing weed – it’s a fun science project -  the current law says growing is an adult sport.
  1. Possess no more than 6 plants. This is probably the clearest part of the new law. It says six plants, regardless of their stage in the growing process. Many other states allow adults to have additional plants that are not already flowering – California does not.
Grow max 6 marijuana plants

You can grow maximum 6 marijuana plantsImage powered by

This rule is likely due to environmentalists concerns over widespread home growing impacting the water supply. Everyone needs to be conservative in their weed growing.

While this rule is a bummer, it’s not that big of a deal. You can still produce a significant amount of weed with six plants - especially if you use advanced growing techniques. Plan ahead and store your weed well, and you should be fine.

  1. Keep your growing personal. Just because growing has been legalized in California, it’s still a personal privilege and should be kept private. This means you should be growing in your own home or on your property.

People should not be able to see your plants unless you live in a place that doesn’t care and it’s just your neighbors – and they don’t mind. However, growing openly in your backyard is illegal if you live next to someplace public, like a park.

28.5 gram weed

28.5 gram is the maximum ammountImage powered by

  1. 28,5 is the magic number. At any given time, you can only have 28.5 grams of marijuana which equals an ounce. This does not apply to weed that you have grown from your plants. You can keep all that you harvest.

However, if you give away any of it, you can only take 28.5 grams of it out of your house.

If you don’t already own a scale, invest in one. If you grow six plants, you will have much more than 28.5 grams. To stay legal, make sure you aren’t carrying too much at one time.

  1. Growing marijuana is your right. Although it is now legal, many California home growers may need to stay stealth. There are cities and towns in California that are prohibiting marijuana growing.

They are allowed to do that by this law. If you live in one of those areas, you cannot grow outdoors unless no one knows you are doing it.  If they can tell, you have broken the law.

Growing marijuana is your right

Growing is your right

The law also says cities and towns cannot keep you from growing marijuana inside your home. This includes rental homes and apartments. If you are a renter, follow the rule of keeping your growing personal, and you will stay legal.

California growing laws are highly defined, like California wine. Although they are more restrictive than other states, they also give a lot of rights to home growers.

If you plan to grow in California, take some time to learn advanced growing techniques. It will help you get the most yield from a few plants. Click here if you want to buy marijuana seeds in California

California Growing Etiquette

The right to grow weed at home is vital for many Californians. However, some things can get you in trouble, and likely piss off at least one of your neighbors.

Here are some of them:

  • Growing more weed than you need - that’s not eco-conscious
  • Selling your weed – leave that to the ‘professionals.'
  • Planting outdoors where people don’t want you to plant – that’s just rude

Cannabis lawyer Michael Heicklen

Michael Heicklen:"Our office advises and drafts local applications for marijuana licenses. We also ensure that our clients are ready for the 2018 state licensing process.

What about the medical users in California?

Starting in 2018, medical card holders will not pay sales tax on retail weed. However, in neighboring recreational states, the sales of retail marijuana made medical strains harder to obtain.

Medical marijuana California

Medical marijuana in CaliforniaImage powered by

So, if you use medical strains, it is probably a good idea to start growing them now, before the supply diminishes (if you aren’t already).

Have more questions about growing marijuana in California?  Post them below.  We’ll update this page with answers to your frequently asked questions as needed.

If you want to start growing in California, make sure to download my free marijuana grow bible


California laws 2016

California laws in 2016Image powered by


Prior to November 2016 these were marijuana laws in California
California is well known for its medical marijuana program, and many California patients enjoy the benefits of growing their own weed for medication.  The state led the medical marijuana movement in the United States, with many states following their lead.

The Califonia program is approved for HIV/AIDS, Cancer, MS, epilepsy, Glaucoma, Chronic or unmanageable pain, Cachexia, Arthritis, and Migraines. You don’t need a medical maijuana ID card in order to grow, but if you do practice California weed growing without it, you risk getting arrested for illegal growing.

Steps to California Weed Growing

  1. Talk to a doctor about your condition. A doctor will need to write a recommendation. To find a California doctor, visit CANORML.
  2. Download and read the Marijuana Grow Bible. This is the authority on growing the best marijuana. It will explain how to locate the right seeds and set up a grow room
  3. Purchase   I Love Growing Marijuana has a large selection of marijuana seeds to choose from.
  4. Check local Growing Rules. California Weed growing laws vary by city and county. Check the rules in your area here.
Growing weed California

Growing weed in CaliforniaImage powered by

The Medical Card

You don’t need a medical marijuana card to grow California weed.  The card is used to protect growers from arrest.  Patients and caregivers can register for the card with the state and show it to police in the event of possible arrest.

For patients who prefer to remain anonymous, some nonprofits, as well as a few prescribing doctors, offer medical cards that are not registered with the state.  These cards can provide proof of medical need but may not prevent a police officer from taking your weed.

Medical Card California

Medical Card is not needed in CaliforniaImage powered by

How Much Can You Grow?

California weed growing laws are unique because there are actually no official limits on how much weed can be grown.  If you have a medical need to grow marijuana, the state assumes that you will grow as much as you need.

Now, some areas in California have challenged this idea, making it illegal to grow, or limiting collective grows, but for the most part, you are okay to grow if a doctor says so.

In fact, California weed growing is so popular that you can enjoy fancy things like hiring a professional weed trimmer! Of course, if you follow my advice in the Marijuana Grow Bible, you can save some money and do it yourself.

How much can you grow in California?

How much can you grow in California?Image powered by

However, people in California like their fancy amenities- including professional cannabis trimming. You can’t really complain about that, can you?

Non-medical use and hash

California has decriminalized marijuana use for non-medical purposes. This means most marijuana charges are not that serious. Those with less than 28.5 grams in their possession only have to pay a fine. The most serious offense in California is for chemically manufacturing hash.

California weed growing for non-medical use is a serious offense; so if possible, grow as a patient or a caregiver to stay out of trouble. Caregivers only need to be at least 18 years old.

Buy marijuana seeds in california

You can forget about buying any type of decent marijuana seeds anywhere in this state. Buy the best seeds for discrete marijuana growing online. Click here if you live in California and you want to buy marijuana seeds.

Latest Updates

November 2016 - California Prepares for Legal Growing

October 2016 - California marijuana legalization campaign launches a TV ad communicating responsible use and safeguards.

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Download the Ultimate Grow Guide for FREE!
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Comment Section

72 thoughts on “Growing Marijuana In California

By Mike Daniel on 15 November 2016

I am interested in growing a couple of plants in Southern California. I live on a 4 1/2 acre avocado grove with high trees. I currently have a raised bed garden (fenced) next to the house with high trees around it. There are no locks on the gates to the garden. Does this fit the law?

By Roy ILGM on 16 November 2016

Hi Mike, your case is quite specific and I wouldn't dare give you advise. Best check with local authorities on this.

By Ted on 7 January 2017

Mike, depending on your county there may be restrictions. Under prop 64, as long as its not visible to the public you are ok.

By Lee on 5 January 2017

I am looking into growing a few plants in California with the new laws not requiring a medical license. I want to sell to local medical dispensaries and eventually retail locations when legal (of course no more than six plants). This is more of a hobby to bring in a little extra cash. Do you know if it is legal at this time to sell home grown plants? I looked at the Colorado laws and it is not legal to sell it there, but I can't find any updated regulations for California. Thanks!

By Roy ILGM on 5 January 2017

Hi Lee, selling without a state licensed permit is considered a misdemeanor in California and can be punished with 6 months incarceration and/or up to a $500 fine. I'm not sure how to get a permit, best check your local government site for info on that.

By Lee on 6 January 2017

Thanks! I finally found some updated info for California and it looks like retail permits will not be available until January 1st 2018 and they don't have any info on the cost of it at this time.

By TheWeedValet on 7 January 2017

Lee, you cant sell it yet but you can get paid to set up small scale 6 plant grows for others. Figure the cost then double it and you can make a good business.

By Andre on 28 January 2017

Are you allowed to grow in California if you own firearms? Who might have legal issues with it, ex. police or Feds? Can firearms be stored in an unconnected garage?

By Roy ILGM on 30 January 2017

Hey Andre, there's a lot of talk about gun permits and marijuana use. I'm not sure what the latest status is. Best check up with your local authorities.

By Gilgamesh on 5 February 2017

Can someone please clarify if the California limit of 6 plants can still be bumped up to as many as 99 for good cause?

My doctor certifies me to grow up to 50 ladies and posses up to 5 pounds of dry flowers.

My good cause is the 1) price of bud at local dispensaries (over $400 per top shelf zip making it unaffordable for me in light of the high dosages needed, and 2) despite my fierce passion for growing cannabis, I'm a. terrible grower and need to grow many plants to harvest few. A 6 plant limit for me would cause an untenable financial burden. That's my "good cause"

Fortunately, my fistful or so of ILGM seed orders last year have all arrived safely,, timely, and nearly all seeds have germinated just fine....

Thank you.

By Roberta smith on 11 February 2017

how many pot plants can one legally in the city of rohnert park California with intent to sell. Neighbor next door is growing 100 or more to sell illegally and has a nursery in his garage. They are renters

By Boogie Cousins on 11 February 2017

Very clear instructions. Thank you Admin.
Also, rule number one, don't tell anyone your'e growing!You can't trust people nowadays!

By Joseph on 4 March 2017

"California is unique in that there is no limit on the amount of marijuana you can grow."
2. "The legal limit is 6 plants for medical purposes per person."

By Beasle on 12 March 2017

I live on 10 acres and have some renters that stay on the property also. Let's say 6 adults live here...are we allowed 36 plants?

By Roy ILGM on 13 March 2017

Hi Beasle, it's 6 per property, not per person

By steven bustamante on 25 March 2017

me and my girlfriend we can grow up 12 plants of marijuana in temecula california

By Jeff on 28 July 2017

Steven, only indoors. Riverside Co doesn't allow outdoor grows

By Edward Telles on 13 April 2017

If my wife and I both have California medical recs can we grow 12 plants in los Angeles county

By Roy ILGM on 14 April 2017

Hi Edward, as far as I've learned the restriction is per household. But you may want to check that locally. – I❤️GM

By Don Schwenke on 24 April 2017

My question is how many people can you grow for. I live on property but my brother and sister both live in apartments. Can I grow for both of them. Is there a limit on how many caretakers is my question.

By Art on 18 May 2017

No more than six plants may be cultivated at a single private residence (i.e., you and your spouse can cultivate no more than six plants total, as opposed to six plants each, at your home). HS 11358 after Proposition 64 calls for felony penalties for people who cultivate more than six marijuana plants

By Todd Hicks on 28 April 2017

What about in tehama county I can't seem to find the laws for my county "can I do six outdoors"

By Jeff on 1 May 2017

Is a green house ok in CA I read in an enclosed structure ?

By Roy ILGM on 1 May 2017

Yup! As long as you can lock it – I❤️GM

By Stevie on 6 June 2017

What is the consequence of growing a single plant outdoors in a locked yard obscured from public view? Fine? Charges? In SoCal.

By Christine LaBeach on 18 June 2017

Can you grow in an RV if its your primary residence? In California?

By Roy ILGM on 19 June 2017

Hi Christine, I'm not sure if that count's towards a household. Best verify that locally. – I❤️GM

By Larry on 19 June 2017

If you have a charge for weed in another state and complete your probationary period and move to California and owner property's can you still get a grow card?

By Mike on 28 July 2017

I live in a townhome in Duarte CA. Our upstairs master bedroom has a large sun deck perfect for growing. Would I have to worry about my neighbors, and do I need permission from our association board members to grow? I own this house and other people in this complex have upstairs gardens. There's no way for people to get up there. I was a closet grower 15 yrs ago. Would love to grow outdoors and see what I can produce.

By Roy ILGM on 28 July 2017

I'm not sure if Duarte allows outdoor growing but if they do you should be set. People may complain about the smell come flowering time though 😀

By Nene M. on 3 December 2018

In palmdale ca. In a 2.5 acree house
A greenhouse its ok to grow is inside a fence
And has a lock
Its ok to grow 70 plants with a doctors letter that said yo uh can grow up to no more then 99 plants
And i live with my wife and two kids

By Chances on 2 August 2017

Need prop 64 clarification on growing in back yard. If your city has no bans on growing up to 6 plants on your property for personal use, can you grow them openly in your private back yard with a locked gate or do they have to be in a locked greenhouse or other structure?

By Steve on 3 August 2017

How does the law effect the amount of plants medical patients can grow?

By Sean on 4 August 2017

If my wife and I both have our dr's recs can we legally grow 12 plants indoors? I understand prop 64 means we can legally grow 6 indoors per household but I was under the impression it's 6 per patient/6 per valid rec....Bakersfield,CA

By Chances on 5 August 2017

Does anyone know the answer to my question above, can I grow in my private backyard with a locked gate or do they have to be in a structure (my city has no restrictions...yet). Been trying to find an answer for months, no luck getting a clear answer from the internet.

By Roy ILGM on 7 August 2017

Hi Chances, this is what I deduct from the article: "people should not be able to see your plants unless you live in a place that doesn’t care and it’s just your neighbors – and they don’t mind. However, growing openly in your backyard is illegal if you live next to someplace public, like a park." So you should be fine unless it bothers someone 🙂

By Kurt on 10 August 2017

Southern California is in a huge battle,and know one is telling the fine details of the law.It's up to you the individual to do your your home work. Most of the small towns want no growing anywhere.Riverside county has a no cultivation ordnance. This was put in effect simply to stop the Cartel's Frankly they need to run the jerks out of California.People are growing hundreds of plants because they know January 1 they wont be able to and most people can't and won't be able to even grow in there backyards.Some of the laws are stupid in my opinion,All the neighborhoods here have little parks all through them.So that stops most homes from growing in backyards because your to close to a park.

By FirstTimer on 14 August 2017

Interesting situation: I have a recommendation, so I can grow whatever I need personally. Prop 215 sets no limits and the State Supreme Court threw out the Prop 420 hard limits. If I need to exceed the 6+12 rule by a bit, that should be perfectly legal as long as it is for my medical use. On the other hand, under Prop 64, I can grow up to 6 mature plants and keep all I grow in a locked box in my home. So the weight limits don't exist. Can I be both a medical marijuana grower and a Prop 64 recreational grower at the same time?
I would also like to say that people with medical recs can get excellent clones or seeds at some dispensaries in California. Northern Lights, Critical Kush, Blue Cheese, etc. Call around.

By latewood_ILGM on 18 August 2017


I recommend you contact your local community Medical dispensary or agriculture dept. I cannot keep up with Cali. laws. They change all the time and local municipalities can vary limits and such from county to county.

Some states allow you to do both but, I cannot make a statement of fact regarding wherever you are located. Sorry 🙂

By Chances on 16 August 2017

Thanks for the response Roy. If a neighbor (or anyone else) were to see the plants, he/she would have to go on to my property and peek over a 6' block wall. That would be unacceptable to me since I do have an expectation of privacy in my back yard. It is just homes in my track and no parks or schools. I expect my city to ban growing out doors sooner or later but has not done so yet. I think I am legal but if anyone disagrees, would love to hear what you have to say.

By latewood_ILGM on 18 August 2017

Oregon has towns and cities that have banned outdoor growing. A bunch of BS if you ask me! 😉

By Steve on 18 August 2017

My city in So. Cal bans growing weed outdoors. But is a greenhouse in the yard considered indoors?

By latewood_ILGM on 28 August 2017


Your question is better suited to be asked to local authorities than in this International blog. With the ever changing legislation in Cali., and other states allowing Cannabis; It is hard to keep up with local laws. I cannot guarantee this but, a greenhouse is not considered outdoors, as such. Interpretation of this again falls to local ideals. Sorry Bro,

Happy growing, lw

By cisco on 21 August 2017

i Got a permit to have no more then 99 plants in Orange county is it legal or illegal to have this many indoor growing

By latewood_ILGM on 28 August 2017


If your state allows you to have 99 plants; "That says it all". Happy growing.

By Don on 25 September 2017

Do you have a list of counties and cities that allow outdoor or indoor grow

By latewood_ILGM on 28 September 2017


I suggest you contact your State for the limits on growing in your area. has good info also. 🙂

By Wendy on 12 October 2017

Can you grow plants in California if you have children in the home part time? If you are growing in your RV?

By latewood_ILGM on 17 October 2017


Yes you can; However, it is best to check your state laws and especially County, City, and Townships. IN Cali... each local government can change restrictions or whatever, whenever they want.

Hope it all works out.

By Nik on 17 October 2017

We are 2 adults planning to grow marijuana at our residence(condo-renting). I understand we can grow 6 plants each. So total of 12 plants? Or there is a limit per house 9 plants?

Also how do we check our city regulation?

Thank you

By latewood_ILGM on 18 October 2017


You can each grow 6 for a total of 12 but, do this to confirm your rights.

Go to your local town website, and look it up. Or go to county website and look it up. You have to make sure your township or city does not have rerstrictions on the state restrictions. Also; pretty much keeps up with each states law and limits.

By MarieG on 31 October 2017

Hey, I'd like to know if I can ask someone to grow my plants for me (for money) as I don't have the time and don't know how to do it.

By Ribert Burns on 2 December 2017

Thanks for the forum. I have a question can my wife and I grow 6 plants in our home ? for a total of 12?

By Charles Cameron on 10 January 2018

City of Auburn just passed their ordinance. My concern is they limited the grow to 6 plants per residence for recreational and medical use. How does that not contravene the law allowing as much medical marijuana as you require, under the medical marijuana statute. They are also requiring a permit to grow the plants at $175 initial and renewal. Saying code enforcement costs must be covered.

By Julie mccarthy on 22 January 2018

Can some one please help me. I am a senior with rhuematoid arthritis , my doctor has given me a letter to buy cannibus. I have no idea as I look at all if the plants which one to buy for my pain. I am considering three plants or seeds but, then again what ones ?t
Thank you in advance for any information you may give me.

By XXyz on 15 March 2018

The article starts off saying everyone over the age of 21 can legally grow marijuana if they discreet and follow some simple laws. Toward the end of the article, the writer writes (and I have cut-and pasted the comment) "Even in the laid-back Golden State, growing marijuana in any amount is a felony" (!!!)
This makes the article and the intent of the writer very suspicious. What is the purpose of this contradiction?

By Stacy ILGM on 16 March 2018

We are truly sorry, we overlooked and forgot to update the last part. We will look in to it and update it shortly!

By Julie Farrell on 19 March 2018

Hi, I'm a writer living in Scotland and I'm researching for a book that I'm setting in Redding, CA. I wish to have one of my characters growing marijuana for the purposes of helping those in her community who need it for pain relief. However I have no idea how this would work, living in Scotland! Would it even work or would people be able to buy it freely or get it from their local healthcare provider? I see her as a bit of a saint, maybe ignoring the rules in order to help people. However with your new legislation coming into place in January, I'm not sure what the state of play would be. I have written her as doing this for years for her community, but again, I'm not sure what the realistic history of this would be. I would really appreciate any advice. Ideally, I'd like to have her growing a high cannabadiol, low THC strain, so that it would be appropriate for even young people who needed pain relief (i.e from a terminal illness). Her method of delivery is in the form of blended teas, salves and lotions in my mind - but again, I'd appreciate any tips. Thank you!

By Jade on 20 March 2018

What steps and processes do I have to go through to legally sell my weed
to dispensaries?

By Rigo on 11 May 2018

Hi my name is rigo and I have a question I know some people that want to rent a piece of my property to grow marijuana is that legal

By chris on 17 June 2018

Hello, I was curious to know whether or not it is currently legal for someone to pay rent to grow their plants in a warehouse?

By Mary Jo on 21 May 2018

My doctor has licensed me for up to 99 plants. Then I've heard that doesn't matter because the high desert (Inland Empire) only allows 6. I have 36 starts in a locked green house surrounded by pinons and junipers. Are they going to arrest me for 36 plants?

By latewood_ILGM on 26 September 2018

Mary Jo,

The laws in Cali. are so messed up due to the state allowing localities to adapt laws to there own standards. This is a problem. I cannot give you legal advice but, I can say; If you are sure that you local government has over rules the state statute, then you must adapt or keep your grow private; Which means; "Do not allow anyone...anyone, no one to witness the inside of that greenhouse. Good Luck.

p.s. Always keep up with the ever changing laws in your area.

By Roy on 23 September 2018


By latewood_ILGM on 26 September 2018


This info is located on the State, County, and Local websites. You can try but that is not always up to date. Best to call your local government and ask 🙂

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