is it legal to grow marijuana in California

Can I Grow Cannabis In California?

The general perception of marijuana has changed vastly in recent years. As a result, growing the plant is no longer a nefarious activity but a highly profitable industry. However, marijuana cultivation and growing comes with a strict set of laws and rules that could lead to fines and even jail time if infringed.

So, to help you navigate growing marijuana while sticking to the relevant laws, we created this guide. Here, we answer all the essential questions, like is it legal to grow marijuana in California, and what do I need to do this lawfully. So, keep reading to find out more about the ins and outs of cultivating cannabis in CA.

Is It Legal to Grow Marijuana in California?

In 2016, California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which permits individuals 21 or older to legally purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries, and use, possess, and grow marijuana for recreational use. However, the laws and regulations surrounding the residential cultivation of marijuana plants are many.

California cannabis strains

Regulations for Cannabis Cultivation in California

Firstly, California law allows adults over 21 to grow no more than six cannabis plants at their residence for personal use. However, a representative from the Department of Cannabis Control has clarified that those individuals with a medical recommendation from a licensed physician may grow more than six plants to fulfill their medical needs. However, the steadfast rule is that you can grow up to 6 cannabis plants only.

Secondly, state law prohibits property owners growing marijuana from using volatile solvents when processing their cannabis. Banned substances include butane and propane, which are highly flammable and are fire hazards.

Another important regulation outlined by the California Department of Cannabis Control is the use and distribution of marijuana. If you plan on exchanging your residentially-grown marijuana for other goods or money, you are considered to be no longer growing just for personal use. In this case, you’ll need to obtain a cultivation license.

Finally, it is essential to research and take note of the various rules instated by individual cities and counties. For instance, it is illegal to grow marijuana outdoors. Instead, growers must cultivate the six plants grown on residential property inside the residence or within a permitted structure like a greenhouse.

The Health and Safety Code Associated with Growing Marijuana

Although it is now possible to legally grow cannabis in California if your possession of recreational marijuana violates the health and safety code, the state considers it a crime.

As a result, we suggest beefing up your knowledge of Health and Safety Code 11358 HS, which relates to the cultivation of cannabis. Further, the code specifically relates to the illegal growing of marijuana by individuals between the ages of 18 to 20, which is considered an infraction. Should you fall in this age group and get caught growing cannabis, you’re in for a maximum fine of $100.

Additionally, the statute states that if an individual 18 years or older is caught growing more than six cannabis plants, it is classified as a misdemeanor, punishable by a six-month sentence to be served in a county jail or a $500 fine.

However, if you have prior convictions and are caught growing more than six cannabis plants, the charge is upgraded to a felony. Should the state impose a felony charge, the penalties include up to three years in county jail, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Marijuana shake

Additional Cannabis Regulations to Observe

Although California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and then introduced legal recreational use and cultivation of cannabis in 2016, these laws come with several regulations that outline things like the amount of marijuana you can carry on you and where you can smoke. So, let’s take a look.

  • Firstly, you cannot smoke cannabis in public. Getting caught carries a fine of up to $100.
  • Secondly, Marijuana legalization in Los Angeles and California comes with the stipulation that to smoke cannabis, you must be 21 or over.
  • When moving about, legally, you may not have more than 28.5 grams / one ounce in your possession. Further, cannabis edibles may not contain more than ten milligrams of THC.
  • Then, keep in mind that driving and smoking marijuana or consuming cannabis edibles while driving is subject to California’s DUI laws.
  • Finally, it is illegal to transport cannabis across state lines. Since the laws for cannabis use and cultivation differ in California from the laws in surrounding states, the movement of marijuana out of state is prohibited.


When asking is it legal to grow marijuana in California, you’ll find the answer is yes. However, this comes with several important regulations related to the cultivation and use of cannabis. However, if you stick to these, you’ll have no problem growing cannabis of your own in California.