As legalization spreads, more cannabis enthusiasts are naturally going to want to try cultivation for themselves. The 2018 National Gardening Survey found 15% of US households would grow marijuana at home if it was legal. But, along with edibles, home growing is generally among the most contentious topics within the legalization debate.
How to grow your own weed
For now, one place which has accepted home grow is Vermont. Of the nine US states which have fully legalized, Vermont is the only one not to allow a commercial industry. Instead, the state will allow possession and home growing, up to six plants, including two flowered females.
Cannabis is a sexed plant; the drug is the flower from the female. The hard to detect presence of a male plant can ruin the flower produced by a whole room of females. To avoid pollination, large-scale marijuana grows typically use clones instead of seeds, and Graf recommends novice growers to begin with clones as well. The wrong lighting can also be ruinous for a very expensive crop.
Wylie recommended plants should be watered when the soil is dry. Growers can test this by sticking a finger into soil about halfway between the plant and edge of the pot. If the soil is warm and dry, it’s time to water.
Growing from seed is a trial and error process and people should be prepared to “have a few rounds that are really disappointing” before they find that one best phenotype, he advised.
The passage of Proposition 207 in Arizona, legalizing recreational cannabis, ushered in a new opportunity for the home gardener. Adults ages 21 and older are now allowed to grow a limited amount of cannabis plants at home for personal use.
Adults can grow six cannabis plants at home or no more than 12 plants in a house with more than one adult.
How often should I water my plant?
Buyers should go with vetted sources to avoid fraudulent sellers. Sundberg recommended Canna Genetics Bank, a retailer that sells seeds from various breeders, and Neptune Seed Bank, both based in California.
Wylie has been cultivating cannabis since 2002, when he first started growing for patient use in California. Sundberg cultivates cannabis for personal use and offers workshops for other growers.
People can grow plants from seeds or cuttings off an existing plant, also known as clones. Sundberg said cuttings are a gray area because it’s unclear whether a cutting that hasn’t taken root yet is counted as part of the six or 12 plants Arizonans are allowed to grow.
Where can I buy cannabis seeds?
“We don’t see any difference between growing cannabis and growing vegetables and growing lavender, they’re all plants,” said Ryan Jerrell, co-owner of Dig It Gardens in Phoenix.
Once planted, the cannabis plant needs a ratio of about 18 hours light, 6 hours darkness to grow in what’s called the vegetative stage, which doesn’t produce flowers. How long you let the plant grow in this state depends on your space constraint, but Sundberg recommends beginners start small.