These businesses grow and cultivate marijuana for sale to marijuana stores or a product manufacturer but cannot sell directly to consumers. A cultivation license allows such businesses to cultivate, prepare and package marijuana. Operating one of these businesses requires significant horticultural knowledge and typically requires material capital investments.
Marijuana Cultivation Facility
Adults 21 and older are permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants for their own personal use in Colorado. Growing cannabis commercially, on the other hand, requires either a Medical or Recreational Marijuana Cultivation Facility license as well as a license from a local licensing authority. The first step is to complete the MED Regulated Marijuana Business License Application.
Choosing a Name
While possession and cultivation of marijuana are legal at the state level in Colorado, counties, and localities are given substantial discretion on how to implement marijuana legislation. Each town and county can decide to ban recreational marijuana businesses if they so choose. As of April 2017, 272 of Colorado’s municipalities had decided to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana within their jurisdiction.
A common defense to marijuana cultivation charges is that the police found the plants through an illegal search and seizure. If the defense attorney can show the judge that law enforcement violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, then the judge may suppress all evidence of the plants. And this may leave the D.A. with too little evidence to prosecute.
Possessing more than 12 marijuana plants in a residence is a Colorado crime.
5. How many plants can you grow in Colorado legally with a medical card?
Colorado marijuana law permits adults 21 and older to home grow up to six cannabis plants in a residence as long as:
And charges that get dismissed can be sealed immediately. 6
1. How much marijuana can I grow in Colorado?
Medical marijuana patients in Colorado can grow up to 99 plants on a non-residential property in accordance with local law. 10 But they should get an extended plant count first by contacting the medical marijuana registry.
Cannabis plants yield the highest-quality (and quantity) flowers after maturing. This usually takes about a month to happen. “I recommend planting in a five-gallon Home Depot bucket,” Lipton said. “It’s really important to have proper drainage, so you want to drill some holes in the bottom. The biggest mistake people make is that they overwater and suffocate the roots. Cannabis likes to be watered and dried out before it’s watered again.” During the vegetative cycle, the plant should be exposed to a minimum of 18 hours of light. Remember to open the closet door while the lights are on to prevent the space from heading north of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even with a healthy clone, however, cultivating cannabis can be a long and arduous process — especially in tight indoor spaces. “A lot of people think growing is easy, but it’s not,” Lipton said. “You have to be really on it. Not everyone has success, obviously.”
Though the 12-hour interval is fairly universal, knowing exactly when to induce flowering is less clear. For the home grower, it usually comes down to space; the longer one waits to trigger the flowering cycle, the taller their plant will be. A good rule of thumb: cannabis will only continue to grow 30 to 50 percent once the light source is reduced. If the plant is growing in a closet, growers should trigger the flowering cycle, understanding that there must be more than two feet of space between the canopy of the plant throughout the entirety of its life.
Trigger the flowering cycle.
Another layer to consider is that cannabis cultivation must happen “out of plain sight.” “You can’t have any odor. If it’s offending people in the neighborhood, then it’s an issue.”
The last step involves curing the bud. “Curing is just as important as the growing process,” Lipton added. “We do a slow cure, which means that it takes anywhere from three to six weeks depending on variety.” Temperature and humidity play a large role during cure and must be maintained to ensure a great final product. “Our actual cure process is somewhat of a secret, so I cannot share the fine details,” Lipton said. “But it’s an art form and extremely crucial to our success.” The reason growers cure bud after harvesting is that it creates a smoother smoke and increases its potency. Detailed recommendations for proper curing can be found online, here and here.
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Know the law.
Light: 2,200k. “For a closet set up, I would recommend a 175-watt HPS light,” Lipton said. “Some people try to use fluorescent lighting, but I wouldn’t recommend that. You’re just not going to get a very good outcome. Nowadays, HPS lights can just go right into your home outlet, and you’d just need a timer [to set the intervals]. Position the light directly overhead. They can be pretty powerful, so you’re going to want it at least two feet from the top of the canopy [to prevent the plant from overheating].”
After 55 to 60 days, growers begin paying close attention to their plants’ trichomes — the small, bulbous fibers that develop around the flower of the female plant. “Those trichomes will turn from clear to amber,” Lipton said. “They kind of look like red hairs. You know it’s time to harvest when about 10 to 15 percent of the trichomes turn that color.” On average, cannabis plants have a five- to seven-day window of peak harvest time.