Growing hemp at home is legal in some states. Here is what you need to know:
- Most states don’t differentiate between hemp and marijuana.
- Growing hemp at home is subject to some restrictions, such as the number of plants you can grow.
- Growing hemp at home is ideal for its CBD content – it is not viable for industrial uses.
- It is necessary to create the ideal farming conditions, such as temperature and soil fertility, to grow hemp.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp at the federal level. This came following the growing popularity of hemp products for health, wellness, the growth of hemp for a range of industrial products, and the changing attitudes towards marijuana.
Growing hemp is legal, and many people are tempted to grow their own. However, there is confusion about whether it is legal to grow hemp for personal use. What’s more, some don’t quite understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. Here is a brief guide on the legality of growing hemp (and other cannabis plants) at home.
Clearing the Confusion: Understanding the Difference between Hemp & Marijuana
Both hemp and marijuana have many health, wellness, and industrial uses. Additionally, both of these plants come from the same species: Cannabis Sativa.
However, hemp and marijuana differ considerably in their THC content – marijuana can contain up to 30 percent THC, while hemp’s THC content is often below 1 percent. As such, hemp is mostly used for its CBD content and industrial uses such as textile, paper, fuel, and housing materials. It wouldn’t be worth planting on a small scale, such as in your home garden. However, a couple of marijuana plants can yield a lot of THC.
Consequently, most people interested in growing hemp in their home gardens are actually referring to marijuana. Nevertheless, the law is clear about how and where you can grow either of these plants.
Simplifying the 2018 Farm Bill
Hemp was a popular cash crop decades ago, and even President George Washington grew it for its many industrial uses. The 2018 Farm Bill was passed to bring back this lucrative cash crop to stimulate and expand the farming industry.
The 2018 Farm Bill exempted hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, but anyone looking to grow the plant still had to meet strict requirements. These include:
Anyone looking to grow hemp will be required to pass thorough background checks. They shouldn’t have a criminal record, especially a drug-related one.
The law also specifies the least amount of help one can grow, essentially requiring that farmers grow it on a large scale. As such, applicants must have sizable land for its cultivation.
Hemp growers will also be required to obtain a license after going through these checks and meeting all the requirements. Their hemp cultivation activities will also be under the federal government’s scrutiny.
What Do Your State Laws Say?
States have varying laws about the cultivation of cannabis (hemp and marijuana) products. States where growing cannabis at home is legal include:
|● Alaska||● Arizona|
|● California||● Colorado|
|● Hawaii||● Illinois|
|● Maine||● Massachusetts|
|● Michigan||● Missouri|
|● Montana||● Nevada|
|● New Mexico||● Oklahoma|
|● Oregon||● Rhode Island|
|● Vermont||● Washington|
|● Washington, D.C.|
Many states do not provide a distinction between the two varieties, meaning that you can grow either (or both). However, they all provide limitations on how much of the plant you can grow, and most limit it to six plants. As such, review your state’s laws to understand your rights and limitations. It is also advisable to consult an expert before growing hemp in your backyard.
Growing Hemp at Home
Growing hemp at home shouldn’t be difficult, as long as it is legal and you have the necessary supplies and equipment. Essential supplies for growing hemp at home include:
Most of the hemp seeds available in stores and shops are designed for eating and other end-uses. As such, ensure that the seeds you buy are intended for planting. It is advisable to source your seeds from reputable cannabis companies.
You will also need nutritious soil where your hemp plants can thrive. The soil in your backyard will do, but it is advisable to add manure and other recommended fertilizers.
Hemp plants also need a regular supply of water. You can use a simple watering can or an automated irrigation system.
Pests can diminish the hemp plant’s quality (and the quality and quantity of its CBD compound). As such, it is advisable to use organic pest control solutions.
Your hemp plants will be all grown and ready for harvesting in about three months. You will need a pair of trimming scissors to harvest the ripe flowers for CBD extraction.
You can grow hemp at home as long as it is legal in your state. Remember to meet all of the requirements, including the ideal growth conditions, to grow big and bountiful hemp plants.