Cultivating marijuana is now legal in several states in the United States as well as Canada for licensed professionals. While there are several requirements that must be met by Health Canada, there are some places in the U.S. where licensing is not as strict. The following information will help you learn about obtaining a medical marijuana growers license, which depends on your residence.
Only growers licensed through Health Canada as Licensed Producers are allowed to grow and sell dried cannabis in Canada. You must submit a business plan with your license application. The business plan must specify a business location and the business must meet Health Canada’s security requirements. Other rules govern cultivation, storage, pest control, packaging and inventory. Your business plan should show cost per gram and how you’ll market the cannabis. Once you are approved as a grower, you can purchase seeds from Health Canada.
Medical patients are allowed to grow their own cannabis without a license in the state of Washington. The rules for growing medical marijuana in the state of Washington require a 60 day supply limit, which amounts to up to 15 plants producing 24 ounces of marijuana. This amount or less gives the patient an affirmative defense in the event of an arrest. A medical marijuana growers license is not needed if you have a doctor’s recommendation.
Measure 91, which Oregon state voters passed in November 2014, allows residents to possess and cultivate marijuana beginning July 1, 2015. Residents that wish to apply for licenses to sell marijuana can do so beginning January 1, 2016. Individuals who are at least 21 years old are allowed to possess up to 8 ounces in their home, but only 1 ounce in public.
Even after decriminalization of state laws, it’s still in the law that possession of four ounces or more is a felony. The law also says that growing a single plant is a felony with a fine of $365,000 and up to 20 years in prison. There is a general sense that Oregon has become a marijuana-friendly state much like its neighbor Washington.
Growers need to be far away from schools as possession within 1,000 feet of a school can result in jail time. Production licenses will be administered through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission beginning in 2016. Costs involved with licensing will include a $250 application and a $1000 annual licensing fee.
In California, where the medical marijuana marathon of legalization began with voters approving Proposition 215 in 1996, rules are stricter on growing. The state has many growers in northern counties such as Humboldt and Mendocino. It’s technically a felony to cultivate any amount, according to the NORML website. But the state has moved consistently in a direction of decriminalization, meaning no prison time. The state is authorized to do hemp research if the hemp contains less than 1% THC. The state does allow patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation and it does allow home cultivation with no specified limits.
Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana along with Washington, Alaska and the nation’s capital. Colorado allows an individual to grow up to six plants at home and no more than 12 plants per residence. It is legal to grow plants outdoors if it’s in a fully enclosed or locked space. Homegrown weed, however, is not legal to sell. Retail stores selling cannabis in Denver must be licensed through the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, which will begin taking applications January 1, 2016. Most other states will require some form of a medical marijuana growers license.