Colorado may have legalized the recreational use of marijuana under state law, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some legal restrictions in place — particularly when it comes to where people can grow marijuana.
Indeed, many people have been arrested because of their mistaken belief that they can simply grow marijuana outside in their yards just because its recreational use is now legal under state law.
The reality is that Colorado law clearly says that it is “unlawful for a person to knowingly cultivate, grow, or produce a marijuana plant” unless certain precautions are taken, including the requirement that the marijuana plants be grown in an enclosed and locked space.
What does this mean? Well, it means that marijuana cannot be grown outside where anyone can access it. In addition, growers need to take extra precautions to make sure minors cannot access the area in which the marijuana plants are growing.
So how many plants can I grow?
In addition to the requirements mentioned above, Coloradans are also only allowed to grow a specific number of marijuana plants.
Under previous Colorado law, each person over the age of 21 could cultivate up to six marijuana plants, so long as no more than three were flowering at any given time. Medical marijuana growers were often permitted to have more.
However, this law was modified in 2018 with the passage of Colorado House Bill 17-1220. So even though the 6-plants-per-person limit still applies, there is now another restriction that says that each residence can only have a maximum of 12 marijuana plants, regardless of how many adults live in the residence. For instance, even if there are three or more individuals who are all over the age of 21 living in a single home, they can still only grow a maximum of 12 plants.
Importantly, this 12-plant limit applies regardless of whether you are using the plants for recreational or medical purposes, although there are some specific exemptions in the case of medical marijuana. Also, it is crucial to point out that individual cities can enact their own laws when it comes to the growing of marijuana plants. So even if you are not violating Colorado marijuana-cultivation law, you may be violating a local ordinance — not to mention federal law.
As you can imagine, this is a very complex and confusing area of the law, which is why it is always best to seek legal guidance if you have any questions.