The Massachusetts law legalizing recreational marijuana allows for an individual at least 21 years old to grow up to six marijuana plants in his or her home, and allows a maximum of 12 marijuana plants per household with two or more adults. The law allows for medical patients who receive a hardship license to grow enough marijuana for a 60-day supply. It does not specify a number of plants.
But it’s difficult to say how many people are growing pot in Massachusetts homes.
The 2018 National Gardening Survey found 15 percent of United States households would grow marijuana at home if it was legal. But home growing is not tracked by the state Cannabis Control Commission.
Those interviewed also had mixed opinions on whether the home growing trend is, well, growing … especially with the availability of retail marijuana.
“I think that people might have gone for the home growing thing in 2016 when it first became legalized,” said Maggie Kinsella, press secretary for the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition or MassCann/NORML and co-founder of Maggie’s Other Farm, a home growing consulting business. “I don’t know how many people continued growing. I haven’t seen any evidence that there was an increase in home growing. I think most people realize how difficult it is and decided not to continue it … Everybody wants to grow weed until they grow weed. Then they maybe find out it’s not right for them.”
Others said the “sticker shock” of retail marijuana has prompted interest in home growing.
“People are going to a dispensary, being price shocked, and their minds are being opened up to think maybe I can grow now; it’s more affordable and it might be a lot of fun,” Mr. Casey said.
But whether the home cultivation trend is growing or fading, home growing is likely happening on your street.
“Most of the community were medical growers. Then recreational became legal and it seems like everybody and their brother’s growing weed; it’s crazy,” said Peter Bernard, president of the Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council and a home grower himself. Mr. Bernard, who describes marijuana cultivars as one might describe wine, estimated “tens of thousands” of people are growing medicinal and recreational marijuana in their Massachusetts homes. “I never thought I’d see the day,” he said.