How Many Plants Can I grow at home in Colorado? The short answer!

Is there a short answer to the question “how many plants can I grow in Colorado at home?”

“I have a really quick question. How many plants can I grow at home in Colorado?” So many who call expect an answer like “six” or something clear simple and direct. If such an answer existed, I’d happily share it as a “quick phone questions.” That is simply impossible. A real answer not only is not absolutely clear, it also involves a long list of factors. For me to give someone a real answer, a lawyerly answer, takes me generally 2 hours. No quite the 10 minutes people anticipate as a brief question with a quick answer.

The shortest possible answer is “six, comprised of 3 in veg and three flowering.” BUT you are on a lawyer’s website, so you already knew that a very short answer was unlikely if not impossible.

Is the grower a Colorado resident over 21 years old? So far so good.
Now we begin to get to the beginning of a better answer.

Is the grower a renter or subject to HOA rules? If so, those sets of rules and arguments based upon legal interpretations of the lease or HOA regulations need to be considered. A lease clause as simple as “tenant will engage in no illegal behavior” has ended up in court based upon the landlord arguing that federal law still has marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

Are there any minors living in the house?
Depending upon the County and depending upon what that County and the State of Colorado are currently doing. This can range from “make sure the grow is locked up, secured from any possible access by the minors” to “you are at risk of having the Department of Social Services will remove the minors from the home. This becomes either an issue, or just a potential future risk.

Are you a city dweller, subject to municipal ordinances on growing marijuana, or do you grow in an unincorporated part of a county, subject to the county’s marijuana growing ordinances? The ordinances are generally on line, and generally updated so what you see is current. Of course that is not always true.

One household, two adults, you may be fine at 12 plants, 6 in Veg, 6 flowering. Unless…

One Municipality purports to have a limit on grow size, at 10’ by 10’ along with a plant count limit at 6/12, and finally, 1200 watts limit for lights. I wonder if you get a break if you have some solar or wind boost for the lights. Some Muni ordinances attempt to overcome the Constitutional provision that a person has an affirmative defense (raised at trial) that they medically require a higher plant count. It does appear that 99 plants is a “hard line,” and we are now dealing with the original laws, modified to eliminate “loopholes.” The most common “loophole” was having one grower become a “caregiver” for a number of others, each of whom has a 99 plant medical recommendation. Anything to do with caregivers and extended plant counts is beyond a “short” answer.

Note, to add criminality where it may not be, the Colorado criminal law defines weight differently than the state constitution. Plants are counted differently. While the constitution is clear that an ounce of flower is equivalent to an ounce of hash or an ounce of extract, the criminal law is absolutely inconsistent with that, having a doubling factor for concentrates compared to flower. The penalty for one pound of flower is the same as the penalty for ½ pound of extract or concentrate per Colorado criminal law on marijuana.

I could go on, but I promised a short answer.


Lenny Frieling