The 2018 Farm Bill officially removed hemp and its extracts from the federal list of controlled substances. It also legalized the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity in all 50 U.S. states.
Not surprisingly, some people are now asking the question of whether they can grow hemp themselves at home. If hemp is now federally legal, that means anyone can grow it at home, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Is It Legal to Grow Your Own Hemp Plants?
The answer to that question depends on where you live. If you live in a state that has legalized recreational and medical cannabis use, such as Colorado, chances are that you can legally grow marijuana or hemp. There is likely a limit on how many plants you can grow and where you can grow it (usually indoors only), but special licensing isn’t always required if it’s for personal use.
If you don’t live in a state with legal recreational and medical cannabis, you need to apply for a license from your state agricultural program. This typically requires you to own or operate a farm. Growing at home for personal use, unfortunately, isn’t typically a valid reason for a license.
In some states, the actual licenses are in limited supply, even if you perfectly fit all the requirements to obtain one.
Where Can I Buy Hemp Seeds?
Unfortunately, even if you’re a farmer, not just any seed can be used to grow hemp. For most hemp agricultural programs, farmers are required to obtain certified hemp seeds directly from the state. In some states, this can present problems due to limited supply.
Edible hemp seeds that you can buy online or from your local grocery store can not be used to grow hemp. Those seeds are considered sterilized and are generally no longer viable for producing a growing plant.
In most cases, it’s not legal for a regular consumer to grow hemp plants in their home. The Farm Bill of 2018 made it so that farmers could legally grow hemp plants as an agricultural product through their state agricultural program. A license from the state is also typically required to legally grow hemp.
If you’re lucky and live in a state with legal recreational and medical cannabis, check the laws regarding growing plants for personal use.