How to Legally Grow Medical Cannabis in Colorado

Find out how to legally grow medical cannabis in Colorado, including the number of plants you’re allowed to have and where you can grow them.

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Medical cannabis has been legal in Colorado since the passage of Amendment 20 in 2000. The amendment allows patients with certain conditions to receive a recommendation from a licensed physician for the medical use of cannabis. Conditions that may be approved for treatment with medical cannabis include, but are not limited to:

Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
Severe pain
Severe nausea
Epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizure activity

History of Medical Cannabis in Colorado

The use of medical cannabis in Colorado has a long and storied history. The state was one of the first in the nation to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, passing a ballot initiative in 2000. Since then, the state has been at the forefront of medical cannabis research and innovation.

In 2012, Colorado made history again by becoming one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis. This move allowed adults 21 and over to purchase and consume cannabis for any purpose, not just medical.

Today, Colorado is one of the leading states in the country for legal cannabis. It is home to some of the most renowned medical cannabis dispensaries and growers in the world. If you are considering growing medical cannabis in Colorado, there are a few things you need to know.

First and foremost, you must have a valid medical license from the state in order to legally grow cannabis. You can obtain a license by visiting your local dispensary or applying online through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.

Once you have obtained your license, you must register your grow operation with the state. This can be done online or by mail. You will need to provide basic information about your grow operation, such as its location and size.

Once you are registered, you will need to obtain a permit from your local county or city government in order to grow cannabis legally. Each municipality has its own rules and regulations regarding cannabis grows, so it is important to check with your local authorities before starting your operation.

Once you have all of your paperwork in order, you are ready to start growing medical cannabis in Colorado!

In Colorado, any person over the age of 21 can grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. However, only three of those plants can be in the flowering stage at any given time. While you are allowed to have more than six plants in your home, you may run into legal trouble if your local authorities catch wind of it. If you have more than 12 plants in your home, you will be considered a “commercial grower” and will need to obtain a license from the state.

It is important to note that while the state of Colorado has legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use, it is still illegal on the federal level. This means that if you live in a federally- subsidized housing complex, you may be evicted for growing marijuana plants. Additionally, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana.

Qualifying Conditions

To be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Colorado, you must first have a qualifying condition as determined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. You must also be a Colorado resident with a valid Colorado ID. The list of qualifying conditions currently includes:

-Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
– Severe pain
– Severe nausea
– Epilepsy
– Persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by multiple sclerosis
– Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

If you have one of these conditions and would like to apply for a medical marijuana card, you can find more information on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry website.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card

In Colorado, any patient with a “debilitating medical condition” can get a card that allows them to buy and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The first step is to get a recommendation from a Colorado-licensed physician. The doctor will need to fill out an application and submit it to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Once the physician completes the application, the patient will need to submit an application to the state department as well. Once both applications are received, the state will issue a medical marijuana card. The card will be valid for one year and can be renewed annually.

A medical marijuana card allows a patient to possess up to two ounces of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The card also allows patients to grow up to six plants (three mature, three immature) for their personal use.

Where to Get Medical Cannabis

There are many ways to get medical cannabis in Colorado. You can grow it yourself, get it from a friend or family member, or buy it from a dispensary. To grow medical cannabis, you must have a valid Colorado Medical Marijuana License. You can also get medical cannabis from a friend or family member who has a license. Dispensaries are legal businesses that sell medical cannabis to people with a valid Colorado Medical Marijuana License.

Consumption Methods

There are a variety of ways to consume medical cannabis, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Some common methods include smoking, vaporizing, tinctures, and edibles.

Smoking: Smoking is perhaps the most common method of consuming medical cannabis. It is also the quickest way to feel the effects of the medicine, as the cannabinoids are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs. However, smoking can also be harsh on the lungs, and patients with respiratory conditions may want to avoid this method.

Vaporizing: Vaporizing medical cannabis involves heating the plant material to a temperature that is lower than what is needed for combustion. This produces a vapor that can be inhaled, which delivers the active ingredients to the lungs without producing harmful smoke. Vaporizing is a less harsh alternative to smoking, but it can still irritate the lungs for some patients.

Tinctures: Tinctures are concentrated extracts of medical cannabis that are taken orally (usually under the tongue). Tinctures provide a discrete and easy way to consume cannabis, and they can be easily adjusted to provide different dosage levels. However, tinctures can take up to an hour or more to take effect.

Edibles: Edibles are another popular method of consuming medical cannabis. Cannabis-infused foods and drinks allow patients to get their medicine without having to smoke or vaporize it. Edibles can take effect in as little as 30 minutes or as long as two hours, depending on how they are made and how they are metabolized by the body.

Growing Your Own Cannabis

In Colorado, it is legal for adults 21 and over to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use. If you choose to grow your own cannabis, there are a few things you need to know in order to do so legally.

First, you will need to obtain a state-issued license in order to grow cannabis plants. You can apply for a license through the Colorado Department of Revenue. Once you have been issued a license, you will be able to purchase cannabis seeds from a licensed retail dispensary.

Next, you will need to choose a location for your grow operation. Your plants must be grown in an enclosed, locked space that is not visible from public areas. It is important to choose a location with good ventilation and plenty of natural light.

Once you have chosen a location, you will need to purchase the necessary supplies for growing cannabis. You will need pots or containers, soil, fertilizers, and lights if you are growing indoors. Make sure you have everything you need before starting your grow operation.

Once your plants are grown, you can then harvest the buds and leaves for personal use. However, it is important to note that it is illegal to sell cannabis in Colorado without a license. So if you are growing more than six plants, make sure to keep the extra plants for yourself or give them away as gifts.


The state of Colorado offers a wide variety of resources for patients interested in legally growing medical cannabis. Here are just a few of the most popular and helpful resources available:

-The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offers an online Medical Marijuana Registry, which allows patients to register for a medical marijuana card. The CDPHE also oversees the implementation of Amendment 20, the Colorado statute that legalized medical marijuana.

-Colorado’s Office of Medical Marijuana Enforcement provides resources and information on the legal regulation of medical cannabis in the state. OME also issues licenses to businesses involved in the medical marijuana industry.

-The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program oversees the cultivation of industrial hemp in Colorado, pursuant to House Bill 12-1099. This program issues licenses to farmers interested in growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.


Now that you know the basics of how to legally grow medical cannabis in Colorado, you can start your own grow operation with confidence. Remember to stay up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations, and always keep your plants out of sight and out of reach of children and pets. With a little planning and care, you can produce high-quality cannabis that will provide relief for your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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