This post is part of an ongoing exploration into the new piece of legislation introduced into the Minnesota House of Representatives by Rep. Ryan Winkler, H.F. 4632. The full bill text can be found here.

Two cannabis plants

Welcome to our first deep dive into House File No. 4632, a piece of legislation that could legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. Legalization is all but inevitable, and this bill looks like it has the best shot to make it across the finish line. Many states have come before us, most with home cultivation of cannabis included along with legalization.

But what did this bill actually say about home cultivation in Minnesota?

In Summary:

  • Adults (21+) can cultivate “up to eight cannabis plants, with four or fewer being mature”.
  • No license is required, but it must be in “an enclosed, locked space that is not open to public view”
  • $500 fine per plant over eight (but under 16, after which incarceration is added as a punishment)

That means closet grows and greenhouses are good to go, but you can’t just throw down some of the bagseeds you have in your back yard. It needs to be out of public view and locked up. And assuming Leafline and Vireo don’t step in, the end rules should come out similar to how they are listed above. It also means you can end up in prison for growing too much cannabis without a permit (even after adult-use is legalized).

Legislation introduced this session revolving around cannabis has had a wide range of view points on the home cultivation of cannabis. HF 420, introduced by Rep. Freiberg, required those wishing to cultivate cannabis at home to obtain a permit (after taking a class on laws around cannabis and paying a fee). This legislation put the cap at four plants with no more than two flowering. Another piece of legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Liebling, (HF 465) allowed home cultivation of no more than twelve plants (with six or less flowering at one time). It’s just my opinion, but I see it as a good sign that HF 4632 puts the number squarely in the middle. While it may not convince Sen. Gazelka, hopefully it can show the more conservative DFL’ers and the more liberal Republican’s that this bill is responsible and ready for passage.

Representative’s Winkler’s proposal doesn’t just fit squarely within the proposals of those instate, but it also fits right in the middle of how other adult-use states have decided to move forward. In 2012, when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize cannabis, they both took different approaches to the issue of growing cannabis at home with Colorado allowing six plants and Washington allowing none. Since then, Illinois is the only other state to outright prohibit home cultivation while states like Michigan and Alaska have allowed upwards to twelve plants at one time per residence.

How much can you expect to be growing when abiding by the rules laid out in this piece of legislation?

This answer will obviously vary based on your level of experience and quality of your equipment. Generally speaking however, you can expect to grow enough for yourself with only four mature plants at a time. According to TheWeedBlog, experienced growers can expect to produce a gram of cannabis per watt of light. They describe that “growing four plants using a 600-watt HPS lamp could produce about 150 grams or 5.0 oz per plant” Assuming you have four vegetative plants waiting to go when you chop and you’re growing a fast-finishing strain (such as Northern Lights), then you could realistically harvest 20 ounces (or a little over a lb) and be ready for harvest again just two or three months later. While I personally prefer that there were no restrictions on the amount you can grow, I can certainly get by with four plants. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make some new friends!

And how much could you get from an outdoor grows? While that’s a whole other ball game…

Photo credit: u/PlanetoftheAtheists on reddit