March 2011: Cultivation Basics

In California, medical cannabis patients have the right to cultivate their own medicine. Current law is murky on total numbers, so we’ve developed a few tips to help you make good choices and stay safe in your garden.

Patients are allowed to cultivate individually, they are able to have a designated primary caregiver cultivate on their behalf, and/or patients and primary caregivers may cultivate collectively. A cultivation collective in the state of California is a group of patients who have decided to share resources, labor, and medicine with each other. It is up to the collective how to organize and what requirements of each member should be; it’s best to have a collective agreement, as a way to show law enforcement that you are taking all the steps you can to remain within the limits of the law. Check out our collective agreement here:

After filling out and signing the collective agreement, make copies of it and post the copies and copies of each member’s recommendation. If a member is a primary caregiver, it’s best to have a copy of the recommendation belonging to the patient they’re assisting as well as a caregiver agreement (found here:

Whether operating as a cultivation collective or on their own, patients and primary caregivers should mind the numbers of plants they are cultivating. While it’s unclear what numbers of plants are “too many,” there are a few things to keep in mind. Patients have to show that they are cultivating just enough to supply their own personal medical use, which is hard to determine. Take a look at your county’s guidelines, which can give you an idea of what law enforcement might be using as a guide. It’s also best to NEVER cultivate more than 99 plants (TOTAL) at any location, as 100 plants triggers federal mandatory minimum sentencing, making your garden much more attractive to federal law enforcement.

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