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Growing weed at home in Minnesota: Your questions answered

Growing weed at home in Minnesota: Your questions answered
Growing weed at home in Minnesota: Your questions answered 06:40

MINNEAPOLIS -- Not only is recreational cannabis now officially legal for use in Minnesota – you can grow it at home, too. 

It'll take a while before Minnesotans will be able to buy weed at a dispensary, with one notable exception. The state projects most retail sales likely won't begin until early 2025 because the licensing and regulatory system for the new industry is still being formed. 

Right off the bat, however, Minnesotans can purchase cannabis seeds and grow the plant at home -- with limits. Adults can grow up to eight plants at home, with no more than four flowering at a time. The plants must be grown in an enclosed, locked space that's not open to public view, whether that's indoors or in a garden.

So, what is the process of growing cannabis at home and how do you do it safely? With the help of Ian Davis -- owner of the cannabis seed business Green Nectar Cultivation -- we answer those questions and more below. 

woman harvests buds from medicinal marijuana plant at home
Getty Images


There are essentially two main phases for growing cannabis: the vegetative state and the flowering state. 

In the "vegging" state, you're growing the plant to the desired size by giving it light for 24 hours a day -- or 18 hours of light and 6 hours of complete darkness. 

When switching to the flowering state, you'll want to switch the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of complete darkness. 

Following the flowering state, it's time to harvest and dry the cannabis for use. 


The full life cycle of the cannabis plant can be anywhere from two to three months, all the way up to six months to a year. It depends on how long you want to "veg" the plant for. 

From the seedling to the plant getting its first leaves, it's about three to 10 days. As for when you want to switch it to flowering, that's completely up to you. 

Basically, timing really depends on how big you want the plant to grow and where you're growing it, but expect it to take at least a few months. 

"The end of the day, don't overcomplicate it, it's a weed plant," Davis said. "It grows in ungodly conditions. It grows in the sidewalks, ditches, it grows without being cared for. So, water it as it's needed as directed, don't overwater it, don't underwater. Look at the leaves' root for nutrition deficiencies. The leaves are actually really good at telling you, 'hey, I'm deficient in nitrogen today. All right, next week this plant's deficient in phosphorus, so you need a little boost there.' So on and so forth. So, cannabis is a very easy plant."


You can, but it's not recommended in Minnesota. The grow season in the state is short, yields aren't as solid, there's a chance of cross-contamination, and you have to deal with pests. Furthermore, it'll need to be in an enclosed and locked space, which is tougher to do in an outdoor garden. 

If you do want to grow outdoors, it's recommended to start the plants inside and grow them up to 1 to 2 feet tall before bringing them outside. 

Green Nectar Cultivation says you should plan on getting the plants outside by June at the latest, but be sure there won't be any overnight dips below 32 degrees. If it dips below freezing, the plant will die. 


It's up to your budget. It can be as simple as a five-gallon bucket, aluminum foil, a simple tent, and a random lamp. 

It's recommended to research the type of light your particular cannabis plant will need for optimal growth. 

As far as lamps, there are many options. LED lights are becoming more and more popular due to energy savings, and they run a lot cooler than filament lighting. 

Man spraying medical cannabis with insecticide soap spray
Person applying insecticidal soap spray to medical cannabis plants for control of spider mites and fungus gnats Getty Images

As for tents, there are a lot of manufacturers and you can also make them yourselves. Just make sure it's big enough for desired plant size. 

Of course, you'll also need the cannabis seeds, soil and pots for the plant to grow in. Make sure to water accordingly. 


Green Nectar Cultivation recommends protecting your assets by locking the growing tent and/or the door that accesses the grow room inside the house.

Double-check electrical and make sure you're not overusing electrical cords, including "daisy chaining" them. 

Having a fire extinguisher around is very important. There are "fire extinguisher balls" that can also be placed around the room that self-activate in case a fire starts. 

With growing cannabis, there is the potential for mold and pests so make sure to monitor those factors. 

Bottom line: Practice fire and electrical safety. 


When you're confident the flowering state is complete, you'll want to cut the plant from the base and hang it upside down. 

Make sure the humidity levels are within proper levels, between 40-60%. Higher humidity leads to mold, which can ruin the entire harvest. 

Once small nuggets -- also known as the buds or flowers -- begin falling from the main stems, you can harvest all the nuggets and place them into a mason jar for curing. 

Make sure to open the jar twice a day, which helps moisture escape and prevents mold. It also helps with the overall taste or flavor of the weed. 

The curing process can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months – it depends on the humidity. During winter times, it can be a lot faster due to low humidity. 

That's the home stretch. Once the curing process is done, you can take the nuggets out of the jar, chop out the sugar leaves and shape up the nugs how you like them. It's recommended to clip out the fan leaves, but some people do prefer to leave some of the sugar leaves on the nuggets. 

Man's hands cut branches with marijuana cones
A person is shown clipping cannabis after the curing process.  Getty Images


Green Nectar Cultivation says many will learn through trial and error, and that's perfectly fine! And don't break the bank trying it out for the first time. 

As you grow more, you'll understand the direction you want to go and what equipment you'll want. 

It's important to again stress safety. 

"Practice, practice, practice, practice safety guys, please use caution. I get that we're all excited about cannabis and excited to make it into whatever, but at the end of the day, we need to protect ourselves," Davis said. 

Davis added that people in the cannabis industry will be happy to answer questions, so don't be afraid to reach out and ask.

This is a simple overview of the process. Davis suggests checking out many helpful websites, like, for more information. 


Glossary of terms mentioned in video/story:

  • Cannabinoids: Broadly speaking, cannabinoids are a class of biological compounds that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The two main cannabinoids are THC and CBD. 
  • Cola: This is the central flower cluster that forms on the top of a female cannabis plant.
  • Nugget(s): Buds from the cannabis plant. 
  • Fan leaves: Longer leaves that protrude from the cannabis plant's branches. These are the broad leaves that are most commonly associated with marijuana. 
  • Sugar leaves: Smaller leaves that grow on cannabis buds as the plant flowers. 
  • Trichomes: Crystalline-like structures that form along surface of leaves and buds. 
  • Terpenes (or "terps"): Chemical compound that gives marijuana its aromas and flavors.
  • Photoperiodism: For cannabis, this is referring to the behavioral response of the plant to changes in duration of light and darkness.
  • Ditch weed: Also known as feral cannabis, ditch weed is basically wild cannabis growing without any help from humans. Usually has little to no THC. 
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