Can I Grow Hemp in My Backyard? (Is It Legal?)

What’s the deal about hemp you might want to find out?

This tall, fragrant, and erect annual herb originated in Central Asia and has been grown for over 10,000 years. Hemp growing for fiber was documented as far back as 4000 years ago in China, and has been utilized as a medicinal treatment for centuries in India, China, the Middle East, South Africa, and South America.

So much lies in this plant so much that the entire plant is made up of active sections like flowers, leaves, and seeds.

While it is illegal in some states, you can watch it grow without any legal interruption in some states. However, there are major requirements for growing hemp in residential homes. If you want to grow hemp in your backyard for personal use, you may be closer to legal issues than you may think.

The only permitted means of growing this CBD-oil-rich plant is to apply through the right channel, and they should be grown for just one reason – research purposes. Despite the legalized growing of hemp in many of these states for research use, it cannot still be grown in certain states, regardless of the growth purposes.

It is best to find out about the law of your state governing the growth of hemp within residential zones before you embark on growing it. This will help you be free from legal issues and violating the law that guides its growth. Here are what to know about growing hemp in your backyard.

If you’re a hemp lover and you desire a garden at the back of your house so you can have access to it daily, does it mean you can plant it in your backyard?

Read on to learn more.

Is it Legal to Grow Hemp in My Backyard?

Growing hemp in an individual’s backyard has recently become a subject of discussion. The truth is, the legal difficulties you might go through would differ, and this depends on where you are in the world.

In other nations, you might go through a lengthy permit process and get official visits if you want to keep the whole thing legal.

Here’s the answer for people in the US:

Yes, it’s completely legal to cultivate in the United States, but here’s the condition:

You must ensure that it is grown in accordance with state and federal legislation, which is supervised by your state’s agricultural department. Now, this supervision might lead to you not being able to cultivate hemp in your backyard, but the agriculture department will decide.

Ready to grow some hemp?

Reach out to the Department of Agriculture, and they will be able to provide you with all of the information you want.

It might be best to know that hemp is a relatively simple plant to produce, and some types do well outdoors. Also, hemp is still considered cannabis in many places of the world and may be prosecuted in the same way.

An individual may be allowed to grow hemp for research purposes. Thanks to the 2018 farm bill for legalizing hemp farming throughout the country. However, a license is required for anyone seeking to grow hemp for research purposes.

Despite the legalization of hemp growing for research purposes, the law has remained silent about growing hemp in an individual’s backyard. As a result, you cannot expect to find hemp in your neighbor’s front yard or backyard.

Our take is this: as long as you follow the laws, your permit will enable you to legally cultivate hemp, grow it, and harvest it.

Can I Grow a Hemp Plant in My Backyard?

It is not clear whether an individual can grow the hemp plant in the backyard. Although the law may vary from state to state, growing a hemp plant in your backyard may not be possible.

The hemp plant can only be grown for a reason: for research purposes. Even if you are growing it for research purposes, there is every need to follow the right channel for its proper legalization.

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Growing hemp plant in your backyard or any residential growing of hemp plant is strictly against the law. Growing it may not be illegal except if you only live in a state where growing hemp plant is not against the law.

Certain states are not restricted from growing hemp plants. If you are from California, Washington, Oregon, or Colorado, you can grow the hemp plant without any legal issues. Some states are producing loads of hemp seeds or clones that allow others to grow CBD-rich plants.

Is Hemp the Same Thing as Marijuana?

People are often confused that hemp and marijuana are not of the same plant species. The truth is, marijuana and hemp and hemp are not distinct species. They are not the same name but the same cannabis from the Cannabaceae family as a flowering plant. Although science has not differentiated hemp from marijuana, thankfully, the law has shown the differences between these two types of flowering plants. Although science has not differentiated hemp from marijuana, thankfully, the law has shown the differences between these two types of flowering plants.

So, what are the differences that exist between hemp and marijuana? Firstly, let’s look at the similarities between both plants

Hemp and marijuana are distinct names for the same genus called cannabis species, taxonomically speaking. According to research, hemp and marijuana can look and even smell the same.

Quickly, it’s important to note that hemp is one of the varieties of the cannabis Sativa plant. Marijuana happens to be another variety. Hemp and marijuana are in the same plant species. 

Clear fact: Hemp is found only in the cannabis sativa family, whereas marijuana is found in either the cannabis indica or cannabis sativa plant.

Another similarity between hemp and marijuana is that you can obtain CBD from both plants. The full meaning of CBD is cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid uncovered in 1940. CBD accounts for 40 percent of the plant extract and is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. 

Now, here are the significant differences between hemp and marijuana. 

The key difference between hemp and marijuana is their THC content. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. The chemical causes the “high feeling” people usually experience when they smoke marijuana. 

The hemp plant contains a THC level of 0.3 percent or less, while marijuana usually contains more. Marijuana has over 0.3 percent of THC. Marijuana, which people often talk about it as what makes an individual high.

People interchangeably use the term marijuana with weed, including other couples of terms. Marijuana in the aspect of law means cannabis but has a high content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), more than 0.3% by dry weight.

Another clear difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is 100% legal in the United States of America, both at the state and federal levels

As indicated in the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s legal to grow hemp or cannabis plants with THC levels 0.3 percent or less. It’s also legal to use any hemp-derived CBD product at both federal and state levels. 

On the other hand, the details about marijuana’s legality are sketchy. Marijuana’s THC level is over 0.3 percent, so it’s not legal at the federal level. 

However, state laws vary on the use of marijuana. So, it’s essential to check your state laws before using marijuana to avoid getting into trouble with the authorities. 

Some states permit the use of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, while some only permit the plant’s use for medical purposes. You’ll also discover that the use of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes, is illegal in some states. 

A Pro Tip: CBD products are legal at the federal level, but that’s only when they’ve gotten from hemp and THC level is less than 0.3 percent. 

Because of the THC levels, people don’t smoke hemp as much as they smoke marijuana. The low THC level in hemp means one has to smoke more of the plant to get high. 

Below are some of the products hemp is used to produce:

  • Medicines
  • Essential oils
  • Baby care products
  • Textiles (clothing)
  • Paper products
  • Livestock bedding
  • Livestock feed
  • Molded plastics
  • Construction products
  • Nutritional supplements
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Is Growing Hemp at Home Legal?

Firstly, it’s important to state that the Farm Bill of 2018 only relates to the commercial cultivation of hemp. Therefore, before one starts growing hemp for personal usage, it’s only wise to inquire about the legality of doing such

Now, this leaves us with the big question, is growing hemp at home legal in the United States of America?

If growing hemp is legal, then shouldn’t growing hemp “at home” be the same? After all, growing hemp on large farms is permitted as long as the harvest includes less than 0.3 percent THC. People all throughout the United States have become enthralled by the potential of cultivating hemp at home since December 2018.

All thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, the issue of residential expansion isn’t addressed. The law was created particularly to provide a new cash crop to the agricultural industry with the hope that it would boost local economies and provide relief to suffering farmers.

So, in places where cannabis production is prohibited, it is currently unlawful to cultivate hemp at home. If you’re discovered growing hemp in one of these locations, you’ll be treated as if you’re growing marijuana!

It’s important to note that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) set the guidelines for the growing and usage of hemp across the country. So, you must follow their regulation strictly. 

To cultivate hemp at all as a farmer, you’ll need to start with seeds from authorized types with low THC levels. This sort of seed may be obtained from the hemp plant, for example, Central Cooperative of Hemp Seed Producers.

You can only grow or use hemp if the THC level is less than 0.3 percent. But know that you cannot grow hemp in a state where cannabis is considered illegal. An example is Georgia. Individuals who reside in Georgia can’t cultivate hemp in their private residential areas. 

However, things might change at any time, so be on the lookout. 

A Pro Tip: In states where hemp cultivation is legal, you can’t cultivate the plant commercially without a license. It’s against the law to do so. 

How Long Does It Take To Grow Hemp?

So, how long does it take for a hemp plant to mature from seed to harvest?

It all depends on two things:

1. The sort of cannabis you grew

Hemp comes in many different types, some for seed, some for fiber, and others for oil. Hemp also comes in both narrow and broad leaf varieties.

2. What you intend to do with the plant

If you’ve planted your hemp in the ground, the life cycle might take anywhere from 70 to 140 days meaning 3 to 5 months depending on the variety.

The timeline varies due to the hemp fiber, harvested after about two months; the seeds can take about 110 days. The hemp buds for CBD may take up to 4 months or more. Therefore, the reason for growing hemp largely decides the length of its processing.

When it comes to marijuana, sativa takes the longest, at least 10 weeks, indica takes a little less time, approximately 8 weeks as mentioned, and automated kinds require around four weeks to bloom.

Moreover, during dry or warm climates, it is observed that hemp thrives. If you are growing your hemp in a perfect climate, you may observe a quicker growth process. On the other hand, the growth process may be slow if you live in a wet or mild climate.

For example, if you start planting in January your hemp might be ready between April and May.

The bottom line is that the length of time is also determined by the purpose of the hemp harvest. You may harvest your hemp plants around the 60-day mark if you wish to manufacture hemp fiber, while the seeds take a little more than 100 days to germinate, so you’ll have to wait a little longer.

It might also be interesting for you to know that you can accomplish hemp growth using a variety of systems and methods, including germinators, the traditional use of a taper with the napkin or moist paper to the use of stimulators or planting the seed directly in the ground, on a disc, or in a glass of water.

What else? You must also consider the quality of the seed, fertility, and the type or strain in issue, in addition to water, humidity, and oxygenation conditions.

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Can Hemp Seeds Go Bad?

Hemp seeds have a longer lifespan without going bad regardless of whether you salt or toast them. As a result, they can even go up to 14 months without going bad if you do not open them. If you open them, they can reduce the shelf life. However, the secret to storing them for an extended lifespan is to keep them in a cool, dry place where light rays can not reach, including moisture.

Keeping hemp seeds in the fridge can help them go beyond 12 months and be indefinite. To make hemp seeds have a longer lifespan, it is best to keep them in a plastic bag while placing them in a freezer.

If you salt or toast hemp seeds, they can even have an extended lifespan. This is because salt tends to rancid the seeds early. You can preserve hemp seed-derived oil and remain without going bad for about a year if you do not open them.

How Long Can Hemp Seeds Be Stored?

First off, hemp seeds are regarded as one of the most nutritionally dense foods, which is why they are referred to as super foods.

Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 11g of protein and include all necessary amino acids (complete protein).

Marijuana seeds should be kept in a cool, dry place. To keep them fresh until germination, you have various options:

Are you only intending to keep it for a few months? Keep them in an airtight container, such as a ziploc bag, a glass jar, or any sort of airtight container for prolonged storage.

Keep the seeds as far away from the fridge door as possible to avoid being exposed to temperature variations when the door is opened.

If you do these, cannabis seeds can live up to ten years if kept correctly.

Where Can Hemp Be Grown Legally in the U.S.?

Wondering where hemp cultivation isn’t a bad thing? Several places.

Hemp is allowed in 46 states in the US, but the farm bill enables states like Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Dakota to continue to prohibit the crop’s cultivation inside their boundaries.

This means that hemp is permitted in the United States, but only under tight conditions. Despite its legalization, not all American states are legalized to grow hemp. The permitted pilot programs were approved by both the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state departments of agriculture to investigate hemp.

Now, the 2018 Farm Bill is broader than the previous one, allowing hemp to grow in its entirety. In fact, it expressly permits the commercial or other movement of hemp-derived goods across state boundaries.

Fun fact you might want to know; South Dakota and Nebraska are the most advantageous hemp-growing states in the United States, out of all the legal hemp states.

Meanwhile, Kentucky is far and away the nation’s leader in hemp growing, policy, and research.

Can I Grow Hemp in My Backyard in New York?

Yes. You can legally grow hemp in your backyard in New York. However, there is only a way to achieve this. The only way to grow and process hemp in New York is by taking part in New York’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. This program, created in 2014 under the farm bill, helps give authorization to the grower as a research partner. However, this program comes with three different agreements for the partner.

However, individuals or businesses interested in researching the growth of hemp can submit their applications through the pilot program.

Can I Grow Hemp in My Backyard in Florida?

There are a few clear indications regarding the growing hemp in your backyard in Florida. Yes. You can grow hemp in your backyard in Florida. Thanks to the 2019 Florida law for authorizing the commercialization of hemp, which is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).

Conclusion

Hemp is a psychotropic because it includes the psychoactive compounds you know as THC, cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN) although not even as high as marijuana.

But does it make it illegal to plant? It depends on your state of residence, the laws laid down and their stands concerning the plant.

You can grow hemp in your backyard as soon as you tick all necessary legal boxes and get a permit that allows you to freely cultivate it.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is fond of doing all backyard-related work at her home. She loves to take sunbathe and do a barbecue in her free time. She often shares practical tips and friendly expert advice on everything relating to home and yard on this blog. When she is not writing, she goes camping with her husband and little kids.