Growing Marijuana in Aquaponics – Part 1

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 1

By Colle and Phyllis Davis 

Read our Three-Part Series on Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 1

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 2

Marijuana Growing in Aquaponics – Part 3

 

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “Can I grow marijuana in my Portable Farm?”

There are  many variables to this question but,  “Yes,  you can grow marijuana in aquaponics.”

In this series, we discuss the different ways to grow medical herbs in aquaponics, the necessary modifications to produce the best results, and the pitfalls of single cropping and mixing herbs with other plants in the grow table.

  • In our first year of offering the Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems training in 2008, the most common general question we received was, “How does that thing work?” meaning aquaponics.
  • The next question was, “Can I grow marijuana in aquaponics?”

Step back for a moment. When we launched Portable Farms in 2008, the herb was illegal in most places in the US, including California, where we lived. Supporting an illegal activity with the use of our technology gave us pause and our lawyers warned us against pursuing anything related to marijuana. We would not be doing anything illegal by selling our systems for the purpose of growing marijuana by our customers, but we were advised to avoid anything that could draw negative attention to our young and thriving company. We took their advice.

About that time, a competitor of ours in the aquaponics business decided to grow marijuana and they both went to jail. We wanted to avoid any implications or suspicions that could create legal problems.

Now, 12 years later, the laws have changed in about 19 states that allows their citizens to grow small amounts (generally 6 to 12 plants) of marijuana for personal use. Disclaimer: Check with the laws in your state for laws related to growing marijuana. *Disclaimer, we accept no responsibility regarding legal advice or updated rulings regarding growing marijuana plants for personal or medicinal use.

  • A list and links posted below (our thanks to productiongrowers.com  for their thorough reporting of all-things-related to marijuana) regarding states where growing marijuana is legal and states where it is prohibited).
  • As you have may have guessed by now, marijuana and the growing of marijuana along with offering advice has been a legal-slippery slope for us. Our company, PFAS LLC, is moving from only giving a few general suggestions on the phone to customers who inquire about growing marijuana to today — we have now begun writing and publishing growing advice for the maximum production of marijuana and other herbs in aquaponics. Our reluctance has once again been prompted by moving our residence and corporate headquarters to Virginia, a state that does not currently allow the use of marijuana or the growing of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. We are law abiding citizens, but also aware of the demand for information regarding the link between aquaponics and marijuana. We do NOT grow marijuana. FULL STOP.

Information for Growing Herbs in Aquaponics

One module of a Portable Farms Aquaponics System

Growing herbs requires research for each plant to determine their watering needs. Many herbs require less water than the vegetables or greens that are grown in Portable Farms. In fact, many plants prefer loose sandy soil over aquaponics growing for that very reason.

All Portable Farms® Kits are commercial kits designed to support Grow Tables up to and larger than 200 sq ft (18m2) and work even for the smallest Grow Table installations. The difference is the timing of the water flow.

Aquaponics is best known for growing greens. Image above is a tray of Romaine Lettuce.

If you want to grow a few ‘herbs’ in your regular Portable Farms® Module, plant a few and see how they mature. You may find they require less water than two water cycles per day.

Changing the timing on the water pump to once a day with a longer cycle still gives you great vegetables, and your herbs will be happier. If you are only growing greens, changing to once a day timing will slow their growth a bit because they love water. Herbs, not so much.

Fish joke: We do not yet have data on whether the fish get the munchies from the new plants, but when someone has good data, we will see if we can share it with you.

Mixing plants in a single Grow Table means compromising on production because of the different moisture needs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and peppers dislike wet roots. They need plenty of water in the morning, but not in the afternoon.

For example, lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, and collards enjoys two water cycles a day. This water need is why raft culture works well for them; their roots are in water all the time. Herbs prefer a much dryer root zone and become waterlogged and unhappy when over watered.

Next, in this series on growing marijuana in Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems, we will cover modification to the basic Module layout to produce a more abundant crop. You can still use some of the Grow Table for regular vegetables, so you can grow your herbs and vegetables at the same time.

The following list by productiongrowers.com provides information regarding growing cannabis in all US States.

Alabama

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Alabama.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/alabama-law/alabama-marijuana-laws.html

Alaska

Adults aged 21 and older can legally grow marijuana at home. The grower does not have to register with the authorities. One person can grow up to 6 marijuana plants, although only 3 of the 6 plants can be mature and flowering at any one time.

If there are at least two 21-year-old adults in the same household, that household can grow up to 12 plants at the same time. However, the limit does not increase if there are more than 2 adults in the household.

Sources: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Director/Documents/marijuana/ResponsibleConsumerFactBook.pdf

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/07/29/heres-how-many-cannabis-plants-alaskans-ca n-now-legally-possess-at-home/

Arizona

A qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver who has been approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services may cultivate medical marijuana, so long as the qualifying patient resides more than 25 miles from the closest dispensary.

Any individual who cultivates medical marijuana must do so in a surrounded and protected area.  The individual can grow up to 12 plants.

There is no higher limit if there are more than 2 qualifying patients who reside in the same household.

Sources:

https://www.azdhs.gov/licensing/medical-marijuana/index.php#faqs-cultivation

Arkansas

It is not legal to grow Marijuana at home in Arkansas.

Source: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/medical-marijuana-faqs

California

Anyone who is above the age of 21 can grow marijuana. Each residence is allowed to grow 6 plants, no matter how many adults reside there.

There is a difference in what Prop 215 and SB240 says about growing marijuana by a medical card holder. The former states that a medical card holder can grow as much as needed, and the latter states that only 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants can be grown.

Sources: https://aizmanlaw.com/marijuana-cultivation/

https://www.gorelick-law.com/marijuana-cultivation-2 

Colorado

Adults over the age of 21 can grow marijuana. The individual can raise up to 6 plants with 3 plants flowering at once. A house with multiple qualifying adults can grow up to a maximum of 12 plants.

Source: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/marijuana/home-grow-laws

Connecticut

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Connecticut. There is no producer’s license for medical marijuana in Connecticut.

Sources: https://norml.org/laws/item/connecticut-penalties

https://portal.ct.gov/DCP/Medical-Marijuana-Program/Medical-Marijuana-Producer-License

Delaware

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Delaware.

Source: https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/medmarfaq.html

Florida

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Florida.

Source: http://www.flhealthsource.gov/ommu/faqs

Georgia

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Georgia.

Source: https://www.macon.com/news/local/article218984495.html

Hawaii

It is legal for registered patients and registered caregivers to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes in Hawaii. However, growers must register with the state government, and they can grow a maximum of 10 plants

Source: http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalcannabisregistry/patients/growing-medical-marijuana/

Idaho

It is not legal to grow marijuana in Idaho.

Source: https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/marijuana-laws-in-idaho-whats-legal-whats-not-andwhat-does-it-take-to-face-jail-time/277-6530c414-73d5-4c67-a530-940478763493

Illinois

While it is illegal to use marijuana for recreational purpose in Illinois, the use of medical marijuana is allowed. However, it must be procured from a dispensary. Only companies have access to the medical marijuana cultivator license, making it illegal for individuals to grow marijuana for any purpose.

Source: https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/cannabis-or-marijuana-laws-and-penalties-basics

Indiana

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Indiana.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/indiana-law/indiana-marijuana-laws.html

Iowa

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Iowa.

Source: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/marijuana-laws-and-penalties/iowa.htm

Kansas

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Kansas.

Source: https://www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article223398620.html

Kentucky

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Kentucky.

Source: https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article223075125.html

Louisiana

While recreational marijuana remains outlawed, medicinal use is allowed. It is not legal to grow marijuana in Louisiana. The only legal growers in the state are the agriculture centers at Louisiana State University and Southern University.

Source: http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/2892

Maine

Only adults who are above the age of 21 can grow marijuana. In each residence, a maximum of 6 mature plants and 12 immature plants can be cultivated

Sources:

https://legislature.maine.gov/lawlibrary/recreational_marijuana_in_maine/9419

https://goodtoknowmaine.com/laws/

Maryland

It is not legal to grow marijuana in Maryland. It is only allowed for medicinal use, and it must be purchased from state-licensed dispensaries.

Source: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/patients_faq.aspx

Massachusetts

Only adults who are above the age of 21 can grow marijuana. In each home, up to 6 plants can be grown. If there are more than 2 adults, 12 plants can be grown

Source: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/marijuana-in-massachusetts-whats-legal

Michigan

Adults who are older than 21 can grow up to 12 marijuana plants at home.  Medical caregivers can grow up to 12 plants for up to 5 patients, meaning that caregivers can grow up to 60 plants for patients and an addition 12 plants for themselves.  Caregivers must register with the state.

Sources: https://www.michiganradio.org/post/recreational-marijuana-legal-today-michigan-here-are-5-t hings-know-lighting

https://www.clickondetroit.com/michigan-marijuana/growing-marijuana-in-michigan-here-s-w hat-to-know-about-the-law

Minnesota

It is not legal to grow marijuana in Minnesota. It is only allowed for medicinal use, and must be purchased from one of the 8 Cannabis Patient Centers located around the state.

Source: https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/cannabis/patients/patientguide.html

Mississippi

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Mississippi.

Source: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/marijuana-laws-and-penalties/mississippi.htm

Missouri

Growing marijuana for recreational use is illegal in Missouri.  Beginning in July of 2019, Missouri will accept applications for medical marijuana cards.  The state plans to allow medical marijuana cardholders to grow marijuana at home in “an appropriately secured facility”.

Source:

https://health.mo.gov/safety/medical-marijuana/faqs.php

Montana

Patients who require marijuana for medicinal use can grow up to 4 mature plants or 12 seedlings. However, growing for recreational use is not allowed.

Sources:

https://dphhs.mt.gov/marijuana/cardholders/cardholderfaq#159672069-how-many-plants-can -i-have-if-im-on-the-montana-marijuana-registry

Nebraska

It is not legal to grow marijuana for either recreational or medicinal use.

Source: https://norml.org/laws/item/nebraska-penalties-2

Nevada

Any individual above the age of 21 can grow marijuana at home but only if there are no state-licensed retail marijuana store within 25 miles of the home.

An adult can only grow up to 6 plants and a maximum of 12 plants per household. Registered medical marijuana user may grow up to 12 plants provided they live 25 miles from the nearest marijuana dispensary or if the person is unable to travel to a medical marijuana dispensary due to illness or lack of transportation.

Sources: http://marijuana.nv.gov/Legal/GrowingAtHome/

http://www.nvdispense.com/portfolios/right-grow-cannabis-home-elevate-nevada/

New Hampshire

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Hampshire, for either recreational or medicinal use.

Source: https://www.watchdog.org/new_hampshire/new-hampshire-bill-to-allow-home-marijuana-cult ivation-stalls-in/article_31976612-522d-11e8-95e7-774e9da58d0c.html

New Jersey

It is not legal to grow marijuana for either recreational or medicinal use.

Sources: https://www.newsweek.com/marijuana-new-jersey-legalization-legal-states-laws-612844

New Mexico

A Qualified Patient who has a Personal Production License issued by the NM Department of Health can grow a maximum of 12 seedlings and 4 mature plants. A single location cannot have more than 2 personal production licenses

Sources: https://nmhealth.org/about/mcp/svcs/pdb/

http://164.64.110.134/parts/title07/07.034.0004.html

New York

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in New York.

Source: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/faq.htm

North Carolina

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in North Carolina.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/north-carolina-law/north-carolina-marijuana-laws.html

North Dakota

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in North Dakota.

Source: https://www.ndhealth.gov/mm/PDF/Program_Informational_Guides/FAQ%20for%20Patients-C aregivers%20-%20Updated%206-21-2018.pdf

Ohio

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Ohio.

Source: https://www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/patients-caregivers

Oklahoma

A registered medical marijuana patient who needs marijuana for medicinal use can grow it. Only 6 mature plants and 6 seedlings can be grown at a time.

Source: http://omma.ok.gov/adult-patient-application-information2

Oregon

It is legal to grow marijuana provided you are older than 21. For recreational use, 4 plants per residence can be grown. Patients registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program can grow up to 6 plants.

Sources: https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/pages/faqs-personal-use.aspx

https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/pages/faqs-personal-use.aspx

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/CHRONICDISEASE/MEDICALMARIJUA NAPROGRAM/Pages/top20.aspx#patientlimits

Pennsylvania

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Pennsylvania.

Source: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/programs/Medical%20Marijuana/Pages/Patients.aspx

Rhode Island

Qualifying Patients that register with the Rhode Island Department of Health can grow up to 12 mature plants. For residences with more than 2 adults, there is a limit of 24 mature plants per residence.

Sources: http://www.health.ri.gov/healthcare/medicalmarijuana/

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE21/21-28.6/21-28.6-4.HTM

South Carolina

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in South Carolina

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/south-carolina-law/south-carolina-marijuana-laws.html

South Dakota

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in South Dakota.

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/south-dakota-law/south-dakota-marijuana-laws.html

Tennessee

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Tennessee.

Source: https://www.mpp.org/states/tennessee/

Texas

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Texas

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/texas-law/texas-marijuana-laws.html

Utah

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Utah.

Source: https://health.utah.gov/medical-cannabis

Vermont

Adults older than 21 can grow marijuana. The limits vary depending on whether the marijuana is for recreational or medicinal use.  For recreational use, 2 mature plants and 4 immature plants may be grown per residence. For medicinal use, registered medical marijuana cardholders can grow up to 2 mature plants and 7 immature plants

Sources: https://www.vpr.org/post/you-asked-we-answered-vermonts-recreational-pot-law#stream/0

https://medicalmarijuana.vermont.gov/patients-and-caregivers#cult%20req

Virginia

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Virginia

Source: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/virginia-law/virginia-marijuana-laws.html

Washington

Cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes is not allowed in the state of Washington.  However, registered medical marijuana patients may grow up to 6 plants at home. If the healthcare practitioner determines the patient requires more than that, they may authorize up to 15 plants.

Sources: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/can-i-grow-marijuana-my-own-personal-us e-washington.h

https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Marijuana/MedicalMarijuana/PatientInformation /PossessionAmounts

West Virginia

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in West Virginia.

Source: https://dhhr.wv.gov/bph/Documents/MedicalCannabis/Patient%20and%20Caregiver%20Info% 2004202017%20-%20rev.pdf

Wisconsin

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Wisconsin

Source: https://shepherdexpress.com/hemp/is-it-time-to-reform-wisconsins-cannabis-laws/

Wyoming

It is not legal to grow marijuana at home in Wyoming

Source: https://norml.org/laws/item/wyoming-penalties-2

 

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