Cannabis has been decriminalized and legal to grow in Washington DC for both recreational and medical use since 2015. If you’re a resident of the district and at least 21 years old, you are currently allowed to grow up to three mature and three immature plants in your private home. Additionally, if there are other adults in the same household or same rental unit, a total of 12 plants are allowed at a time.
To get started on your grow, the first thing you should do is research what strains would best suit your needs. Some questions to keep in mind while researching would be whether you prefer auto flowering or photoperiod strains (auto flowering plants will grow their buds after they become a certain age, and photoperiod plants rely on how much light they receive to begin flowering), and if you would prefer sativa, indica, or hybrid plants. If you’re an experienced cannabis user and already have an idea of what your favorite strain types are, looking for similar strains would still be a great idea, since there is always a chance you may not always have access to exactly what you want. Once you have an idea of what strain types you’re looking for, your next mission is to find your plants!
Unfortunately due to the odd laws established in Washington DC, recreational dispensaries are all but nonexistent, so to find your plants or seeds, you might need to do a bit of digging for upcoming weed events, clone shares, or pop-up vendors where you could nab a few plants for “free” if you purchase another item, like souvenirs and food. Thankfully the culture in the district generally embraces cannabis home grows, so by researching, you should be able to find exactly what you need.
Depending on your setup, some other supplies you may need are typical care products, such as soil, a good quality fertilizer, lighting equipment, and containers to grow in. With all these options, growing weed can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and once you’re comfortable with standard growing techniques, you can even expand upon your expertise with more complex methods, like hydroponics.
Finally, another hurdle in growing any type of plant is that it takes time for them to, quite literally, come to fruition. The exact length of time you should allow plants to stay in the vegetative stage of growth depends on an assortment of factors, but usually takes at least 60 days. Once your plant is ready, it will start producing buds, and when they are mature, your homegrown cannabis will be ready to cure and consume.
Growing cannabis plants for the first time in a legal market can be intimidating with all of the options available, and may even take a few tries to get a perfect yield, but towards the end of your successful grows, you will feel proud of your accomplishments, and just may want to go through all of the complex steps again!