If you cultivated 10 to 50 pounds, or 21 to 51 plants, you can draw three years in prison and $15,000 in fines for a first offense.
You can be arrested for growing even one marijuana plant. The severity of the penalties you face will vary depending on the quantity of your plantings.
If you are caught growing two to 10 pounds of marijuana, or 10 to 21 plants, you risk one year in prison and $5,000 in fines for a first offense. For a second offense, you can face two years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
How a Marijuana Charge Can Harm You
Marijuana charges as considered criminal offenses, and it’s best to have an experienced Pittsburgh marijuana defense attorney on your side to help you navigate the complexity of the legal process around these cases. Your attorney can help evaluate the evidence being brought against you by the Commonwealth and assess what can and cannot be used to prosecute you. It’s also important to have an attorney who understands how to fight these types of cases and work toward maintaining your rights by drawing on prior experience and an in-depth understanding of the Pittsburgh criminal system.
In Allegheny County and throughout western Pennsylvania, people frequently cultivate marijuana plants and with the recent signing of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana bill, this may seem like a relief to marijuana growers. But it is important to remember that while the new medical marijuana law allows patients with one of 17 qualifying conditions to access the drug, the medical marijuana must be purchased from an authorized dispensary. Therefore, if you are found with marijuana plants even if the crop is just for your own use, it can still cause serious legal problems.
The Number of Marijuana Plants That Can Get You Arrested
If you grow marijuana in your basement or garden, and the police charge you with the cultivation of marijuana, you will need to retain a defense attorney who is knowledgeable in the current marijuana laws.
Other possible consequences of a marijuana cultivation conviction:
They also cite information from the Marijuana Policy Project: 15 of the 19 states that have legalized recreational marijuana and nearly half of the states with medical marijuana programs have home-grow provisions. No state with such a provision has attempted to repeal it.
A bipartisan duo of state senators wants to amend Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program to allow patients to grow the plant in their own homes.
Laughlin’s and Street’s proposed amendment, once introduced, will replicate the home-grow provision for medical marijuana patients that they included in their more comprehensive adult-use marijuana legalization bill earlier this year. Laughlin in February became the first Republican in the General Assembly to support the legalization of recreational marijuana.
“It’s obviously already been proven both in the United States and abroad that there are genuine medical conditions that can be effectively treated with this,” Laughlin told the Erie Times-News Friday. “There’s no disputing that anymore. For it not to be covered under anybody’s insurance, I think this is a reasonable step to try and help cover the cost of their medicine.”
Some 633,557 patients and caregivers are registered under the state’s medical marijuana program and 367,925 people hold active patient certifications, or about 2.6% of the state’s population, according to Pennsylvania Health Department data presented to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board in August.
Laughlin and Street put out a co-sponsorship memorandum Wednesday seeking support for their bill. State lawmakers defeated a similar proposal in June.
Cultivation, the legislation states, must occur in an “enclosed, locked space” out of public view, that’s not accessible to an unauthorized person, including people under the age of 21. Medical marijuana dispensaries would sell seeds to patients for home cultivation. Neither the seeds, the plants nor the cultivated cannabis they produce could be sold or given to another person.
To be eligible for a medical marijuana card, patients must suffer from a qualifying medical condition and be prescribed a license through a physician who is certified under the program.
The proposed amendment would allow medical marijuana patients to grow up to five adult marijuana plants, measuring more than 5 inches high, for personal use without a cultivation center license. They could possess up to 30 grams of the cannabis they cultivate.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are permitted to sell up to a 30 day supply of the medicine to a patient. Records must be kept of each amount obtained. Patients can then “re-up” their 30 days supplies in the last 7 days of the amount they have, in order to get a refill.
This includes cultivation (growing) of marijuana. Some states allow a person to grow a certain amount of marijuana, Pennsylvania does not.
Patients Who Qualify
Various defenses are available to marijuana possession charges, including, but not limited to:
Consult an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
A patient or caregiver is allowed to transport medical marijuana within state lines as long as it is within their 30 day supply limit. Just like alcohol, it is required to be kept out of reach and in a closed, sealed container.