Growing Cannabis in Michigan

Michigan, a state located in the upper Midwest region of the United States, has a diverse climate that varies across its expansive geographical spread. Since the 2018 legalization of recreational cannabis through the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA), many residents have shown interest in cultivating cannabis at home. This article serves to provide a comprehensive guide to growing cannabis in Michigan, including understanding the state’s legal guidelines, the climatic considerations, and the general best practices for cultivation.

Legal Guidelines for Cannabis Cultivation in Michigan

Before diving into the specifics of growing, it is crucial to be familiar with Michigan’s legal framework for cannabis cultivation.

Personal Use Cultivation

Under the MRTMA, adults aged 21 and over can cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants at home for personal use. These plants must not be visible from a public place without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids and must be cultivated within an enclosed, locked facility.

Medical Use Cultivation

Registered medical marijuana patients can grow up to 12 cannabis plants in a locked, enclosed facility. If a caregiver is designated, they can grow plants for up to five patients, totaling no more than 60 plants.

Commercial Cultivation

To grow cannabis commercially, growers must obtain a cultivation license from the state. Michigan offers several types of commercial grower licenses based on plant count: Class A (up to 500 plants), Class B (up to 1,000 plants), and Class C (up to 1,500 plants).

Climatic Considerations for Growing Cannabis in Michigan

Michigan’s climate poses unique challenges and opportunities for cannabis cultivators. Understanding the state’s climate is essential for ensuring a healthy yield.


Michigan experiences cold winters and moderate summers. Cannabis is a warm-season plant, so outdoor cultivation is best suited from late May to early October to avoid frost damage.


Michigan’s long summer days provide ample sunlight, beneficial for the vegetative growth phase. However, as cannabis plants typically require shorter daylight hours to flower, monitoring daylight exposure becomes critical by late summer.


Michigan receives an average annual precipitation of 30-38 inches, with the majority occurring in spring and fall. While cannabis plants require consistent water, overwatering can be detrimental. Thus, monitoring soil moisture and considering rainfall is essential.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cultivation

Given Michigan’s climate, growers often face the decision of whether to cultivate their cannabis indoors or outdoors.

Indoor Cultivation

Growing indoors provides control over temperature, light, and humidity, enabling year-round cultivation. However, it requires a significant upfront investment in equipment like grow lights, ventilation systems, and temperature control units.

Outdoor Cultivation

Cultivating cannabis outdoors is cost-effective and can yield larger plants due to natural sunlight. However, growers are at the mercy of Michigan’s unpredictable weather, with risks like early frosts or excessive rainfall. Securing plants from pests and public view is also imperative.

Best Practices for Cannabis Cultivation

For those looking to produce a bountiful harvest, adhering to best practices is crucial.

Soil and Nutrients

Cannabis thrives in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Regularly testing soil pH (optimal range: 6.0 to 7.0) and amending with compost or other organic fertilizers ensures plants receive adequate nutrition.

Pest and Disease Management

Michigan’s humidity can lead to mold and mildew. Implementing a preventative regimen, ensuring proper plant spacing, and regularly inspecting plants are key. Natural predators, like ladybugs, can be used to combat aphids and other pests.

Harvesting and Curing

Harvest timing affects the potency and flavor profile of the cannabis. Plants are generally ready when most of the trichomes turn milky white or amber. After harvesting, buds should be dried in a controlled environment and then cured in airtight containers to develop their full flavor and potency.

Community and Education

Michigan has a burgeoning cannabis community, with numerous workshops, seminars, and conventions taking place across the state. Engaging with this community can offer new growers valuable insights, networking opportunities, and resources to enhance their cultivation skills.


Growing cannabis in Michigan, whether for personal or commercial use, is an intricate process shaped by legal constraints and climatic challenges. By understanding the state’s unique environment and leveraging best practices, cultivators can maximize their yield and contribute to Michigan’s thriving cannabis culture. As with all agricultural endeavors, continuous learning and adaptation are key to success.