Growing Cannabis in Vermont

Vermont, a state located in the northeastern United States, has undergone significant legislative changes regarding the cultivation, sale, and possession of cannabis. With these changes, many residents have shown interest in growing cannabis at home for personal or medicinal purposes. This article aims to provide an overview of cannabis cultivation in Vermont, offering a concise guide for those interested in this endeavor.

Legal Landscape

Before delving into the specifics of growing cannabis in Vermont, it’s essential to understand the legal landscape governing its cultivation.

Personal Use

As of my last update in 2021, Vermont allows adults aged 21 and over to cultivate up to two mature and four immature cannabis plants per household, regardless of the number of adults living at that residence. It’s worth noting that while cultivation for personal use is permitted, selling cannabis or cannabis products without proper licensure is illegal.

Medical Use

Vermont has a separate medical marijuana program, which provides registered patients with greater cultivation allowances and access to medical dispensaries. Qualifying patients and their caregivers can grow a more considerable number of plants, determined by the state’s guidelines and individual medical needs.

Choosing the Right Strain

Vermont’s unique climate, characterized by cold winters and warm summers, poses certain challenges for outdoor cannabis cultivation. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, growers can overcome these challenges.

Indica vs. Sativa

It’s crucial for Vermont growers to select strains that can thrive in the state’s shorter growing season. Indica strains, which generally have shorter flowering times than Sativa strains, are often recommended for Vermont’s climate. However, hybrid strains combining both Indica and Sativa genetics can also be suitable, especially those bred for cooler climates.

Auto-flowering Varieties

Auto-flowering cannabis strains, which transition from the vegetative to flowering stage based on age rather than light cycles, can be advantageous for Vermont growers. These strains typically have a short life cycle, allowing for harvest before the early frost.

Cultivation Basics

While the growing principles for cannabis remain somewhat consistent across different regions, Vermont’s specific conditions necessitate particular attention to certain aspects of cultivation.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Growing

  • Indoor Growing: Given Vermont’s colder climate, many growers opt for indoor cultivation. This method offers greater control over environmental factors such as light, temperature, and humidity. However, it can be more costly due to the need for equipment and increased electricity usage.
  • Outdoor Growing: Growing outdoors in Vermont is feasible, especially during the warmer months of late spring to early fall. Growers should be prepared to contend with potential frost, pests, and unpredictable weather. Greenhouses or polytunnels can provide a middle-ground solution, offering some environmental control while utilizing natural sunlight.

Soil and Nutrients

Vermont’s soil varies across the state, with some areas possessing rich, loamy soil ideal for cannabis, while others might need amending. For optimal results, growers should ensure their soil has good drainage and is enriched with organic matter. Regular soil testing can help identify nutrient deficiencies, guiding appropriate fertilization.

Harvesting and Curing

After months of careful cultivation, the reward comes in the form of a successful harvest. This stage is crucial as improper harvesting or curing can degrade the quality of the buds.


To achieve peak potency and optimal yield, growers must harvest their plants at the right time. Trichomes, tiny resin-filled glands on the buds, can be observed with a magnifying glass. When these trichomes turn from clear to milky and then to amber, it’s a good indicator that the plant is ready for harvest.


Once harvested, the buds need to be dried and cured. Proper curing improves the flavor, potency, and longevity of the cannabis. The process involves drying the buds slowly in a controlled environment (ideally at 60-70% humidity and 60-70°F) for several days, followed by storing them in airtight containers in a cool, dark place for several weeks.

Challenges and Considerations

Like any agricultural endeavor, growing cannabis in Vermont presents its own set of challenges.

  • Pests and Diseases: Common pests like aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars can be problematic. Growers should regularly inspect their plants and apply organic or approved pesticides when necessary.
  • Climate Challenges: Vermont’s cold snaps, early frosts, and varying rainfall can pose threats to outdoor crops. Growers should be prepared with protective measures, such as frost blankets or greenhouses.
  • Community and Privacy: Even though cannabis cultivation is legal in Vermont, growers should consider privacy fencing or other barriers to maintain discretion and comply with state regulations, which typically require plants to be out of public view.


Cultivating cannabis in Vermont requires an understanding of both the state’s legal landscape and its unique environmental challenges. However, with the right knowledge, preparation, and diligence, Vermont residents can successfully grow cannabis and enjoy the fruits of their labor. As always, growers should stay informed of any changes in state regulations and best practices in cannabis cultivation.