In Colorado, it’s legal to grow up to six marijuana plants per resident over the age of 21. If you’re a recreational smoker, you’ve probably considered growing your own at some point. Growing your own marijuana is more cost-effective than regular visits to your local dispensary, but how can you be sure you’re growing safely at home? Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about growing your own weed at home.

Learn the laws

Before you start seriously considering growing your own weed, make sure to look into your local laws and regulations. In January 2018, House Bill 1220 was passed, limiting all Colorado residences to a maximum of 12 plants.

Colorado residents over 21 can legally grow marijuana in their homes for their own personal use, and as many as three plants can flower at one time. All plants must be kept in an enclosed and locked area — so outside isn’t an option. If you’re living in a home with residents under 21, you must make your growing space inaccessible to minors. It’s also important to remember that your homegrown plants can’t be sold to anyone if you don’t have a license to do so.

House Bill 1220 also allowed counties and municipalities to pass their own stricter personal growing laws, and there are different (and typically less restrictive) laws for medical marijuana users. Medical marijuana growers and caregivers are restricted to 24 plants per residential property. Some local jurisdictions have rules in place that allow the growth of more plants than the statewide limit, so check your local rules before starting to grow.

Get the equipment

You’ll need to stock up on some equipment and check the conditions of your growing space before actually growing any plants. Start out by buying some high-quality grow lights. These should be installed by a licensed electrician to prevent any potential fire hazards. For optimal growing conditions, ensure that the walls of your residence don’t easily absorb water. Painted concrete walls are the most favorable. Similarly, make sure your growing area has a good amount of ventilation to get rid of excess heat and moisture.

The next step is to look into state rules on pesticide use for commercial products. If you do decide to use pesticides, keep them locked away and out of reach of children or pets. You should also use carbon dioxide generators that are shown to be safe for indoor use.

You’re almost set with all the basics to start growing marijuana. The last step is to take action to avoid the risk of being charged with potential drug petty offenses or fines. To avoid potential charges, consider enlisting the help of an attorney to answer any questions you might have regarding marijuana growing laws in Colorado.

House Bill 1220 allows district attorneys to charge individuals who break local rules on plant limitations. The first offense involving more than 12 plants is a drug petty offense punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. The second offense is considered a level one drug misdemeanor, and subsequent offenses are considered level three drug felonies. Colorado law enforcement takes growing violations seriously, so you won’t want to risk facing charges if you happen to make a mistake in your compliance with growing laws.

If you’re considering growing your own weed, read up on local growing laws in your jurisdiction or municipality. Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and that your growing space is one that’s suitable for marijuana growth.

Finally, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert on marijuana growing laws in Colorado.