Thursday, May 17, 2012

All You Need To Know About Marijuana Cultivation

In Kentucky, a person can grow a marijuana plant without being guilty of marijuana cultivation.

Over the last month, I’ve gotten an inordinate amount of questions about growing marijuana.  I have no idea why that could be…people must just get a little more curious in the spring time and early summer.  Maybe fresh cut grass spawns the yearn for knowledge.  Maybe...

Let’s take 2 scenarios.

1) Humphrey Bogart plants three (3) marijuana clones in flower pots.  He tends to the plants, watches them mature, cuts, dries and smokes them.  His crop yielded about three (3) ounces of marijuana.  End of story.  Bogart is a selfish man.

2) Sharon Stone is less selfish than Bogart.  She grows only one (1) marijuana plant.  After it matures, and she cures the plant, she invites a couple of friends over.  Sharon Stone shares the pot with her friends.  They smoke the plant together while watching old classic movies.  Stone’s crop yielded about one (1) ounce of pot.

Which of the two aforementioned scenarios describes a more serious crime?

Although Bogart grew more plants, his conduct is less culpable than Stone’s.  At this time I would like to refer to you KRS 218A.1423, which states:

 (1) A person is guilty of marijuana cultivation when he knowingly and unlawfully plants, cultivates, or harvests marijuana with the intent to sell or transfer it.

(2) Marijuana cultivation of five (5) or more plants of marijuana is:
(a) For a first offense a Class D felony.
(b) For a second or subsequent offense a Class C felony.

(3) Marijuana cultivation of fewer than five (5) plants is:
(a) For a first offense a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) For a second or subsequent offense a Class D felony.

(4) The planting, cultivating, or harvesting of five (5) or more marijuana plants shall be prima facie evidence that the marijuana plants were planted, cultivated, or harvested for the purpose of sale or transfer.

Both of our former movie stars grew under five (5) marijuana plants.  This was a smart move on their parts.  Now we know, pursuant to subsection (3) of KRS 218A.1423, that they can be guilty of nothing more serious than a Class A misdemeanor.

But the answer to our original question lies in subsection (1), supra.  A key element in Marijuana Cultivation is the planting, cultivation, or harvesting of marijuana “with the intent to sell or transfer” the marijuana.

Even though Bogart grew more plants, and yielded more marijuana, he cannot be guilty of “Marijuana Cultivation” because he never had the intent to sell or transfer.  Stone, however, did.  So she can be found guilty under subsection three (3), a Class A misdemeanor.  She would face jail time of up to one (1) year in jail.

That does NOT mean that Bogart has committed no crime.  He can be found guilty of “Possession of Marijuana.”  KRS 218A.1422 governs possession.  The law on marijuana possession changed on June 8, 2011, and currently states:

(1) A person is guilty of possession of marijuana when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.

(2) Possession of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, except that, KRS Chapter 532 to the contrary notwithstanding, the maximum term of incarceration shall be no greater than forty-five (45) days.

So, strangely enough, you can see that growing marijuana does not always constitute “Marijuana Cultivation.”  The key element is the intent to sell or transfer.  If someone does not intend to share their pot, they are Not Guilty of Marijuana Cultivation.

If you have been charged with Marijuana Cultivation in Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Elizabethtown, or the surrounding areas, call attorney Greg Simms at 502.473.6464 for a free initial consultation.  Cultivation charges can be very serious.  You need a lawyer who will give your case the individual attention it needs.  Call to speak with a lawyer about your Louisville marijuana cultivation charge today.  Visit

Results.  As fast as the law will allow.

Questions answered in this blog post:  In Kentucky, how many marijuana plants can I grow; what are the requirements to be found guilty of marijuana cultivation; how many pot plants equals a felony; how many marijuana plants can I grow and still be a misdemeanor; how can I find a good Louisville marijuana cultivation lawyer; what is the number of plant rule in Kentucky?


  1. Cannabis has been known for thousands of years for all it's medicinal benefits and more. The reason it is illegal is offensive to say the least. Good job including this valuable herb on your blog. I am an activist for medicinal Cannabis and advertise my activism proudly. Cannabis Finder

    1. Being offensive is not a reason to make it illegal. It is good to be an activist on some things, but if you want to try to represent yourself as such, at least be semi-intelligent about the facts.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have a question I hope someone can answer. If someone were to grow more than five cannabis plants and the state police found them but did not arrest the person who grew them how long do the statute of limitations on felony marijuana cultivation last in the Commonwealth of Kentucky?

    1. Sorry Ray, no statute of limitations on felonies in KY. 1 year on misdemeanors.

  3. What if 8 plants are grown between two people living in the same house and both persons admit only to growing 4 of the plants? Is that a misdemeanor for both persons?

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