Every state with legal recreational weed allows adults of a certain age to cultivate their own cannabis crop, and medical marijuana users in certain states have the same liberties. Plenty of cannabis enthusiasts opt to grow their weed of choice indoors, where they have more control over the environment — but if you live in a place where the outdoor climate is ideal for marijuana, shouldn’t you take advantage of nature’s gifts?
If you are interested in outdoor gardening the good green herb, here are the places in the U.S. you should live:
California’s Central Valley has a nickname: the Breadbasket of the World. California is lauded in general for its beautiful weather, which never gets too hot or too cold and which provides enough rain but never too much. The Central Valley in particular boasts perfectly fertile soils as well as a dry but temperate climate that isn’t as affected by the natural disasters of other California regions, like wildfires or earthquakes. As a result, the Central Valley has become a West Coast hub for growing almost anything, from wheat to wine to weed. Indeed, California is already the United States’ largest producer of marijuana, with many growers taking full advantage of the long growing season across the state and the lenient cultivation laws to make large, outdoor cannabis farms.
Poised to pass recreational marijuana regulations in less than a week, Arizona could rocket to the top of the list of best places for outdoor marijuana grow operations. Though Central Arizona summers are much too hot for cannabis plants, which prefer temps in the high 70s and low 80s, almost the entire rest of the year offers ideal conditions for outdoor growing. Meanwhile, Northern Arizona has a gorgeous summertime growing climate, both dry and cool enough for cannabis cultivation. Considering that Arizona marijuana law is about to change, starting an outdoor weed farm in the state could be incredibly lucrative.
Oregon has some of the biggest, oldest forests in the country — and that’s largely due to its near-perfect growing conditions. At a higher latitude than California and Arizona, Oregon does get a bit darker and cooler in the winter, which does restrict the cannabis growing season quite a bit. Plus, the increased humidity and precipitation around the state can make outdoor growing a bit tricker, with water management a more delicate concern. However, Oregon has lax laws surrounding cannabis cultivation, similar to California, and its booming marijuana industry compels many interested in marijuana growing to set up shop in this state.
Much of Nevada is taken up by the Great Basin, which is unbearably hot and dry. Almost nothing grows in this wasteland terrain — but cannabis growers could change that in the coming years. Indica strains, in particular, are partial to higher temperatures and less moisture, so some of the hardier indicas, like Blueberry and Critical Kush, can thrive in Nevada’s relatively harsh environment. Even better, Nevada has enjoyed legal recreational marijuana for years, and the state’s general support of sin and vice could mean big business for successful cannabis cultivators.
Unfortunately, some of the best states for growing cannabis are also the states where marijuana laws are most restrictive. In particular, states in the southern Midwest or the northern Southeast, like Tennessee and Kentucky, would provide for gorgeous outdoor marijuana farms should their regulations loosen in the near future.
Until then, the next best state for outdoor growing in the region is Arkansas. Benefiting from the fertile soil of the Midwest and the warm climate of the South, this state is another place where cannabis can flourish outdoors. Currently, the state only permits medical marijuana and cultivation requires strict licensing through state boards, but setting up a grow operation in this corner of the country could be beneficial as more Southern states open their doors to legal weed.
Like Arizona and Nevada, New Mexico is mostly desert, meaning it tends to be dry and warm. However, there are two noticeable differences between New Mexico and other Southwest states. First, New Mexico is largely high desert, meaning it gets much colder than other regions. Secondly, New Mexico is remarkably more liberal than most of its surrounding states, meaning that marijuana laws are a bit less strict. There are plenty of resources for cannabis growers interested in outdoor cultivation in the Land of Enchantment, but until New Mexico legalizes recreational use, the market for buyers will be small.
Just as you wouldn’t expect to grow peaches or avocadoes anywhere in the world, you need to plan ahead when preparing your outdoor marijuana grow operation. Some states are better for their laws, and some are better for their climate; your decision should consider all the factors affecting your future farm to ensure success.