Good Day. How Much Weed Can I Grow?

By |Published On: November 25th, 2020|

Jules wrote this blog in January 2019. It is sound advice that still rings true and reveals our inalienable constitutional rights that the privacy judgment confirmed:

It has to be the most frequently asked question in our inbox – How much can I grow?
For the few weeks immediately after the September 2018 ConCourt judgement we would answer everyone as concisely as we could, but it was still taking up too much of our time. So we started to answer the question with a question: “How much do you need?”

It’s a valid question. How much do you actually need? What is enough?
How many grams do you smoke a day x 365 days x the number people in your household……It’s lots. Much more than growing a couple of once off plants could ever provide.

What if you are using cannabis for the other hundreds of applications the plant has? Tinctures, balms, juicing, concentrates, baking, waking and baking – the list goes on, and because the majority of us are growing outdoors, we need to achieve all this in one harvest per year. For the most part, we’re all looking for female plants. Because we never know how much of the harvest will ‘male out’, we grown more to account for the possibility. Unless you know the strain, how big are your plants going to become? What yield will you get, and how strong will it be? Everyone has a different tolerance level so dosage is difficult to quantify too. Are you getting the idea?

This week we received an email from a long time supporter and cancer survivor who turned her condition around by illegally growing, extracting and administering her own Dagga oil (or medical marijuana as it’s sometimes called!) Kayleigh (not her real name) has actually done her own sums on how much plant matter you need for whatever application you use the plant for.
Now, we don’t want to get embroiled in a whole discussion on the finer points of weed and mathematics, but Kayleigh has had a lot of subjective experience and as a general guideline, these are a few figures she’s come up with as a benchmark:

  • 1 gram of oil per day for a household ie. 365g/year would roughly require 3.65kg of dry cannabis.
  • 5g of cannabis per 50ml of balm/ointment. Depend on the size of the affected area but 50ml lasts roughly 10 days. 36 x 50 balms is 175g dry cannabis per person, per year.
  • A low dose suppository 1:10 cannabis oil/coconut oil, three times a day equates to 1g daily or 365g per year.
  • 30g of fresh leaves for daily juicing works out to 11kg’s of fresh plant matter per person per yearObviously, it is really difficult to calculate a daily adult requirement given leaf sizes, strain sizes, indoor or outdoor plants etc.
  • Cannabis seed milk uses roughly 3 teaspoons seed per 250ml water. That’s 3.65kg’s of seed per year. Really difficult to quantify when planning a harvest.
  • How much do you smoke? How much do you dab? 3 grams of flowers a day is 90g monthly which is over 1kg of dried weed for a start.

It is easy to see that a large patch of ganja in the back yard cannot automatically be presumed as dealing if you are processing your plants to their full potential. The police now have to prove the law is being broken by you selling your weed. They cannot pull your plants because they are vital evidence for a magistrate. Surely they must be photographed as such by the police because when your case is dismissed by the court, your plants must still be growing in the back yard. They are your property and your right to grow. Remember, before the judgement, we as the Dagga using community had to prove our innocence. Since the judgement, the police have to prove you are ‘dealing’ which is a whole other dynamic for them.

The other important consideration is how the relative laws look  for alcohol. It is of course permissible to stockpile booze all over your house. A wine collection, a craft beer fridge, different brands of your favourite whiskeys. Just because you have more alcohol in your house than you need at the time doesn’t mean you are dealing in brandy. The same must apply to weed. Claim your right to have a dozen different strains depending on how you feel.

This is all very well as an argument, and it is an argument we will take to the government during the law rewriting process. The unknown quantity right now in SA is the squad of bullet proofed, automatic weapon wielding cops at your door – with or without a warrant, wanting to know why you’ve got twenty five 3 metre trees in your garden. To most cops, it’s an inconceivable amount of franken-weed, destined to be peddled outside the local high school BUT, do they want to take the risk that your crop is for dealing or dabs, tinctures or toking, suppositories or skyfs?

All of this is bound to play out as harvest approaches for all us outdoor growers. By Easter we expect the rottweilers in blue to be on full alert and full of nonsense too, as they navigate who and how to bust with hundreds of thousands of growers all over the country. Version 11 of our ‘Know Your Rights’ booklet is now available online and has been fully updated since decriminalisation. It is vital information for you the user and the police in an attempt to address the kush confusion that’s going around. During this period of legal greyness, we suggest you photograph your grow regularly. Photos may come in handy when you need to prove you had plants in the ground after some misinformed maniac with a flak jacket destroyed your crop.
There are now citizens in the Join The Q system suing the police for all their equipment back after a magistrate threw out the dealing/possession charges on a Monday morning. Complaints again the cops are increasing, so hopefully this will prove to be another way of keeping them at bay. As we wrote in a September 2018 blog post, the cops were given sweeping powers in the judgement, should they care to use them. The tricky bit is for them to have their ducks completely in a row, and be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that trade/dealing/selling was happening.
That is a lot more complex than busting a grow, trashing the place, smashing your equipment and walking away knowing you have to prove your innocence…..

In conclusion, Kayleigh writes: “the question on how much a ‘reasonable amount of cannabis is per person’ is erroneous on the part of the SAPS and an infringement on an individuals Human Rights. It can be seen clearly that setting a limit on how much an individual can grow would be both arbitrary and unconstitutional as it would infringe on that individual’s personal use”

So when we get messages like “bru, how much plants can I grow?” our answer will always be – “bru, how much plants do you need?”

We hope that’s cleared things up a bit……Now, back you go to cleaning and tending your ladies…..

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Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!


About the Author: Jules Stobbs

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  1. Alex August 31, 2021 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Hello, I have read this many times over and have researched many other blogs/posts/articles as well as the 2020 cannabis bill, and this is the only place that says “bru how much do you need?” Almost everywhere else says 4 flowering plants per adult or a maximum of 8 plants in a household with 2 or more adults. 600 grams of dried flower per person and 1.2kg of dried flower with 2 or more adults in a household. We are 5 adults in a household with 4 of us being smokers. Can I trust the information given on this page or is it outdated or just wrong?

    • Myrtle Clarke September 10, 2021 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Hi Alex, the information on this site is 100% updated and 100% correct. What you are not understanding is that the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill is NOT LAW YET! It is a DRAFT Bill that is still making its way through the system. If you read the September 2018 judgment handed down in the Constitutional court you will not see any amounts prescribed. The judgment also states that they gave the government 24months to change the law. It has been nearly 3 years so it follows that what the judgment says is now “interim” law. Just don’t attract attention to yourself. Trade remains COMPLETELY illegal. Hope this clarifies things and thanks for the comment!

  2. El July 11, 2020 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    So what happens after September 2020?
    Do we start getting arrested again?

  3. Annelie van wyk May 6, 2020 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hi, im renting a flat. Had 1 cannabis plant on my balcony that we “oes” last week. The landlord send me a mail to say that other tenants complained about the narcotic growth on the balcony. Are they allowed to cancel my contract because of that, its for personal use.

    • Charl Henning May 15, 2020 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Anneli. You are allowed to grow and use dagga in a private space (unless it is written into the lease agreement that you can not) and as long as you do not disturb other tenants, you can grow in a flat. If visible on a balcony it can however be seen as ‘unsightly’ and not completely private. Make sure that you Know Your Rights before you grow dagga.

    • Myrtle Clarke May 20, 2020 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Annelie,
      No, they are not allowed to cancel your contract. We have already won that battle with a complex in Joburg by sending them a lawyers letter. Please contact Charl via our helpline if you would like us to put you in contact with our lawyers. All the best.

  4. Gorvan August 19, 2019 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I jst planted few kush(5) the police came by my place,asked what I do with the plants, I said I smoke, they charged me with a fine for growing kush

  5. B January 30, 2019 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Hennie Bredenkamp sue them mate and hold that uneducated policeman to account…tell him we have a really serious violent crime-ridden country maybe he should attend to that as a priority!!

    • Louis September 7, 2019 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Hi. I have two plants in my yard. I just took two random seeds and planted them. Can I get arrested for this?

  6. B January 30, 2019 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Top left picture ‘too little” its Weed grow it its your personal right to cultivate Cannabis, word cultivate means grow grow grow….. We also should have the right to legally acquire Cannabis as beer or a pair of break pads, I want to choose from 20 strains in a shop so be it….


  7. Hennie Bredenkamp January 29, 2019 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you for a very interesting article. Exactly what happened to me. My plants were brutally destroyed on the whim of a Policeman. I have a high court order for their return but they are dead by now. We need restraint from the Police while the personal limits are discussed. Valuable medicine has been lost to patients desperately waiting for the relief that Cannabis can bring.

  8. Don Hunter January 25, 2019 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Is there anyone growing Indica plants which can be used for cancer cure. Sativa is not suitable.

  9. Louis le Roex January 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    If I was on an extended road trip am I permitted to carry leaf,flower, oil and cannabutter as personal stock?
    Looking forward to your reply.

    Thank you for what has been achieved in this massive struggle. Well done.

    Kindest regards,

    • Myrtle Clarke January 25, 2019 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      Yes Louis, you are allowed to carry whatever you like, as long as you can explain that is for your personal use. All the best!

  10. Johann Schnetler January 23, 2019 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Hi I have found this article very interesting and will now get my paper work in order complete with history of my grow.

    Could you guys mail me this article please.

    Warm Regards

    Johann Schnetler

    • Myrtle Clarke January 23, 2019 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Glad you found the article interesting Johann! We write these blogs straight into our website but you can copy & paste the text into a word document. Please sign up for our newsletter, if you haven’t already, and you’ll get the link in your email every Thursday morning. Thanks for the support!

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