Are Hydroponics Illegal? (A Complete Legal Guide)

There are a tremendous amount of growers out there who are worried about the legality of using hydroponics to grow plants. I know hydroponics is a great way to grow plants and there is no reason for the authorities to limit its use. But after all, we don’t want to get ourselves into trouble. This made me wonder, Is hydroponics Illegal?

So, is hydroponics illegal? No, using hydroponics as a soilless method to grow plants doesn’t violate any laws. However, the real issue lies in what plants are you trying to grow in your system. Whether using a hydroponic system in your home can raise suspicions or not is determined according to where you live.

For many years, hydroponics has been associated with growing marijuana, cannabis, and other drugs indoors. This has led police authorities in many different countries to be suspicious if they knew about anyone getting an indoor hydroponic system.

The question of ”do I really need to worry about raising any suspicions because of growing hydroponic plants indoors” is answered according to your country’s laws against drugs. If it happens that your country’s laws do criminate the use of drugs like cannabis, you will have to be careful a little bit to no get yourself into trouble.

On the other hand, if your country’s laws do not criminate the use of recreational drugs, then you will have a much easier time growing hydroponics without worrying about raising any suspicions.

In this article, you will know about the drug laws and whether or not using hydroponics will grow suspicions in several countries like the USA, Canada, and Australia.

Is Hydroponics Illegal In USA?

The USA contains hydroponic growers more than all other countries combined. In the past few years, there were a lot of police raids into different houses because of the presence of hydroponic systems indoor. A lot of American hydroponic growers lately have been asking is hydroponics illegal in the USA?

So, is hydroponics illegal in the USA? No, hydroponics is completely legal in every state. As I have mentioned before, what is more important is the plants that you are trying to grow. States with strict laws regard the use of narcotics tend to be more restrictive when it comes to using hydroponics.

The USA is considered the largest market present worldwide, not only for hydroponics but also for narcotics and drugs.

Due to the use of hydroponics in growing certain drugs like marijuana and cannabis, police officers became suspicious every time they see indoor hydroponic systems.

On the other hand, hydroponic stores tend to be one of the (DEA) US Drug Enforcement Agency’s main targets to capture illegal marijuana growers across different states.

There was a call that was recorded between a hydroponic store owner and a hydroponic pot grower. The grower was having some trouble with his marijuana plants and needed some advice from someone more experienced like the store owner.

The DEA was eavesdropping on this call and used it to bust a huge growing and distribution network of marijuana in Tennessee. The criminals were found with more than $20 million in cash as a profit from their indoor marijuana grow house business.

You can see from the previous case how tracking and keeping a close eye on local hydroponic stores can lead to the bust of several criminal cases.

So, as I have mentioned before, the question of whether hydroponics can lead you into trouble or not is answered by how strict is your state against drugs.

The States That Are With And Against Drugs

The biggest challenge in the USA is that every state has a different set of rules and laws. As a result, there are some states that legalize the use of drugs for both recreational and medical purposes. Other states do have strict laws against drugs and spend a tremendous amount of effort to limit their spread.

Here are the states that legalize the process of growing and using drugs inside an indoor grow room.

The States That Are Okay With Using Hydroponics

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Michigan
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont

The following are the countries that restrict the process of growing and using drugs.

The States That Are Not Okay With Using Hydroponics

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • Wisconsin

The following states are the ones the legalize the use of drugs but for medical purposes only.

States That Restricts The Use Of Drugs For Medical Purposes Only

  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

How To Avoid Being Wrongly Arrested For Using Hydroponics?

So, you have checked mentioned above and most probably, you have found that your state is one of the states that do restrict the use of hydroponics because of their laws against drugs.

Is it considered the end of the road? The answer is no. You can take some precautions to avoid raising suspensions from authorities like the DEA in your state.

Keep Your Hydroponic Plants Indoor

By placing your hydroponic system outdoor in your backyard, everybody around the house will see that you are using hydroponics. Moreover, cops can easily see what are you doing, and therefore you might find yourself in huge trouble if they suspected that you are growing marijuana.

Another disadvantage of growing your hydroponic plants outdoor is that your neighbors might also suspect that you are doing something illegal, which will lead them to report suspicious activity to the cops.

A good choice is to keep your hydroponic system indoors away from the eyes of both your neighbors and any curious cop who is passing beside your house.

Inform Your Neighbors About What Are You Growing

Some people still insist on placing their hydroponic systems outdoor due to several reasons. It might be because of the insufficient space indoors, or they are just planning to use natural sunlight instead of artificial grow lights.

As I have mentioned before, neighbors could be a huge problem if they suspect that you are doing anything illegal. You can make a good move by simply informing them of what you are growing in your backyard.

You can take it even further and give them some of your harvests whenever you grow any new crop. Believe me, there is nothing better than giving your neighbors ahead of lettuce grown hydroponically. Most probably they will come the next day asking for more.

Be Cooperative With Police Officers Whenever They Ring Your Bell

If it happens and someday you find some cops ringing your bell, try to be as cooperative as possible with them. Keep your hand visible to their eyes as much as you can and follow their instructions well. Remember, these cops are not here to hurt you, they are just making sure that you are not making anything illegal.

Is Hydroponics Illegal In Canada?

Canada is among the list of countries where hydroponics are popular. Moreover, there are large numbers of hydroponic growers living there.

So, is hydroponics illegal in Canada? No, hydroponics is not illegal. Unlike the USA, police authorities do not have any problem with hydroponics because Canada is among the list of countries that legalized the use of drugs for both recreational and medicinal purposes.

If it happens that you live in Canada, you are lucky. Canada doesn’t have any problem with anyone using hydroponics as their soilless growing system.

This is a result of the initiative the Canadian government took back in 2018. They legalized the use of weed and marijuana nationwide for recreational and medicinal use.

So, even if you are planning to grow marijuana with your hydroponic system, you will not have to worry about getting yourself in trouble because of anything illegal.

Is Hydroponics Illegal In Australia?

Is hydroponics illegal in Australia? No, using hydroponics as a growing system is legal in Australia. Moreover, the Australian government did legalize growing cannabis as well, which makes it easier for everybody to use hydroponics inside their homes.

The government did pass the law back in February 2020. The law legalizes growing cannabis inside private properties. However, there is a limit of 2 cannabis plants for every person.

Both Australia and Canada have no problem with using hydroponics for growing any plant type.



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