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What you should know about growing marijuana in Canada
Since 2018 it has been legal to cultivate cannabis at home in Canada for medicinal purposes. The 2018 law also allows adults to grow up several cannabis plants per household, for personal use only. These can be grown from a licensed seed or seedling and cannot be cultivated with the intention of producing cannabis to sell to others.
There are certain restrictions when it comes to growing marijuana in Canada. For example, the weed plant must not be accessible to children or other people who are not part of the household. If the plants are grown outdoors, the country must not share a border with a school, public playground, or any other public place that is visited by people under the age of 18.
Cultivation for sale
Health Canada approval is required to grow cannabis for sale for which a registration certificate is required. The grower may also need a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) license. All products must have the official excise stamp.
How many cannabis plants can I legally grow in Canada?
The number of weed plants you can legally grow in Canada is determined by the daily gram dosage that is prescribed by your doctor. It is worked out in the following way. For each gram that is prescribed, you can, for example:
- Grow up to five plants indoors and store 225 g of cannabis
- Grow up to two plants outside and store 750 g
The details of your grow limits will be on your registration certificate, but there is a four plant limit.
What exactly does the four plant limit mean?
The four plant rule is quite an intriguing way to put a limit on legal grows as this can result in quite a wide range of overall household yields. Initially, the government tried to limit the growth of the plant to one metre in height but eventually dropped that regulation meaning that the four plants can be any height.
It’s important to bear in mind that the legal cannabis growing limit is a per household limit. This rule stands regardless of the total number of people living in a house, so in a household consisting of four students, it is not possible to have sixteen plants. It’s also vital to remember that as a cultivator, it is responsibility to safely cultivate your weed and keep it out of the hands of minors. If you have children or pets in your house or are concerned about them being at risk of potentially accessing your marijuana you should preemptively think about how you are going to safeguard your grow.
Possible solutions include growing in a secure room or using a grow box that is fitted with a padlock.
My province says that I won’t be able to grow cannabis?
There is currently a lot of uncertainty about whether it is legal or not to grow weed. The Canadian government has stated that the Cannabis Act will allow adults to grow up to four cannabis plants in each household. Nevertheless, some provinces (such as Quebec) have said that growing weed indoors or outdoors will not be allowed. Essentially, it’s a conflict between the Provincial and Federal governments, and it could eventually become end an issue that will have to be settled in court,
Growing cannabis is legal in Canada, but that doesn’t mean all the other rules surrounding its consumption have been relaxed. You still can’t:
- Drive while high – Driving while under the influence of marijuana is strictly prohibited. There are severe penalties: from withdrawing the driver’s license over fines to prison sentences for those who are caught multiple times or who cause an accident with fatalities or injuries. Foreigners who are caught risk not even entering the country anymore, people with a permanent residence right but without Canadian nationality risk deportation. Canadian police can subject any driver to a saliva test, or even a blood test. You are punishable from 2ng THC per millilitre of blood.
- Go to work under the influence – In principle, employers can make their own agreements with employees. But assume that showing up stoned at work will be tolerated in very few places. And in certain sectors, particular agreements apply. In the Canadian army, for example. There, even for civilian personnel, it is forbidden to use cannabis for 8 hours before the shift. However: if you use a weapon, have a fire or ambulance service or drive a vehicle, the limit is 24 hours. For soldiers who fly, dive or skydive from a great height, for example, a limit of no less than 28 days applies. Canadian soldiers will also not be allowed to use cannabis on international missions.
- Have more than 30g on your person
Selling weed in Canada
With the legalization of cannabis, Canada is keen to eradicate the illegal trade around the drug. This means that the government strictly regulates both cultivation and sales.
The sale will take place in stores with an exclusive license, and through regulated webshops, although this may differ from province to province. Some set up a system of state shops, some license private sellers. Anyone who wants to buy or use, depending on the province, must be over 18 or 19 years old.
How much weed is legal?
The equivalent of 30 grams of dried weed is the legal limit. An adult is allowed to carry that much at any time. So you can have that with you in public space, you can even take that amount on the plane, only for a domestic flight of course.
Those who prefer to grow weed themselves can do so in most provinces, except Manitoba and Quebec. The rule is per house up to four plants. In some provinces, the plants may not be visible from public roads.
Can you smoke weed in public in Canada?
That also depends on province to province. In any case, you shouldn’t smoke weed in places where you can’t smoke regular cigarettes, and there are many such places in Canada. However, most provinces add a lot of additional rules to this: not in the car, not in neighbourhoods where children are present. In some provinces, it is even only allowed in private homes.
Is there enough weed for everyone?
Even before legalization, there was already a lot of blow in Canada, for recreational and medical use.
If the government wants to eradicate the illegal trade, it must, first of all, see that it can cope with the predicted increase in demand. The latest predictions assume an annual consumption of no less than 926,000 kilograms.
In recent months, many official growers have invested heavily in additional growing capacity. Here and there, tomato farms were even bought up to prepare the greenhouses for the cultivation of cannabis plants in record time. However, the expectation is that demand will certainly exceed supply in the beginning – even more reason to grow your own if you live in Canada.
A second determining factor for “competing away” from the illegal circuit is the price. It should not be much higher than on the black market. According to a study by consultancy firm Deloitte, a gram of unlawful cannabis in Canada currently costs an average of just over $8.
Legal weed will be more expensive because excise duties and taxes are applied to it. The price will average slightly above 10 Canadian dollars per gram, but you can be sure you are getting a legal and strictly controlled product. You will know perfectly how strong the product you are buying because the percentage of THC and CBD (the active ingredients of cannabis) must be stated on the packaging.
Will cannabis remain legalized in the future?
It is not yet clear whether cannabis will remain legal in Canada or not. This depends heavily on how the law affects the number of cannabis-related law enforcement measures (it is expected to decrease) and how many people are negatively affected by its widespread availability.
Only time will tell, but Canada’s groundbreaking approach is already beginning to affect other governments around the world.