Ottawa to Legalize Outdoor Cannabis Crops

Article by Daniel LeBlanc and Christina Pellegrini, Globe and Mail

Ottawa to legalize outdoor cannabis crops. DANIEL LEBLANC PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER CHRISTINA PELLEGRINI OTTAWA AND TORONTO

Large cannabis producers will be allowed to start growing outdoor crops immediately, offering a new, cheaper source of competition to established indoor producers that have condemned the practice as unsafe for users and vulnerable to theft.
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Until now, licensed producers of medical cannabis have grown their crops in greenhouses and indoor facilities. When the recreational market opens on Oct. 17, the only legal supply of cannabis will come from these facilities, where security is tight, the environment is controlled and every interaction with a plant is recorded on video.
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However, new regulations the federal government is expected to unveil this week will open the door to commercial outdoor cultivation. While it is too late in the production cycle in most of the country to start outdoor cultivation this year, the new rules will be in place for next year’s production season.
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“Our decision to allow outdoor grow under strict rules is the result of extensive consultations and will contribute to creating a diverse and competitive legal cannabis industry with the ultimate goal of displacing the illegal market,” said Thierry Bélair, a spokesman for Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
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Ottawa had required medical marijuana to be grown indoors to prevent theft and to ensure that the product met standards established by Health Canada to keep it free of dangerous chemicals, mould and mildew.

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