Article by Travis Cesarone, Cannabis Life Network
If you wanted to know how to grow cannabis in Canada, look no more. This guide will take you through everything from seeds, plants, and what’s legal.
What does the law say?
Cannabis Act –
“Subsection 12: Production, cultivation, propagation and harvesting — 18 years of age or older
(4) Unless authorized under this Act, it is prohibited for an individual who is 18 years of age or older to cultivate, propagate or harvest, or to offer to cultivate, propagate or harvest,
(a) a cannabis plant that is from a seed or plant material that they know is illicit cannabis;
(b) more than four cannabis plants at any one time in their dwelling-house.”
What Are ‘Legal’ Seeds?
Within Canada’s legal cannabis market many find an onslaught of legal confusion with limited access to short stock. So just grow your own! Right?
Well, provinces vary; Manitoba Quebec and Nunavut have been stern, while others have given the go ahead. If your province has allowed personal production where you live based on municipal and provincial laws, then you just have to follow the simple federal rules. No minors, no selling, no more than four plant not visible from a public space, and also only if it’s from legal seed.
Only plants originating from seed regulated through the LDB is allowed- unregistered cannabis is still illicit. Currently, non-medical persons are allowed genetics confined strictly to seed sold by authorized retailers from the handful of producers licensed to operate. An influx will come in from new license holders which may not mean an influx in supply until nurseries are granted the go ahead, despite optimistic hopes upcoming producers carry for consumers.
According to Health Canada:
“From October 17, 2018 to late November, Health Canada had received approximately 14 new applications, and these include applications for standard or micro licenses, as well as for research and analytical testing licenses.”
August 7, 2019
Between January 1, 2019 – July 31, 2019, Health Canada has received applications for, 262 standard cultivation licenses, 138 Micro cultivation’s, and 7 nurseries.
During this time, 55 new applications for cultivations and nurseries have been granted.
Seed distributors don’t even exist yet!
Currently no distributor carries seed, with no schedule for when they will. In the chance you find one with your legally purchased cannabis, you will keep in the green. These seeds have been weighed taxed and ‘POSed’ as your cannabis, albeit accidentally; your new freedom to grow can be liberated.
August 7, 2019: As we reported on January 4, 2019, seeds did go online for sale in at least two provinces. The two strains that became available then are the only two strains available seven months later.
Cannabis industry’s response on seeds
According to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch:
“Unfortunately at this time there is still a lack of availability of seeds from licensed producers.
We are working with those suppliers that wish to supply seeds, however at this time we cannot say when we might have seeds available for purchase.”
“We are looking to sell other cannabis related products, like seeds, in the future. However, as of current, we do not have a timeframe for when these will be for sale in some of our shops.”
The Ontario Cannabis Store said:
“At the moment we are not selling any seeds. As new products become available we will update it on our website.”
Licensed producer Medreleaf responded:
“At the moment we do not have plans to make our propagation materials available for purchase.”
To quote Broken Coast:
“Broken Coast is a very small facility, which isn’t set up for these type of sales at this time. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes.”
August 7, 2019
The website listing licensed cultivators now lists authorized distributors of seeds and live plants. There are nine producers able to distribute plants. However, there are only three that can distribute seed, one of which is under investigation. At the time of this update the only producers that have been authorized to sell seeds are:
Two strains of seeds are now available across most provinces, yet only Tweed seems to be allowed to sell them.
Weed Me stated:
“Our seeds are imported as we have a partner ship with Dutch Passion. As per Health Canada’s current regulations we are only able to sell our seeds medicinally.”
According to Canntrust:
“We are currently on a temporary hold and not selling anything at this time. We have distrubuted seed, though.”
What Does This Mean?
Whether people are liberally growing Cannabis at home or not is beyond debate, with more likely to continue. However, it is apparent many are unaware their liberal freedom is causing them to commit a federal offense by accident – growing cannabis they did not purchase through our government. How can you blame anyone given a complete lack of access to seeds on top of rampant flower shortages in Cannabis Act’s infancy?
As it stands, with all the wrinkles working themselves out, only a handful of court cases have appeared. Soon, more legal battles will come once law enforcement starts implementing the new laws, but this won’t occur until we adjust to legalization and a licensed market is properly established.
Allocating this time gap gives plenty of room for many to grow a few personal plants before we hear of too many issues regarding homegrown cannabis. A lack of both public knowledge and legal seed will catalyze our freedom’s misdirection.
It will be all too apparent for those who claim their seed origins, realizing only then, they were never actually growing cannabis legally to begin with.
And that’s despite all other rules having been followed to ensure ‘public safety’; frankly, ‘neighborhood convenience’ may be better language in present context!
A greater concern may be facilitated through our right to silence being overruled if an officer breaks enforcement protocol such as utilizing their tools to probe tracking data based on a vague, previously invalid suspicion, potentially still confirming an illegal source if you’re completely absent in the system.
These investigations into tracking may ultimately void your attempts at silence, leading to inspections and search warrants, which are actions validated through Subsections 87 and 102 of the Cannabis Act.
Many individuals may be in possession of cannabis growing from illicit sources, with an earnest lack of awareness for any or all Subsections described in the following interview.
Hopefully no one will proudly be exclaiming their seeds origin to an officer, learning these truths too late to protect themselves, and potentially waiving further rights, leading to a search within the associated dwelling, leaving them to argue their case further in a court setting.
A quick interview with Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, RCMP media relations advisor
CLN: Is the RCMP Worried About Home Production?
Janelle Shoihet: The RCMP enforcement priorities are focused on Impaired Driving, large scale cannabis production, importation and exportation and use in public places which have the largest impact on public safety.
For those who are planning on growing Cannabis, how necessary is it they purchase them through an authorized store?
Section 8(1)(b) of the federal Cannabis Act states that unless authorized under the Act, it is prohibited for a person to possess any cannabis they know is illicit cannabis.
If someone obtained seeds, plants, or cannabis products outside the legal framework and police were able to determine, either through their own admission or other means, where they obtained their illegal cannabis; that person, business, or address could be the subject of further investigation enforcement action.