Jack Knox: When it Comes to Cannabis, Growing Legal Means Paying More

Article by Jack Knox, Times Colonist

Jack Knox: When it comes to pot, growing legal means paying more Jack Knox / Times Colonist Kayla Pow holds seeds at Cloud Nine dispensary. At $64.99 for a four-pack, they’re more expensive than those from unsanctioned sources, but they do carry an excise stamp.

It seemed like a match made in heaven, or at least in West Coast stereotype: legal-to-grow marijuana in the City of Gardens.

Except while it might be permissible to plunk a few plants among the tomatoes in the garden this spring, officialdom isn’t making it easy.

Canada’s new cannabis law allows Joe and Jane Victoria to grow up to four plants at home (that’s four for the household, not per person).

The catch is that they can only do so with legally obtained seeds, and not only is the selection of such seeds restricted to one or two strains but they are expensive — if you can find them. There’s a shortage.

In other words, it’s like being told you may make wine at home, but only chardonnay, and oh, by the way, there are no wine kits.

Meanwhile, a flourishing black market allows people to buy a wide variety of seeds and plants for a fraction of the price paid by those who go the legal route.

That matches what’s going on in the wider weed world, where those vendors who operate with the government’s blessing are getting clobbered by those who don’t.

The south Island is awash in relatively cheap pot being sold outside the official system.

As for whether Victorians actually want to grow plants at home, Jo Wyld says yes, indications are many do.

Wyld led three sold-out Cannabis Basics for the Home Grower sessions at Saanich’s Horticulture Centre of the Pacific this spring.

Attendees included a mix of new and experienced growers — students, some curious older gardeners, a few people with medical licences and “a smattering of middle-aged men who had been experimenting in their basements for a while.”

Wyld said many workshop participants were unaware of the government’s rules on where to get their seeds and, once she explained what the legal path entailed, weren’t all keen on following them.

They blanched when Wyld told them she had paid $68, including shipping, for four seeds from the provincial government’s B.C. Cannabis Stores, and that even at that they were difficult to come by.

Read the full article here.

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