Article by CBC News
For the first time, Canadians are busy planting weeds in their gardens, rather than trying to prevent them.
Or more accurately, they’re planting “weed” in their gardens.
The federal Cannabis Act specifies that each household can cultivate up to four plants — either indoors or out. Manitoba and Quebec have opted to prohibit homegrown cannabis, but there’s already evidence Canadians in other provinces are set to take advantage of the herb’s newly legal status.
“I’m really excited to be able to grow it,” says Matt Soltys, a father of two in Guelph, Ont., and a student of botany at the University of Guelph. “I’m not even a big user of cannabis, but I’m excited to have it in my garden without the stigma or the illegality.”
Soltys planted four seeds indoors in February. They’ve grown to about half a metre high, bushy in pots, ready to be planted in his back garden now that the weather is warm enough.
“They’re pretty healthy,” he says, adding compost to the hole he’s just finished digging for the first plant. “They could easily get to 6 feet [1.8 metres] tall, 6 feet wide.”
Cannabis garden centre
Alex Rea’s family has been in the gardening business since 1985. Toronto-based Homegrown Hydroponics has four locations in Ontario and has specialized in growing cannabis indoors hydroponically, selling a wide selection of lights, fertilizers and other supplies.
But Rea and his staff say they’ve seen a lot of new faces coming in the door recently, asking questions about the best way to cultivate cannabis outside in gardens or planters.
“Outdoor production is definitely cheaper,” he says. “There is less equipment involved, and it’s more environmentally friendly. There is no input of electricity to power grow-lights, for example.”
He adds that no matter where people grow their cannabis, there is a cost advantage to doing it yourself.
“For the price-conscious consumer, if you’re paying around $10 a gram for the varieties at the store, you might be only paying 50 cents per gram or less for a variety you grow yourself at home,” says Rea.
Seed shortages and big prices
It’s difficult to know yet just how many Canadians are taking advantage of the new opportunity to grow recreational cannabis at home. But demand is already outstripping supply, since a number of provincial authorities are reporting seed shortages.
Alberta says there’s a “very limited” supply of seeds in the province, and at the Ontario Cannabis Store, only one strain is currently available. A package with four seeds costs $58.
CBC News contacted every province, and only Nova Scotia was able to specify the level of demand for seeds, saying that weekly sales have risen to a modest 14 packages of four seeds each in May from 10 packages back when the seeds were first offered for sale in February. The provincial distributor says it expects to be able to fill orders.