On August 11, 2016, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) was announced. It legalized the home-growing, production and cultivation of cannabis in Canada for medical purposes.
ACMPR allows those with health care practitioner authorizations to become registered with Health Canada.
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Registered individuals may produce and grow limited amounts of marijuana. This cannabis must be grown and used for their own medical purposes only.
Rules for Legally Growing Medical Marijuana in Canada
- Recommended Security & Safety Measures to Legally Grow Cannabis in Canada
- Legally Growing Cannabis Outdoors in Canada
- Legally Growing Cannabis Indoors in Canada
- Legally Storing Marijuana in Canada
- Health Concerns When Growing Cannabis at Home in Canada
- Safely Disposing of Excess Marijuana in Canada
- Applying to Grow Cannabis Legally in Canada Under ACMPR
In order to grow marijuana in Canada, you must obtain a Health Canada registration certificate.
How many cannabis plants am I allowed to grow legally at home in Canada?
The number of plants you may grow at home legally in Canada is based on the daily gram of cannabis prescribed by your physician. For every 1 gram prescribed, you may:
- Indoors – Grow up to 5 marijuana plants, and store up to 225 grams
- Outdoors – Grow up to 2 marijuana plants, and store up to 750 grams
- Combination – Grow up to 4 indoor plants and 1 outdoor plant, and store up to 375 grams
Every registration certificate will contain grow limits. Each individual must do their grow within the limits set on their certificates, such as:
- Maximum cannabis plant limit
- Maximum marijuana storage limit
- Maximum pot possession limit
No one may grow, produce or cultivate cannabis in Canada for any purpose other than their own medical issues. It is illegal to share cannabis, or provide it to someone else. However, you may designate someone to legally grow your medical cannabis for you.
When growing marijuana in Canada, you must obey all relevant laws, including local bylaws. These may include but are not limited to fire safety, zoning, electrical safety and all other related remediation and inspection requirements.
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Recommended Security & Safety Measures to Legally Grow Cannabis in Canada
Anyone growing cannabis under ACMPR must follow a list of precautions which are quite simple. They help reduce health risks and safety issues while cultivating marijuana. These precautions are as follows:
- ACMPR requires you to secure any marijuana products and/or cannabis plants within your possession. These must be used for medical purposes and must remain secure so that others can’t access them, including children.
- It is wise to take measures to ensure that others don’t know you are cultivating cannabis or marijuana products for your own medical use. Keep plants where they cannot be viewed from outside your home or yard. Also, try to limit aromas coming from your grow site.
Legally Growing Cannabis Outdoors in Canada
ACMPR is strict when it comes to children and cannabis. Under this act, the boundary of the area where you grow cannabis outdoors cannot share common points with boundaries of land housing public playgrounds, schools or other public places frequently visited by minors under the age of 18 years old.
Legally Growing Cannabis Indoors in Canada
When cultivating marijuana indoors, make sure your plants have enough ventilation. This is vital to your plants’ survival because it removes excess moisture. Proper ventilation also stops the build-up of mold within the building or on your cannabis plants themselves.
You must remain in compliance with provincial/territorial building and municipal codes to legally grow marijuana indoors in Canada. Therefore, if you make changes to your electrical system or structural changes to your home, you should call a licensed professional for assistance.
Legally Storing Marijuana in Canada
Your cannabis needs to be stored in a safe, secure area protected by a lock. This may be a trunk, cabinet, shed, closet, etc.…
The locks you use or install should be solid. Locks should be on every door of your cannabis production site. Or, you can protect the area by installing an alarm system or home monitoring system.
For grow sites where children are in the home regularly, you must secure your cannabis to avoid accidental ingestion. Experts suggest storing your marijuana in childproof containers.
Health Concerns When Growing Cannabis at Home in Canada
Certain safety and health risks come with cultivating marijuana. These are some that you need to consider:
- If you have plans to use pesticides and/or any other chemical products, make sure they all safe for the plant you plan to vaporize, smoke or eat. Consult the Health Canada’s Homeowner Guidelines for Using Pesticides from Health Canada for more information.
- When making cannabis butter, oil or other marijuana products, you are not allowed to use methyl chloride, butane, chlorinated hydrocarbons, benzene or any other organic solvent. This would pose significant health risks, such as explosions and fires, and health risks if the production process of the product left residue behind.
Safely Disposing of Excess Marijuana in Canada
Any person authorized to store or possess marijuana in Canada must destroy any and all excess amounts. This is important because you must stay within your authorized cannabis possession and storage limits at all times.
It is also important that you take measures to protect others, including pets and children within your household. Therefore, you should condense any excess marijuana that’s not fit for consumption or use before you dispose of it.
How to Dispose of Excess Cannabis
This is the recommended procedure for legally disposing of marijuana in Cannabis:
- Blend your cannabis up using water
- Mix the mixture together with kitty litter (masks the cannabis aroma)
- Dispose of the entire mixture in your home’s garbage storage
Note: Do not burn your excess plants or dried marijuana.
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Applying to Grow Cannabis Legally in Canada Under ACMPR
Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) regulates the growing of marijuana in the country. It allows registered adults to grow marijuana plants at home for their own personal medical use.
ACMPR also allows those registered as growers to commercially cultivate cannabis as a business. Various types of licenses are issued within the country to allow for the legal production of marijuana.
Click here to read more about the ACMPR Canada’s medical marijuana home cultivation rules and to apply for the program.