Canada’s New Cannabis Laws Will Allow Personal Cultivation
A limit of four plants per residence. A maximum height limit of 100 cm on the plants
A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada
Government of Canada
Nov 30, 2016
Ch 3, Section 5
It is currently legal to grow and produce tobacco for personal use in Canada (up to 15 kg of tobacco or cigars), just as it is legal to produce wine or beer at a residence for personal use. Wine-making, home brewing of beer and curing personally grown tobacco is undertaken primarily by advocates and connoisseurs in the post-Prohibition era. It is assumed that, over time, personally cultivated cannabis will follow the same course.
The experiences of Colorado and Washington with respect to the potential diversion of personally cultivated cannabis must be taken in context. In the United States, cannabis for non-medical purposes is illegal federally and in all but nine U.S. jurisdictions (eight states and Washington, D.C.). This contributes to demand from states where cannabis remains illegal. By enabling legal access to cannabis on a national level in Canada, it is anticipated that the demand for illicitly produced cannabis will diminish over time.
Small-scale cultivation of cannabis in the home is not without risks. Of particular concern is the exposure of children to cannabis. As a result, safeguards are important. Measures that have been adopted in other jurisdictions include lockable spaces for indoor production, securely fenced areas for outdoor production and ensuring plants are not visible from the street or from adjacent dwellings.
With a clear understanding of the risks associated with personal cultivation, the following safeguards would create a reasonable framework for enabling small-scale cultivation of cannabis for personal use:
Set clear limits on the scale of cultivation permitted (maximum of four plants per residence), with a maximum height limit (100 cm);
Prohibit unlicensed sale (although some degree of sharing among friends and relatives is inevitable);
Prohibit the manufacture of concentrates in homes using volatile solvents and chemicals;
Establish guidelines to ensure cultivation is in spaces not visible or accessible to children;
Encourage local authorities to establish their own oversight and approval frameworks, such as requiring individuals to notify local authorities if they are undertaking personal cultivation;
Regulate the market to enable a legal source for starting materials (e.g., seeds, seedlings, plant cuttings).