Canada’s biggest licensed producer of medical marijuana launched its first collection of feminized seeds for sale last week.
In response to a federal court ruling, Health Canada reintroduced “provisions for individuals to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes or to designate someone to produce it for them” as part of the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) last August.
But even through ACMPR, growing your own medicine may be way more challenging than the three or four clicks required to shop online for your weed.
First, you’ll need a certificate from your physician outlining your daily intake. This medical document must then be sent to Health Canada with a completed 11-page registration form that details where you plan to grow your medicine – inside, outside, or a little of both. The amount you’ll be allowed to grow will depend on your medical need. According to Health Canada’s formula, patients requiring 1 gram a day can grow five indoor or two outdoor plants at any one time.
The application form submitted to Health Canada also requires that your landlord or the co-owners of your property acknowledge that weed will be grown on the premises. Once it’s harvested and dried, you must guarantee a secure space for storage. To apply, you or the person designated as your grower must have no pot convictions. Also, no growing will be allowed in the vicinity of schools, playgrounds, daycare facilities or anywhere where kids under 18 years of age hang out.
Once your paperwork is submitted, it will take a few months for your final approval to arrive in the mail.
And once you get those documents, the only legal way to acquire seeds to grow your own is through the handful of licensed producers in the starter materials market.
Physicians signing off on the paperwork for do-it-yourselfers face another dilemma: unlike the dried product sourced from licensed producers, home-grow options don’t allow for control and monitoring of THC or CBD levels. Since CBD and THC can fluctuate based on a long list of factors, much is unknown about the medicine that patients can produce on their own.
For those looking for a safe and steady supply of regulated meds, the DIY program smells more like horticultural therapy.