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canada cannabis growing laws

Canada cannabis growing laws

Whether their weed-friendly outlook survives the cold glare of Whitehall orthodoxy remains to be seen. But it is undeniable that the economic libertarians of the Tory party in 2020 are much more pro-cannabis than their newly nationalising Labour party counterparts. There are, after all, many billions of pounds to be made by the kind of people who fund the Tories: land and property owners and the banks that will finance the new industry.

Blair Gibbs moved to Canada in 2017 to work as a cannabis consultant, but in August 2019 he took a job in the PM’s office. Both men are now at the very heart of the British government: in 2019 Kruger was parachuted into the safe Tory seat of Devizes to stand as MP in the last election and is also an adviser to Johnson.

‘Canada made cannabis boring’: plants being tended at Aurora. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

And where there was product available, the price was almost double that of the illegal market. C$5.59 to C$10.23 per gram (or over £40 a quarter ounce). That was caused by tax burdens and overheads: the legal market has to comply with regulations on fungicide and pesticide residue levels, and draconian security requirements for grow sites, such as huge vaults in which to store the cannabis and record-keeping for every person who enters these vaults.

The rollout of retail shops was left, in many cases, to inexperienced officials in provincial government departments, says McBride. “Ontario authorities said, ‘We don’t trust private organisations to run cannabis shops. We’re going to do it all ourselves.’ Then they tried to do it, but they squandered about $80 million trying to figure out how to do it, and got absolutely nowhere. They had to cancel it and invite private tenders. All these big, shiny grow facilities that cost C$10m, C$20m or C$30m to build, and which all grew loads of cannabis – there was nowhere to sell it, because there weren’t any shops,” he says.

The next problem was that many stores sold poor-quality grass, with smokers complaining that it had been poorly dried and cured, and tasted bad. Modern cannabis users are accustomed to a range of flavours, from lemon to mango, pineapple, strawberry and pine. These flavours are derived from the plant’s natural aroma profile, which skilled growers preserve by careful breeding, correct harvesting and slow, cautious curing of the fragrant flowers.

Paul North, director of communications at Volteface, which commissioned me to write the paper, says Canadian customers’ response to the malfunctioning new markets is understandable: “You have to provide a superior experience to the illicit market. When it comes to cannabis, this is not easy. Dealers have no marketing restrictions, and can offer a sweet deal and deliver a product to your door. For most people, cannabis use is a relaxing, problem-free and enjoyable experience. Buying the drug needs to match that experience, and; until it does, the illicit market will continue.”

So just how does a state create and regulate an entirely new business of intoxication that has always existed, essentially, in a countercultural, outlaw space? Canada, it turns out, did so cautiously, with every decision deliberated over by a centralised government Task Force.

Meanwhile, the black market is still vibrant while cannabis stocks have crashed, medical patients say they can’t get hold of essential medicines, and thousands of jobs have been lost. So what went wrong – and what went right? Were cannabis activists’ hopes of a regulated cannabis market just a pipe dream?

Check with your housing agreements and bylaws for information on safe and legal cannabis home growing.

Cannabis laws are different in each province and territory in Canada. Differences include legal age, locations where cannabis can be sold and consumed, and possession limits.

How can I store my cannabis?

When travelling in Canada, it is your responsibility to understand and follow local laws. Check out provincial and territorial websites for more details:

What are the limitations on transporting cannabis?

Canada cannabis growing laws

Extracts and topicals are legal in Canada as of October 17, 2019.

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

You may grow up to four cannabis plants per residence (not per person) if:

Other outdoor areas

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

Medical cannabis is regulated by the Government of Canada and will continue to be subject to different rules than recreational cannabis.

Where you cannot smoke or vape cannabis

Cannabis edibles are legal in Canada as of October 17, 2019.

Ontario has a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis.