There’s a lot to know about growing cannabis, especially if you’re new to it. It can be confusing. How many plants can you grow? Do you need a license to grow cannabis? How do you get licensed? What are the best practices for growing it? Are there safety considerations?

Fortunately, Health Canada has come up with cannabis guidelines for everything from licensing, to growing, to safety considerations.  Let’s take a closer look at Health Canada’s rules and recommendations for growing cannabis.

Licensing

Whether or not you need a license to grow cannabis primarily depends on why you’re growing. If you’re growing for your own consumption then there’s no need for a license. As per the Cannabis Act, you’re allowed to grow up to 4 cannabis plants in your residence for your own use. If you follow this limit there’s no need for a license. You also don’t need a license if you are:

  • Growing for medical purposes
  • A designated person authorized to grow for the medical purposes of another individual
  • An industrial hemp grower who produces industrial hemp by-product

However, you’ll need to be licensed by Health Canada if you are:

  • Growing cannabis for sale
  • Producing cannabis products
  • Packaging cannabis products

There are also different kinds of licenses based on different classes and subclasses, depending on which class your growing activities fall under. Check out the chart here to determine what class you fall under and what type of license you need. If you have any more questions, are wondering about your eligibility for a license, or are looking to apply for a license, head to this website.

Safety Considerations

When you’re growing your own cannabis there are some rules and considerations. As previously stated, you’re allowed to grow up to 4 cannabis plants per household, and you can’t sell the cannabis you grow at home without a valid license. But Health Canada has also put together some additional safety considerations for growing your own cannabis.

Under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) there were recommended safety and security measures, especially when growing or storing cannabis near children. While some of the safety measures are now out of date, here are some we still think are relevant:

Keep Away From Children

Make sure all plants and cannabis products are stored in a secure, out of reach location that children can’t access. And, if you have children in your home, ensure all cannabis and cannabis products are stored in childproof containers.

Only Grow Where Permitted

If you’re growing outside, keep within the boundary of the land where you are authorized to grow. Remember, it can’t have any points in common with a school, public playground, or public place that children under 18 may frequent.

Health Canada also recommends that you:

Make Sure Your Cannabis has Ventilation

If you don’t have proper ventilation, there will be a build-up of excess moisture, causing mould.

Consult Building Codes

Always consult with building codes before you alter the structure or electrical system of your home.

Consider Your Pesticides

Remember, you’re going to ingest or vapourize these plants, so consider the pesticides you’re using, because you’ll be ingesting those too.

Avoid Organic Solvents

Using organic solvents such as butane or benzene to make products like oils or butters is not permitted. That’s because there’s a high risk of fire and explosions, as well as health risks from the residues.

Now that you know the rules and how to be safe, you can get growing your own cannabis at home, or get licensed as a producer!