Since the Cannabis Act was officially put in place, more and more Canadians commenced growing their own weed plants within their household, wondering what does “four plants per household in Canada” means. The new recreational laws allow for four plants per household in only some provinces. However, the medical patients, on the other hand, have substantially no limits when it comes to the plant counts.
Nearly all provinces are following the four-plant system, which allows Canadians to grow only four plants within their residence.
At first glance, it seems an excellent deal; however, as you start investing your time, energy, money, and efforts into four-plants grow op business, you would realize it that this four-planet system is not worth it for the patient of the medical need. According to the research conducted among medical patients, it was summed up that most users need more than four-plant rule for daily intake.
For instance, medical patients suffering from chronic pain, ADHD, or anxiety it requires more cannabis on average than a recreational cannabis user. So, essentially you will need a higher plant counts.
However, per our opinion, four plants is already a good start, and you can get away with it using the following two approaches either:
- Supplementing four-plant system buying from the licensed stores or
- Applying for an ACMPR license to either grow or renew your existing license.
How Many Plants Can a Medical Patient Grow in Canada with an ACMPR license?
The amount of plants a medical patient can grow with a valid license is practically unlimited.
Hoverer, when you are applying for the license, you need to put a cap on the counts, when you are applying for the license because nobody would allow you the unlimited production.
The penalties for growing the plants over your limits are quite steep and could be within six months in prison with $5,000 fine in a very mild case or up to 14 years in prison if you start selling the excess of the product.
How is Plant Counts Determined for Medical Patients?
The main factor that determines how many plants you can grow is based on your medical doctor’s prescription—the higher gram amount, the higher plant count, as simple as is.
Indoor Plant Counts vs. Outdoor Plant Counts
Another factor that defines the number of plants under the medical license depends on where your plants are growing.
The health of Canada allows more indoor plants since their footprint is much smaller than that of outdoor ones.
When you apply for the license, you have to mention where you are going to grow the plants, e.g., indoor, outdoor, or combination of these two.
Both your medical prescription, along with the growing location, would define the number of plants to grow.
Breakdown of indoor plant counts depending on the prescription size:
- 10 grams = 49 plants;
- 30 grams = 146 plants;
- 50 grams = 244 plants;
- 80 grams = 390 plants;
- 95 grams = 463 plants
Breakdown of outdoor plant counts depending on the prescription size:
- 10 grams = 49 plants;
- 30 grams = 146 plants;
- 50 grams = 244 plants;
- 80 grams = 390 plants;
- 95 grams = 463 plants
The doctors at Cannabis Growing Canada (CGC) cap off prescriptions at 95 grams per day.
If I grow it home, would it damage my home?
The governments of Manitoba and Quebec have pre-emptively banned home growing, but elsewhere across the country, households will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants at a time — a limit is chosen by the federal government to minimize the health and safety risks of cultivation.
However, some in the real estate and insurance industries warn that growing even a few plants inside isn’t safe. They say grow lights pose a fire hazard, and the high humidity required for successful cultivation encourages mold.
- Realtors warn legal cannabis home cultivation could undermine property values.
Will grow-op affect my insurance?
Jennifer Huneault, an insurance lawyer at Hughes Amys LLP, said most insurance policies currently contain a stipulation that voids coverage on properties used for marijuana cultivation. Once home growing is legal, companies will need to decide whether to make an exception for four plants.
She expects some companies will, but others that are more risk-averse may hesitate, especially given the stigma attached to home growing.
“Insurance companies don’t tend to do home inspections before issuing policies, so that’s where we run into stigma,” she said. “Everyone has this idea of a grow-op, so it’ll be an uphill battle.”
Jennifer Huneault says more conservative insurance companies may refrain from providing policies to clients who cultivate cannabis at home. (Jennifer Huneault)
Chris Ball, CEO of Reliance Insurance Agencies Ltd., agrees with Huneault but said as growing becomes more common and as the risk is shown to be reduced, underwriters — the insurance professionals who evaluate the risks of insuring people and properties — will give insurance companies the go-ahead to consider policies for home-growing.
“Only some [insurance companies] have an appetite for it right now,” Ball said. “As society wraps its head around the evolution of social values, this is likely to change.”
Huneault said homeowners should expect to see changes to insurance policy forms, including questions about whether they’re growing marijuana at home. Companies will want to “adjust” premiums “to reflect whatever risk they see in growing at home effectively,” she said.
Will I have trouble selling my house?
A recent survey conducted by online real estate brokerage Zoocasa found that nearly half of all respondents would reconsider purchasing a property if they knew marijuana — even a legal amount — had been grown inside the home.
Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, said homeowners looking to sell should expect to be quizzed about cannabis — “whether they grew marijuana, for how long and how much.”
- Cannabis grow-op registry needed to protect homebuyers, the association urges
- Were you thinking of growing your own pot? It could lead to home insurance headaches.
Even if homeowners stick to the four-plant limit, Huneault said they could still face the same type of stigma attached to large-scale grow-ops.
“I think once it’s found that a house was used to grow marijuana … then there will be less of a desire for an insurer to insure that house just because of the inherent risk that comes with mold and everything else,” she said.
Properties that aren’t insurable are much more difficult to sell.
Can I grow cannabis in my apartment or condo?
Some provinces are giving tenant boards and landlords the authority to curb cannabis cultivation in their properties.
For example, in Ontario, condominium boards are permitted to restrict occupants from growing cannabis, even if they’ve purchased their unit.
In apartments outside of Manitoba and Quebec — which won’t allow any home growing whatsoever — landlords will be permitted to devise lease agreements that ban the practice for new tenants.
The British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act allows landlords to prohibit home growing, even if tenants are in the middle of their lease agreement. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
In British Columbia and Nova Scotia, updated tenancy acts go a step further, allowing landlords to amend existing leases to prohibit their tenants from growing marijuana.
Living with a greenhouse in your house is hazardous to your health
Living with a greenhouse in your home is hazardous to your health — so hazardous that adults who expose children to such an environment are guilty of child abuse. John Martyny, an associate professor for the University of Colorado Denver, said Sept. 10.
Martyny, working at the request of Colorado law enforcement agencies, led a research team that conducted environmental tests of 30 indoor marijuana grow operations in Denver. Of the grow operations tested, 20 had a “medical marijuana component,” and at least two were supplying medical marijuana dispensaries, authorities said. Researchers found such extreme levels of mold and spores in the homes, commercial offices, and warehouses they tested that petri dishes and field-testing equipment “topped out” and couldn’t record the unexpectedly high levels, Martyny said. You can read the study’s findings here.
According to a press release jointly issued by the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (CDIA), National Jewish Health and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA):
(Martyny’s) research showed that in residential and commercial structures, it was difficult to control chemical contamination from pesticides and fertilizers. The study also showed that plant irrigation resulted in increased moisture that could damage building material, result in excessive mold growth, and pose a risk of fire and electrocution. The study shows that high-elevated airborne mold spores within these structures subject occupants, emergency personnel, and other individuals to significant potential health hazards. Potential health effects include hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. Another concern was elevated carbon dioxide levels, which, if generated using fossil fuel combustion, can result in carbon monoxide production resulting in significant health effects, or death, to exposed individuals.
As for those “other individuals” cited above, count unsuspecting neighbors and office workers — and renters and homebuyers — among them, Martyny said. Again, from the press release, the study shows
… others may be impacted as well, particularly in multi-family buildings, which may allow chemicals used and mold spores to be introduced into ventilation systems, exposing other residents.
… Since these operations may go undetected, an unsuspecting family buying the residence at a later date may be put at risk of adverse health effects due to residual mold contamination.
And then there are children. Martyny reported that he and his research teams found grow operations in homes where children lived — and he minced no words:
“I would consider it child abuse,” he said. “Children living in an atmosphere like this are very likely to develop asthma and pulmonary disease they will carry for the rest of their lives. …I would be happy to testify for the district attorney’s office (that) the dangers are too significant to have children be in the grow ops.”
While Martyny’s research in Colorado focused on indoor marijuana grow operations, he said the same environmental harms could result from the cultivation of similar densities of any plant, such as tomatoes or snap peas. But hardly anyone grows veggies in their basement. And while marijuana is legal to grow for medical purposes outdoors in Colorado, growers typically opt not to do so for several reasons. Chief among them:
- fears about theft and crime linked to their operations, and
- the difficulties of creating high-potency marijuana outdoors. Martyny cited numerous examples of indoor grow operations where utilities and air vents had been disconnected and/or reconfigured to adjust levels of carbon dioxide to increase the potency of the plants — bolstering assertions from law enforcement officers and medical researchers that much of today’s marijuana — especially once the use of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals is factored in — is not natural and contains harmful compounds unknown to users.
Martyny’s research is well respected in law enforcement circles. He has studied the environmental impact of illicit substance production — especially marijuana and methamphetamine (so-called “meth labs”) — for law enforcement agencies in Canada and the United States for more than a decade. First responders and officials charged with investigating and removing elements of indoor drug operations have experienced health problems from their exposure — one Colorado, law enforcement officer, was hospitalized in critical condition because of his work in a marijuana grow house — and also worried about long-term health risks associated with their work. Martyny’s research on indoor marijuana grow operations in Colorado — funded by a Justice Assistance Grant and money from Colorado’s police and sheriffs’ associations — also resulted in recommendations about how law enforcement officials should dress, equip and otherwise protect themselves while working in such environments.
To avoid the continuous headache and multiple issues with:
- damaging the house/apartment;
- dealing with insurance;
- reselling the house/apartment;
- exposing with the health problems your entire household ;
- dealing with landlords;
we highly recommend you to grow your crop in the modular polycarbonate portable greenhouses that provide you with an opportunity to have a self-contained environment and grow the stuff outside of the house when weather permits or indoors during the shoulders and winter seasons. The proposed greenhouse design, as indicated earlier, is modular and allows adding or subtracting the sections as requires. It’s light and portable, so easy to relocate.