Growing marijuana legally in Canada requires a Licence to Produce Marihuana from Health Canada. If authorized, patients may grow their own medicine (Form C) or designate another person (Form D) to grow it for them. These forms are submitted together with Form A, Form B1 or B2, and any additional forms required in a patient’s application for authorization to use medical marijuana.
The only way to legally grow marijuana in Canada therefore is to grow medicine for yourself or a patient with an MMAR number. As a grower, you also can’t have had any drug related convictions in the last 10 years.
Additionally, you will need to provide adequate security for the marijuana plants and dried medicine, and there are restrictions on the amount of marijuana that can be grown or kept in storage depending on the dosage prescribed to your assigned patient(s).
How Much Can You Grow?
One individual grower is allowed to grow medicine for up to 2 patients. At the same time, a maximum of 3 patients can be provided for at any single street address. That means that if you are already growing for 2 patients in your location, someone else at the same address can only grow for one additional patient.
The number of plants and the amount of dried marijuana you are allowed to have at any one moment depends on the amount of marijuana prescribed to the patient(s) you are growing for. It also depends on whether you are growing the plants indoors or outdoors.
Based on a prescription of 1 gram per day, there is an easy formula to calculate how many plants you can grow and how much dried marijuana you can store:
- Indoors: 1 gram/day = 5 plants & 225 grams in storage
- Outdoors: 1 gram/day = 2 plants & 750 grams in storage
- Both: 1 gram/day = 4 plants indoors + 1 plant outdoors & 375 grams in storage
Here is a table with some sample calculations:
|Prescription||Indoor Plants||Indoor Storage||Outdoor Plants||Outdoor Storage||Mixed Indoors||Mixed Outdoors||Mixed Storage|
You must have adequate security for your plants and stored marijuana in order to be approved by Health Canada. Health Canada is very strict about security and will follow up to make sure you are compliant. No miminum requirements are provided, but there are several standard precautions a grower can take.
Given the high price of illegal marijuana, theft is always a serious concern when growing medical marijuana. Some common measures include steel reinforced doors, an alarm system, motion lighting, property fences, dogs, and of course human supervision. Any stored marijuana must likewise be kept in a locked safe or otherwise secure and inaccessible location.
The property where you are growing marijuana must of course conform to all local safety codes, most importantly the electrical safety code. Health Canada or law enforcement may bring an electrical inspector to check on your electrical status, so it’s wise to have an electrician certify the safety of your property in advance.
For obvious reasons, it’s best not to choose a location near any schools, public parks or trails. Cover windows as needed to keep plants invisible to outsiders. Depending on your location, you may have to take additional measures as well.