Canadians who want to grow their own pot should only be allowed to harvest four small plants at home, according to experts studying how to legalize marijuana.
“Few topics of discussion generated stronger views than the question of whether to allow Canadians to grow cannabis in their homes for their own consumption,” according to the federal commission report released Tuesday.
It’s not surprising. Canadians have decades of experience with illegal grow operations involving hundreds of plants. In some cases the grow ops wrecked houses to the point where they had to be torn down.
But a legal home grow, if the commission’s report makes it into law, would be far smaller.
Every jurisdiction that’s legalized recreational pot has had to figure out what to do about home grows. (None have answered the question in quite the same way.)
Home grow rules, state by state:
- Washington: Illegal
- Colorado: Up to six plants per adult, no more than three mature. No more than 12 plants overall per household
- Oregon: Up to four plants per household
- Alaska: Up to six plants per adult, no more than three mature.
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If the commission’s recommendations become law, Canada’s rules will be on the restrictive side, other than Washington state, which bans home cultivation completely.
The commission also recommended a one-metre height limit for plants, an apparent response to the situation in Oregon, where some home growers cultivate enormous plants to get around the four-plant limit.
“In Oregon, they’re like trees,” Rosy Mondin of the Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada told Global News in November. ‘The diameters of the trunks are quite amazing.”
Canada allows home-brewing of wine and beer and home cultivation of tobacco, the commission pointed out.
Police officers the commission spoke to preferred banning home grows entirely, but admitted that would be unenforceable, the report said.
The commission stopped short of requiring home producers to get licences (as home producers of legal medical marijuana now do) but noted that municipalities may want to restrict them.
Earlier this month, we reported that home sellers may be required to tell the buyer about marijuana grows, no matter how small.
Marijuana plants can also have fussy growing requirements and a strong, persistent smell.