October 16, 2018 8:15 pm
Updated: October 17, 2018 7:24 am

Grow your own pot crop: cannabis experts explain process ahead of legalization

WATCH: Canadians in all provinces except Manitoba and Quebec will be allowed up to four cannabis plants per household.

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Canadian green thumbs preparing to cultivate their own pot crop can begin operations with a few hundred dollars, according to one cannabis accessory company.

The Grow Room in Regina is scheduled to open Wednesday – the same day cannabis is legalized in Canada – and people in provinces excluding Manitoba and Quebec can grow up to four marijuana plants per household.

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After purchasing seeds, people are confronted with a choice of using a traditional potted soil method versus hydroponics.

“We recommend that any new growers start in a soil medium just to kind of get used to the growing methods and everything else,” said Mackenzie Bulych, community organizer and education facilitator at the Grow Room.

Starter kits range from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the grower’s technological preferences, Bulych said, adding a contained tent unit is “imperative” in order to control light and environmental factors.

Potted soil plants typically require daily watering and hydroponic systems use roughly a bathtub amount of water for four plants, Bulych said.

Light is crucial, but Bulych said a light setup won’t “affect a power bill much.”

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The amount of light needed depends on the stage of a plant’s development.

For each square-foot of garden, 20 watts of LED light is needed, according to Alex Rea, vice-president of Toronto-based Homegrown Hydroponics.

Four average-sized plants would require 320 total watts of light, he said.

Depending where the grower lives in Canada, Rea pegged the cost at roughly $40 per month if the lights are used constantly for 12 consecutive hours as is required to induce the plant’s flowering stage.

Keeping plants away from cold windows or walls should prevent mould, Rea said.

“We have both a requirement for air exhaust and air circulation,” Rea said.

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Most growers use strains known as sativa or indica, or a hybrid of the two.

“You’re looking at about 12 weeks from seed to harvest for most species,” Rea said.

Condominium boards and apartment buildings can ban homegrown marijuana.

SGI Canada said at this time, as long as cannabis is grown legally, there will be no impact to a person’s home or renters insurance.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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