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Cannabis in Canada: Proposed Federal Cultivation Restrictions Deemed “Ridiculous”

Cannabis in Canada: Proposed Federal Cultivation Restrictions Deemed “Ridiculous”

By Lisa Mortown

Getting hold of medical recreational cannabis in Canada isn’t exactly difficult. Slowly but surely, Canada is becoming the world’s foremost centre of contemporary cannabis culture. It’s also one of the hottest destinations on earth for cannabis tourism.

However, exactly what the future holds for cannabis in Canada isn’t quite as certain. Particularly where cultivation is concerned, as lawmakers continue to debate any number of proposed rules and restrictions.

One of the most recent being a possible Federal restriction on home cannabis cultivation, which is so strict and unenforceable it’s been labelled “ridiculous” by leading cannabis authorities.

Senseless Restrictions on Home Growing
If enforced, the Liberals’ Cannabis Act – which is still being considered – would make it illegal for anyone without a licence to cultivate more than four plants at a time on their property. The law would apply to all forms of recreational cannabis and cannabis plants of all sizes and maturity levels.

This could significantly reduce access to home-grown cannabis in Canada for millions.

Immediately, experts have pointed out several issues with the proposed legislation. One of which being the fact that it isn’t possible to identify the sex of a cannabis plant until around 4 to 6 weeks after germination. This would mean that along with the purchase price of the seeds themselves – typically around $8 each in Canada – growers could be looking at elevated costs due to wasted time and effort.

The sensible alternative being to start out with say 10 seeds, culling the male plants when their gender could be identified and also by removing any poor-performing plants. Even if this meant subsequently allowing just four cannabis plants to reach maturity, it would still be legal under the proposed law.

Financial Penalties and Prison Sentences
Far from a rudimentary rule that’s easy to sidestep, the proposed policy also brings quite shocking penalties into the mix for those who break the law. If caught, anyone growing more than four cannabis plants at any one time on their property could be looking at a fine of up to $5000 and a six-month prison sentence.

Or, if the prosecution decides to take the case a step further, the maximum penalty that can be imposed would be 14 years in jail. All for growing just a handful of cannabis plants in a country where cannabis policy is more liberal and relaxed than almost anywhere else in the world.

Some have argued that opting for feminised seeds could eliminate the need for growing more than four cannabis plants per household. Others insist that’s really not the point. Not only would the proposed restrictions on the cultivation of cannabis in Canada be overly strict, it would be an almost entirely unenforceable policy.

An Attack on Common Sense
Questionable as the policy on cannabis plant numbers may be, it’s far from the most ludicrous aspect of the proposed policy. Should it be brought into force, the new law would also restrict the height of cannabis plants that can be grown legally for recreational purposes.

Specifically, it would be illegal to allow any recreational cannabis plant to reach more than 100cm in height. Again, a policy that would be almost impossible to enforce and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

After all, it’s not the height of the plant that determines how much it produces, or the potency of the resulting harvest.

In any case, this bizarre height restriction could easily be sidestepped using any number of ‘smart’ cultivation techniques. The use of mesh screens to encourage horizontal growth and heavy bud production is far from new, allowing growers with limited space available to produce tons of quality weed.

Mercifully, the likelihood of the act becoming official policy remains unlikely.If it did, the law regarding the cultivation of cannabis in Canada would be more restrictive than any North American state that has legalized recreational pot. A policy that would therefore go against everything the country has achieved to date.

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