Will there be security requirements for legal home cannabis cultivation?

Plus, will a husband-wife team be able to grow more than four plants between them? Dear Herb answers even more questions about home cannabis cultivation


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I'm taking two questions today, both on the always-popular topic of home cannabis cultivation (after legalization, of course).

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/03/2018 (1793 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I’m taking two questions today, both on the always-popular topic of home cannabis cultivation (after legalization, of course).

Dear Herb: What will be the laws for growing marijuana at home, in terms of security? — Guardin’ my Garden

Dear Guardin’: As the law is written right now, the federal Cannabis Act will allow Canadian adults to grow up to four cannabis plants at home, either in their "dwelling house" or in outdoor gardens or other structures on their property. (Our guide to basic growing knowledge has some more information about the proposed federal rules on outdoor growing.)

Herb answers your questions about legal consumption and growing, the law, etiquette — you name it, he'll look into it.

Provinces and territories can add additional restrictions on home cannabis cultivation (like Quebec and Manitoba, which plan to ban the practice altogether.) Provincial and territorial governments allowing home growing can also add other rules, like security requirements. 

As far as I can tell, only two provinces have announced those additional security rules so far:

New Brunswick’s Bill 16 will allow indoor cultivation only "in a separate locked space." Outdoor cultivation will require the plants to be "surrounded by a locked enclosure having a height of at least 1.52 metres, or five feet.

British Columbia says it will require home cannabis farmers to make sure its plants are not "visible from public spaces off the property." Additionally, home cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes "will be banned in dwellings used as day cares." Landlords or condo boards will be able to add additional restrictions, or ban home cultivation.

The government of Saskatchewan has proposed a bill that would let landlords set their own rules around cannabis cultivation, and the government of Nunavut says it "will consider" a similar rule. The government of Alberta says it expects landlords and condo boards will set their own restrictions on home growing, as well.

That’s it. So far, it looks like most provinces that are planning to allow home cannabis cultivation are taking a fairly hands-off approach (or they just haven’t revealed their rules yet).

Health Canada has its own set of safety and security recommendations for users of cannabis for medical purposes who are allowed to grow their own.


Dear Herb: Say it is legal to grow four plants, and a husband is doing just that. Then, say his wife decides she will grow four plants at the same address, starting them at a different time. Would that be illegal? — His and Hers Grow-Ops

Dear His and Hers: They say the couple that grows together, goes together. The couple that grows more than four cannabis plants together under more than roof, however, might go to prison together.

The federal Cannabis Act is very clear that home cultivation of cannabis for recreational purposes will be restricted to four plants per household, regardless of the number of adults who live there.

Here’s the exact language from the text of the bill:

"Unless authorized under this Act, if two or more individuals who are 18 years of age or older are ordinarily resident in the same dwelling-house, it is prohibited for any of those individuals to cultivate, propagate or harvest any cannabis plants if doing so results in there being more than four such plants being cultivated, propagated or harvested at any one time in the dwelling-house."

Breaking that law could lead to punishments ranging from a $5,000 fine to time in prison.

Got a question about cannabis? Herb answers your questions about legal consumption and growing, the law, etiquette — you name it, he’ll look into it.  Email or to submit anonymously, fill out the form below. Please include an email address if you’d like to be notified when Herb answers your question:  


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