Dear Herb: Can I start a “grow your own weed” business?
Imagine a place where someone helps you grow cannabis
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/08/2018 (1625 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dear Herb: I want to open a facility that can take on individuals in Canada who are permitted to grow four cannabis plants each, and let them sign up and pay a monthly fee to have the four plants grown in a single warehouse environment.
That might reduce the risk of several people trying to grow their own, like if people start to overload circuits in houses with older electrical systems.
The question I have is: can a person sign over their right to grow four plants to a designated person who would grow plants for multiple people all in one place? — Entrepreneurial Endeavour
Dear Entrepreneurial: I don’t usually evaluate readers’ cannabis-related business ideas, although I’ve received a number of them over the past few months.
Your idea caught my eye, though.
Essentially, it sounds like what you’re proposing is a "brew your own beer"-style business, except for growing weed instead of simmering suds. Since various powerful groups have been so outspoken about the purported dangers of home-grown marijuana (I’m thinking of the real-estate establishment, along with law enforcement and some provincial and municipal governments), this makes a lot of sense.
Plus, it sounds like you’re suggesting this business could offer professional help with growing those plants. Neat!
Unfortunately for you, I don’t think your idea will fly as far as the law is concerned. I ran the question by Health Canada, who provided me with a straightforward "no." (Unfortunately, they didn’t deign to explain why.)
Still, I have a few ideas why this kind of business wouldn’t be legally viable under the Cannabis Act.
Here’s the big problem: even though adults have the right to grow up to four cannabis plants under the new law, the Act makes it crystal clear that personal cultivation must be done within one’s "dwelling house" — in other words, where they live and nowhere else.
If that weren’t enough, the law specifies that it’s forbidden to cultivate, propagate or harvest any cannabis plant at a place that is not their dwelling-house or to offer to do so unless you have a government licence to grow cannabis.
While we’re on the topic of creative ways to grow your own weed while keeping it legal, here are a few other things you can and can’t do under the Cannabis Act after the new laws come into effect Oct. 17:
- You can’t grow more than four plants in one home (scroll down to part two of this previous Dear Herb column for an explanation)
- You can share your legally produced, home-grown marijuana with a friend, as long as you’re sharing no more than 30 grams at a time
- If you have a government licence to grow cannabis for medical purposes, you can grow an additional four "recreational" plants (see this edition of Dear Herb for more)
- If you have a government licence to grow cannabis for medical purposes, you can also designate someone else to grow it for you, if you can get through the red tape.
And finally, a friendly reminder that as things stand right now, Canadian adults in Quebec and Manitoba will not be able to legally grow their own. If they get caught doing so, they could face some unpleasant penalties.
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.
First, please check this list of questions already answered by Herb. Then, email email@example.com, 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: