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article imageOnly licensed cannabis seed or seedlings can be grown in Canada

By Karen Graham     Jul 4, 2018 in World
Calgary - A number of garden centers in Alberta have already expressed their displeasure at not being allowed to sell cannabis seeds or plants to customers when marijuana becomes legal in October. So, what's going on?
First, let's step back just a moment and look at the Cannabis Act that will become legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. It is important to note that the Cannabis Act will also be subject to provincial or territorial restrictions. Basically, this means the provincial governments and territories have the right to override some of the regulations found in the act.
READ MORE: Cannabis equity in California aims to level the playing field
The big question on some people's minds is who will be allowed to sell marijuana seeds and/or seedlings? According to CTV News Canada, Lisa Silva from Bluegrass Nursery in Calgary says some customers are already asking her about how to grow cannabis, and she would really like to be able to sell to them.
“It’s another market opportunity for us to capture,” she says. And yes, it would be a great marketing opportunity for garden centers, feed stores and any place you can buy seed packets, but that is not the way the law is set up to operate. Keep in mind that Canada is one of only two nations that has legalized marijuana, so the government is treading very carefully on the whole issue.
Controlling access
It really is all about controlling access to legal marijuana and its products. As of October 17, 2018, all adults who are 18 and older would be able legally to:
possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
in provinces and territories without a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers
grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
Where can a customer buy seeds or seedlings?
Where will Canadians who wish to cultivate a small number of cannabis plants be able to legally obtain the necessary starting materials? The Cannabis Act is specific on this question.
Once the act comes into effect, "Canadians wishing to grow or cultivate a small personal supply of cannabis would be able to purchase their seeds from a provincially or territorially regulated retailer, or, where this option is not available, from a federally licensed producer."
File photo: The BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and Lounge (Marc Emery Headquarters) in Vancouver  BC.
File photo: The BC Marijuana Party Bookstore and Lounge (Marc Emery Headquarters) in Vancouver, BC.
User: (WT-shared) Osiris at wts wikivoyage
So, that is the federal law governing the purchase of plants and seeds for home cultivation. But keep in mind that in Ontario, Quebec, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick - any cannabis will only be available from government-owned stores and/or online.
And if you live in Quebec and Manitoba, under the Cannabis Act - you are prohibited from cultivating marijuana in your home - period.
Alberta, Newfoundland and British Columbia are going half-and-half, having a mix of government-owned and private-licensed stores, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan have opted for having only private stores.
NewLeaf Cannabis Chief Administrative Officer Angus Taylor says they are planning on opening 18 cannabis stores in Alberta, but they haven't decided on whether they will sell seeds or seedlings.
It's a challenge just training our staff to be good as cannabis advisers,” Taylor says. “If employees were to sell plants and seeds, he adds, they would need to be “good horticulture advisers too.”
More about Canada, legalization of marijuana, Department of justice, licensed seeds and seedlings, garden centers
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