“In Canada, about 37,400 patients rely on medical marijuana as part of an end of life care or treatments for different conditions including epilepsy, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Spinal cord injury, multiple scleroses and arthritis and the number of people prescribed medical marijuana treatment is anticipated to rise more than 450,000 the next 20 years.”
In August 2016, it was announced by the Health Canada, stating a change in the legislative law to create a free market legal medical marijuana provided the patients or individuals have been given authorization by their health care practitioner to grow marijuana for own purpose.
The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purpose Regulations(ACMPR) allows individuals who have been duly authorized by their health institution practitioner to register with Health Canada to grow a certain amount of marijuana or popularly called “weed” for their medical purposes; therefore before you decide to plant marijuana, you need to get registered get a license of authorization from Health Canada where you will be given a certificate.
With the license/certificate, there is a set limit to how much marijuana you can produce and you must abide by these limit, so for every 1 gram of dried cannabis authorized in your certificate, it will subsequently result in the production of 5(five) plants at maximum indoors and 2 at maximum outdoors.
The certificate would also contain information on your maximum marijuana storage and possession limit and you will only be allowed to produce for your own medical purpose and are not allowed to share or provide it to anyone. Breaking this law could result in legal actions taken by Health Canada against offenders.
These rules are set aside to help maintain the safety of people, patients, household and surrounding communities and must be followed by all registrants. Registered person are advised to adhere strictly to all relevant territory/province laws starting from electrical safety, fire safety, zones with all inspections required.
Things to Consider When Growing Marijuana (ie: Safety)
There are also a number of precautions that you should take to limit the risk to your safety and health which are summarized below.
Under the ACMPR
- It is your responsibility to ensure that all marijuana plants you possess are for medical purposes are very secured from other people including children.
- You should also take precautions so that you are not susceptible to break-ins or theft
- If your plants are outdoor, the land must not have a boundary with a school, playground (public) or other public places frequently used by people/persons below the age of 18.
- You may also need to build a tall wall/fence with a gate to help keep the marijuana production area secured.
- If you are producing indoors, you may wish to provide enough ventilation to eradicate excess humidity and moisture from building up on the plant or in the room.
- Should you need to change the structure of the building or the home electrical system, you may want to seek the professional advice of a licensed electrical personnel to ensure you comply with province, municipal or territory codes.
- You may also need to think of installing a strong lock on gates and doors to where you produce or store marijuana or possibly installing a CCTV monitoring system.
- You should also make sure the cannabis is stored in a protected location secured with a lock.
Harmful pesticides or Chemicals and Growing Marijuana
Producing marijuana can pose certain risks to peoples health and safety, so a number of health precautions are also provided to be considered before using chemicals or fertilizer while growing marijuana such as;
- Consulting the Health Canada Home Owner Guideline for using Pesticide should you need them on your plants.
- You are not allowed to use any organic solvent such as benzene, methyl chloride, butane and chlorinated hydrocarbon if you are producing marijuana products like oil or butter as these solvents pose safety risk such as personal health risks, combustion and fire if the marijuana contains remains from the production process.
Subsequently, if there are more marijuana produce than you are authorized to store or possess, you must dispose of “excess” so that you are in accordance to the authorized amount stated in the certificate, but should you have excess marijuana you can blend it with water and cat litters so as to mask the odour and then place it in cabbage.
PROCEDURES IN OBTAINING MARIJUANA CERTIFICATE TO GROW LEGALLY
If an individual decides to grow marijuana or appoints another individual to help them produce a certain amount of marijuana for him/herself they must submit an application to register under Health Canada. The Health Canada requires the following documents for the application to be considered:
- An original medical report from your health care personnel/practitioner and a clear declaration.
- Details stating the location of where the marijuana will be produced and stored
- Document issued by the Police Force (Canada) proving the person has never been convicted or received a sentence for drug offense during the last 10 (Ten) previous years.
Also, note that the individual can only produce for the maximum of 2 individuals including him/herself.
After providing these requirements, an 11-page registration application form which is available on the Health Canada website as a PDF file. When you are done filling the application, you will have to submit it along with the documents mentioned earlier including
- Fingerprinting and security clearance
- Site plans to proposed building and security plans
- Approval from owners of the building as well as the police, local government and fire maintenance.
Gather this document with the application and send it as a mail to Health Canada at Ottawa, also note that if the requirements are not complete, the application won’t be processed.
Finally, the Health Canada will send you a certificate of registration if;
- The registration is complete
- Meets all the relevant requirements of the regulations
- There are no grounds for refusal
With this certificate, you are allowed to legally plant and produce a limited amount of marijuana for your own medical purposes. For more information, you can contact the Health Canada website.