The ACMPR changes, which kicked in earlier this year, seem to be confusing medical cannabis patients in the sense of how many plants they can grow, how much cannabis they can have stored, and other burning questions.
How many medical cannabis plants can you grow? How many grams of medical marijuana can you keep stored under the ACMPR? Does that count for recreational cannabis?
There is a river of questions which are just begging to be answered because nobody is sure of the new regulations in regards to recreational marijuana, and how they’ll overlap with the new medical cannabis rules brought earlier this year.
Growing medical cannabis in Canada
Basically, Health Canada laid out the short version of the rules and a calculator which can help us get an understanding of how much cannabis can be grown for medical purposes.
There isn’t a universal rule to how much each person can grow, because the amount of cannabis you are able to grow for medical purposes is based on the daily amount written on your medical license.
If you don’t already have a medical cannabis license, I strongly suggest that you get one.
It will allow you to grow more plants and claim medical expenses on your tax returns for the medical marijuana you purchase from licensed producers.
In order to get a medical cannabis license, you’ll need to see a practitioner which will fill out the medical cannabis license application form and send it to Health Canada.
You will need the original document, once it’s approved by Health Canada, so that you can apply for a license to grow your own cannabis. It’s even stated on the document itself:
Once you have your prescription, the amount you are prescribed will determine how much cannabis you are allowed to grow.
Most Canadians get prescribed 1-3 grams of cannabis daily, which amounts to 30-90 g a month.
Requirements to grow cannabis for medical purposes
Health Canada has instructions on how to fill out the proper paperwork in order not to get rejected once you apply.
Once you’ve filled out the application form, send it along with your original Health Canada medical cannabis prescription to the following address:
Address Locator: 0302B
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
Requirements to grow medical cannabis for your own purposes say that you’ll need to:
- Live in Canada
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Attest that you haven’t been convicted of a marijuana-related offense
- Not be registered more than once at any time
Health Canada also allows for you to be a grower for one additional person if you are authorized to produce cannabis for yourself and if you are their designated person.
You may only begin producing cannabis after you’ve received a registration certificate from Health Canada.
How many medical cannabis plants can you grow?
The number of plants that may be grown and the amount of dried marijuana that can be stored is limited by the ACMPR, and it’s based on your prescription.
The ACMPR uses a unique formula which takes into account the following:
- The daily amount, as authorized by your healthcare practitioner;
- The average yield of a plant under certain growing conditions, such as indoor or outdoor growing;
- The number of growth cycles expected in a year.
In fact, Health Canada has a whole page dedicated to the number of plants you can grow.
You can use the calculator on their page to get an approximation of what you should be able to grow by putting in your daily dose written on your prescription.
Here’s a table with some sample calculations:
|Prescription (Grams/day)||Indoor Plants||Indoor Storage||Outdoor Plants||Outdoor Storage|
In essence, ask your physician to prescribe you a bigger daily dose, so that you could grow more plants and have more weed in store.
PRO TIP: There can be 4 registrations for the production of cannabis at the same location, meaning that you and three of your friends can grow in the same location at the same time. You are allowed to take care of only those plants that you are licensed to grow. This is the case even if someone else has their plants at the same location.
How much medical cannabis can you possess?
This is also based on your prescription.
Per ACMPR, you are allowed to possess up to a 30-day supply of dried marijuana, or its equivalent.
The maximum amount you can possess is based on the lower amount of what your healthcare practitioner has recommended, or 150 grams (federal limit).
So, for example, if you were prescribed 6 grams/day you’d be able to possess only 150g even though that’s not the 30-day supply.
How much medical cannabis can you have stored?
Once Health Canada approves your request to grow medical cannabis for your own purposes, you will know the following:
- number of marijuana plants you are allowed to grow
- amount of dried marijuana you are allowed to store
- the place where you are allowed to produce marijuana plants (production site)
- the place where you are allowed to store cannabis (storage site)
The amount of medical cannabis you can have in store is determined by the daily dose recommended by your physician, and the number of plants you can grow.
All cannabis, except for plants, must be stored away at the storage site. The following can be claimed as a storage site:
- Your home
- The production site
- The home of the person you have designated, if you have one
Fresh marijuana and other products
Regulations say that one gram of dried marijuana is equal to five grams of fresh marijuana. This means that you can possess five times the amount of fresh marijuana to be used for medical purposes.
If you plan on making any other products out of your medical cannabis, you’ll have to keep track of how much marijuana you’ve used, and not just for the potency.
The regulations say that “dividing the amount of the cannabis product you have made (for example, milliliters of oil) by the amount of fresh or dried marijuana you have used will give you an equivalency factor“.
For example, if you used 5 grams of dried marijuana to make 10ml of cannabis oil, your equivalency factor is 2ml per gram of dried marijuana:
- 10ml of oil ÷ 5 grams of dried marijuana = 2ml per gram of dried marijuana
You would use this equivalency factor to make sure that you stay within your possession limit. So, if you are prescribed 3 grams/day, that’s 90 grams/month.
- 90 grams possession limit, multiplied by the equivalency factor of 2ml per gram of dried marijuana = 180ml of cannabis oil
Also apply this equivalency factor if you use this cannabis oil to produce another product, such as edibles or infused drinks.
Most importantly, you should carry a copy of your registration certificate, which is proof that you can possess or produce a limited amount of cannabis for medical purposes. You will need to show this if police or law enforcement representatives ask you for proof.