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Cannabis IQ: What stands between you and pot growing, and more

You can grow your own legal marijuana plants — so long as you can grow them from seeds that you bought legally.

And just at the moment, there aren’t any, so you can’t. Provincial cannabis monopolies would like to sell seeds, but licensed producers aren’t selling seeds to them.

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Eventually, once seeds and young plants become legally available, it will be impossible to tell whether your plants were grown from seeds that started on the right side of the law.

But currentlyit will be obvious that they weren’t.

How long can that odd state of affairs go on? Not forever — Ottawa is issuing small-scale growers “nursery licences,” which will eventually be a source of seeds and plants for legal sellers, apart from the licensed producers.

Nursery licence holders are also allowed to buy seeds from grey-market producers, on a one-off basis — they have to declare them once when the licence is applied for, and not ever buy any more after that.

So when will you be able to try your hand at pot gardening? Canopy Growth promises seeds by next spring, and an expert we talked to expects it to happen within the next three to six months. But right now, pot-growing is still another detail of legalization that has yet to be filled in.

 

In brief:

  • Mexico seems headed toward legalizing recreational marijuana after a court decision this week.
  • Some countries in East Asia are decidedly not. South Korea and Japan have warned their citizens that they will be committing a crime back home if they smoke pot here. China disapproves, but stopped short of threatening arrest. And on Wednesday, Ottawa warned that travellers to Singapore could be greeted with a drug test on arrival, and may face arrest and prosecution.
  • Ontario’s ombudsman says his office has received over 1,000 customer complaints about the Ontario Cannabis Store, the only legal channel for 40 per cent of Canadians to buy pot. The most common complaints have involved delayed deliveries, poor communication with customers and billing problems.
  • The black market will likely flourish as long as supply issues persist in the legal market, a criminology professor points out.
  • The mayor of Estevan, Sask., says that residents have been turned back from the nearby U.S. border for admitting smoking marijuana.
  • And Calgary police are operating checkstops, looking out for both alcohol- and marijuana-impaired drivers. Signs of stoned drivers include “bloodshot or glossy eyes, obviously the smell, impaired motor skills, slurring of speech,” according to one officer.

 

You asked: Will people who purchase marijuana online have proof that it was purchased legally? If I get stopped by police, how do I prove my weed is legal?

The short answer is that you don’t have to. If you’re over 19, or 18 in some provinces, you can legally have 30 grams of dried flower (or the equivalent) with you in public, and don’t have to account for where it came from.

“Or the equivalent” is something that might be confusing, but doesn’t have to be. Health Canada has worked out the amount of, say, gel caps that are the equivalent of 30 grams of dried flower, and online retailers are set up to keep track of this for you, keeping a running tally of whether the assortment of different kinds of cannabis products going into your basket has gone over a 30-gram equivalent.

How much is 30 grams? A heaping double handful, if you have big hands.

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