Growing cannabis at home safely
On this page
- Growing cannabis legally
- Growing cannabis safely
- Storing cannabis
- Making cannabis products safely
- Disposing of cannabis
This page outlines certain precautions for growing cannabis safely and legally at home.
Growing cannabis legally
You must follow all relevant provincial, territorial and municipal laws, including local bylaws, about:
- fire safety
- electrical safety
- inspection requirements
- remediation requirements
Ask your local government about the specific regulations on growing cannabis to ensure you're compliant.
Buying from a legal source
Buy your seeds or immature flowering plants from legal sources, such as an authorized retailer in your province or territory. It’s illegal to use seeds or grow plants that you know came from illegal sources.
In addition, plants and seeds from illegal sources could expose you to pesticides that aren't approved for use on cannabis in Canada.
For adults growing cannabis for non-medical purposes
Since October 2018, adults of legal age have been able to grow and possess limited amounts of cannabis under federal law.
Subject to provincial, territorial, and municipal restrictions, adults of legal age can:
- grow a maximum of 4 cannabis plants per household (not per person)
- share up to 30 grams of personally grown cannabis (dried or equivalent) with other adults of legal age
- provinces and territories have their own minimum age restrictions; don't share cannabis with anyone under that age
- while you can share your cannabis with adults of legal age, you can't sell any cannabis unless you're licensed by Health Canada to do so
- selling cannabis without a licence is illegal and could lead to imprisonment
For adults growing cannabis for medical purposes: registered patients, designated persons and responsible adults
Important: This section applies to individuals who are registered with Health Canada to grow cannabis for their own medical purposes, their designated persons, and their responsible adults.
In this section
As a registered patient, designated person or responsible adult growing cannabis for medical purposes, you need to take the time to understand all your responsibilities. Health Canada could revoke or refuse to renew or amend your registration if you fail to follow the Cannabis Act or its regulations.
Important: You can only start growing cannabis plants for medical purposes once you have a registration certificate from Health Canada.
You’re responsible for complying with all relevant rules in the Cannabis Regulations. The regulations include rules to help maintain the safety and security of registered patients, designated people, household residents and surrounding communities.
You must respect the production limit on your registration certificate, and follow your maximum plant and possession limit. You’re only allowed to grow that limited amount for your own medical purposes. You can’t share, sell or give your personal cannabis to anyone else. Unless you have a designated person or responsible adult identified on your registration certificate, only you’re authorized to possess the cannabis plants or tend to them. No one else can handle this cannabis.
If you’re growing outside, your outdoor production site can't share a boundary (such as a fence) with any:
- daycare centres
- public spaces frequented by minors
Loss or theft of cannabis or registration documents
- You need to contact your local police force within 24 hours to report any loss or theft of cannabis or registration documents.
- You need to contact Health Canada within 72 hours to report any loss or theft of cannabis or registration documents.
- To report the loss of theft of cannabis to Health Canada:
- To report the loss of theft of a registration document to Health Canada:
- Email email@example.com
- Call us toll-free at 1-866-337-7705
For more information about the activities that you can conduct and on the procedures you must comply with when growing cannabis for medical purposes, refer to the Cannabis Act, the Cannabis Regulations, and to your registration document.
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free at 1-866-337-7705.
Growing cannabis safely
To help avoid unwanted access or theft, consider taking steps so that others don't know you're growing cannabis. For example:
- install an alarm system
- install a tall fence with a locking gate
- limit cannabis smells coming from your grow area
- make sure people can't see your plants from outside your yard or house
Make sure your grow area is ventilated enough to remove extra moisture and humidity. This will help prevent mold on your plants and in your home.
To lower security risks, you can also take measures to ensure that other people don’t know that you’re growing cannabis. For example, limit cannabis odours (by installing filters or gels that do so) or ensure others can’t see your plants from outside your property.
If you want to change your home's structure or electrical system, speak to a professional to help meet applicable building codes.
Your first priority should be keeping children and pets safe. Lower the risk of accidental use by storing your cannabis in a locked container, especially if there are children regularly in your home. These include containers with strong, childproof locks, such as a:
Be careful with edible cannabis, which can be mistaken for regular food or drink. Consider storing it, and other cannabis products, locked away, and separate from regular food or drinks.
Making cannabis products safely
Some processes for making cannabis products at home can pose risks to your health and safety. For that reason, it's illegal to use organic solvents that are explosive or highly flammable, such as:
- petroleum naphtha
- compressed liquid hydrocarbons like butane, isobutane, propane and propylene
This is because of the risk of:
- health hazards
There are currently no pesticides registered specifically for cannabis grown at home. Even though a pesticide might be labelled for all plants, Health Canada hasn’t determined if it can be used safely on cannabis specifically. If you have questions about using pesticides on cannabis, contact the Pest Management Information Service.
If you produce extracts or concentrates from your cannabis, be cautious of the THC and CBD content. There's no convenient way to test these at home. Products made at home may be extra potent and the effects may be unexpected. As always, start low and go slow when consuming cannabis. If you experience side effects, contact your health care professional.
Disposing of cannabis
Do not dispose of your unwanted cannabis by burning it.
If you need to dispose of cannabis, take steps to protect pets, children, youth and others from consuming it. For example:
- blend your cannabis with water, mix it with compostable materials, such as discarded food, and put it in your regular household garbage or compost
- if you're worried about odours, blend it with water and cat litter, and put it in your regular garbage
- Guidance on personal production of cannabis for medical purposes
- Environmental health risks of personal cannabis cultivation (National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health)
- What you need to know if you choose to consume cannabis
- For people registered or designated to produce cannabis for medical purposes
For information about the potential health risks of smoking or consuming cannabis, speak with your healthcare practitioner.
Cannabis resource series
- Health effects of cannabis on adults 55 and older
- How to read and understand a cannabis product label
- Is cannabis safe to use? Facts for youth aged 13–17 years.
- Is cannabis safe to use? Facts for young adults aged 18–25 years.
- Does cannabis use increase the risk of developing psychosis or schizophrenia?
- Is cannabis safe during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding?
- Is cannabis addictive?
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