Information bulletin: safety and security considerations when producing cannabis for your own medical purposes
The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) allows individuals, who have been authorized by their health care practitioner, to register with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes.
You may only start producing marijuana plants once you receive a Health Canada registration certificate.
You must operate within the limits set out in your registration certificate, and abide by your maximum plant limit, your maximum storage limit and your maximum possession limit. You are only authorized to produce a limited amount of cannabis for your own medical purposes - you cannot share or provide it to anyone else.
The ACMPR includes rules to help maintain the safety and security of patients, persons designated to produce for patients, household residents and surrounding communities that must be followed by all registrants. You are also expected to comply with all relevant provincial/territorial and municipal laws including local bylaws about zoning, electrical safety, fire safety, together with all related inspection and remediation requirements. In addition, there are a number of simple precautions that you can take to reduce risks to your health and safety which are outlined below.
Please be sure that you understand all of your responsibilities under the terms of your Health Canada registration. If you have any questions, please visit the Health Canada website or call toll-free at 1-866-337-7705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recommended safety and security measures
- Under the ACMPR, it is your responsibility to make sure that all marijuana plants or cannabis products in your possession for medical purposes are secure, and that other people, including children, cannot access them.
- You may wish to take measures so that other people do not know that you are growing marijuana, or producing cannabis, for your own medical purposes (e.g., ensuring plants cannot be seen from outside your yard or house; limiting marijuana smells coming from your production site).
- Under the ACMPR, if you are producing outdoors, the boundary of the land where you are authorized to produce cannot have any points in common with the boundary of the land where a school, public playground, or other public place frequented mainly by persons under 18 years of age is located.
- You may want to consider installing a tall fence with a locking gate or an alarm system to help keep your production area secure.
- If you are growing plants indoors, ensure that there is enough ventilation to remove excess moisture and humidity to stop mold from building-up on your plants or in the building.
- If you decide to make changes to the structure of your home or your electrical system, you should seek the advice of a licensed professional to ensure that you are in compliance with municipal and provincial/territorial building codes.
- You may want to consider installing strong locks on the doors to all areas where you produce or store cannabis and/or installing a home monitoring or alarm system.
- You should also store your cannabis in a safe or equally protected location that you can secure with a lock (e.g., cabinet, closet, or trunk).
- If you have children, or have children who visit your home regularly, you may also want to ensure that cannabis and cannabis products are stored in childproof containers to avoid accidental ingestion.
Producing cannabis can pose certain risks to your health and safety. Please consider the following:
- If you plan to use chemical products, such as pesticides, ensure that these products are safe for use on a plant that you plan to eat or vaporize. You may wish to consult Health Canada's Homeowner Guidelines for Using Pesticides for more information about using pesticides safely.
- If you are making a cannabis product, such as oil or butter, you are not permitted to use an organic solvent such as butane, benzene, methyl chloride, or chlorinated hydrocarbons.
- Using organic solvents to make cannabis products poses significant safety risks, such as fire and explosion, and health risks if the product contains residue from the production process.
For additional information about of the potential health risks associated with smoking or otherwise consuming cannabis please speak with your healthcare practitioner. You may also wish to visit the Health Canada website to review available consumer information.
Safe disposal of cannabis
- If you produce more cannabis than you are authorized to possess or store, you must destroy the excess amount so that you stay within your authorized storage and/or possession limit at all times.
- To protect other persons, especially children or youth, or pets in your household, you should render any excess amount(s) of cannabis unfit for use or consumption prior to disposing of it. One method of disposing of excess cannabis is to blend the marijuana with water and mix it with cat litter, to mask the odour, and then place it in your regular household garbage.
- It is not advisable to burn your dried marijuana or plants.
Please refer to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, and to your registration for further information about the activities that you are permitted to conduct and on the procedures you must comply with.
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