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Now that Canada has legalized recreational cannabis, one option for consumers is to buy seeds from producers and grow the plants themselves. The Cannabis Act limits four plants per household, not per person.

Thing is, there’s a catch: growing cannabis plants would only be legal, under federal law, if they were grown from legally-purchased seeds you legally. Right now, there’s no legal source of seeds. And cannabis retailers, mostly governments so far, would have to get them from licensed producers, and they haven’t made any available yet (at the time of writing this post).

One of the few options now is purchasing dried-bud cannabis from a legal source and hoping your purchase includes a rare seed.

When the time comes for you to consider growing cannabis, it can be a heady task to cultivate cannabis if this crop is new to your hands, green thumb or not. Below is a succinct breakdown of the two most popular cannabis growing methods:


You’ve seen the photos: fields of cannabis plants stretching their buds to the clouds. Guys wearing Hazmat-like suits tending to the crops like each is worth tens of thousands of dollars. Which they likely are.

Outdoor grows benefit from natural sunlight and a larger region to plant crops.  Outdoor growers often prefer working with indica-based strains due to their heavy yields, quick maturing time and short stature.

For outdoor cultivation, farmers select areas that receive 12 hours or more of sunlight daily. In the Northern Hemisphere, growers usually plant seeds in mid-April, late May, or early June to allow plants around four to nine months of growth. Harvest usually takes place mid-September and early October. If you have the land for outdoor grows, it can often be a less expensive option compared to indoor cultivation. After all, you get natural light and ventilation, and you receive bigger yields due to the plants having plenty of room to grow.

The main drawback is that outdoor grows are subject to mother nature’s whims. Droughts, torrential downpours, bug infestations and hungry deer can devastate a crop before any bud has been harvested.


For those preferring a controlled climate and more privacy, indoor cannabis cultivation could be an attractive option. Using artificial light, fertilizers and ventilation equipment requires a heavier capital cost compared to outdoor grows, but plants of any type can be grown faster indoors than outdoors, due to 24-hour light, and additional atmospheric CO2, amongst other factors.

A perpetual harvest is possible indoors thanks to having all that tech as the backbone of the project.

A popular branch of indoor grows is hydroponics, which is when you grow your cannabis plant in a medium reservoir of water, and provide all the nutrients to the plant directly in the water. This takes significant research to ensure you’re feeding plants with the right nutrients and following the right schedule for watering and then harvesting the buds.

Growers, using any method, should heed advice such as the need to purchase “feminized” cannabis seeds. By producing only female cannabis plants, the plants create big juicy flower buds. If you plant “regular” seeds, about half of the plants will be female and half male. Also, note that male plants are easy to spot and must be culled so that they do not pollinate females. Also, growers should watch their plants closely to see when those little hairs appear on the flowers.

“The taste and the amount of cannabinoids are determined by the colour of the trichomes, which are the little hairs,” explained gardening expert Carla Isnor of Halifax Seed. “Most people will harvest when those are about halfway amber - they'll turn from clear to kind of an amber colour - and that's when most people are going to harvest.”1

As you can see, growing cannabis is not as intimidating as it looks. To evolve into an expert green gardener, all you need to do is research, talk to the right folks and plan from the outset which method of growing is right for you.

  1. https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/local-news/gardening-expert-offers-up-pot-growing-tips-ahead-of-leglization-913648

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