Home Growing Knowledge How to grow recreational cannabis safely at home in Canada

How to grow recreational cannabis safely at home in Canada

written by Plant with Benefits November 12, 2018
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It is now legal to grow recreational Cannabis indoors in Canada; however, home cultivation remains a contentious issue especially among landlords. Current federal legislation for recreational cannabis growing at home allows a maximum of four plants for every household. While cities don’t need to formulate legislation to allow cultivation, provinces, and municipalities have the power to put restrictions on how recreational cannabis is cultivated and sold in respective areas. For instance, provinces like Quebec and Manitoba have banned home growing.

The stigma behind growing Cannabis 

There are many reasons against homegrown cannabis, the most notable being fire hazards. Those against recreational marijuana cultivation at home claim the high-watt light bulbs used to provide light are capable of melting nearby wiring and causing fires. Wiring issues caused by electricity theft to power high-watt bulbs are also a concern.

Critics are also concerned about minor explosion caused by compressed CO2 tanks used to boost yields and butane (which is commonly used in the extraction of THC from marijuana). One such critic; Halifax’s deputy fire chief, Roy Hollet, has even been on record stating fire risks are expected to increase because of recreational cannabis cultivation.

However, growing recreational cannabis at home isn’t that different from keeping aquatic pets or amphibians (something considered a safe hobby).

Growing Cannabis is like any other hobby

There are indeed similarities between recreational cannabis growing and keeping aquatic pets/amphibians at home as a hobby. Both pose fire risks. To set up an aquarium at home, you need electricity for your aquarium lights, filters, and heating. But electricity doesn't “mix well” with water. For this reason, you need a drip loop to prevent water running from your aquarium cord into the power outlet which in turn increases risks of fire or electric shock.

Keeping aquatic pets/amphibians also comes with other risks that are similar to those experienced when growing cannabis at home, i.e. condensation. High humidity levels can encourage mold growth. The risks are higher with aquatic pets since recreational cannabis growth in Canada has been limited to four plants per household which can’t increase humidity levels significantly.

In a nutshell, both pose similar risks. The most important thing to be aware of is to ensure safe growing. In fact, there are solutions in the market already that make recreational cannabis growing at home safe. One such solution is investing in a home cultivation kit or a “grow box” that has been designed to make cultivation easy while getting rid of the notable risks.

Following legislation is also important since recreational cannabis pose huge fire risks when cultivation is done on a large scale as opposed to when it is restricted to four plants only. Awareness of safe growing will definitely go a long way in eliminating the stigma surrounding recreational cannabis growing in homes.

Where can you grow Cannabis?

In case you are wondering where it is safe to cultivate recreational cannabis, you can grow anywhere -in townhomes and homes in Canada provided you educate yourself on safe indoor cultivation and take the necessary precautions. Condos and rented homes may have stricter laws. It would be best to look into your building's policy or notify your landlord before growing.

You can grow recreational cannabis at home in; Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, and Saskatchewan.

Prevention and Precautions when growing recreational Cannabis 

Fire

You'll need grow lights, heating, exhaust fans, etc. to grow cannabis at home. However, this comes with risks. Here are precautions you need to take when dealing with heating, exhaust fans, high-watt bulbs among other equipment.

• Install GFCI protection: A ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI is designed to prevent electric shock as well as monitor current imbalances. 

• Install a fire alarm: You need a fire alarm in your growing areas to alert you of smoke or fires in time.  

• You should also avoid overloading power outlets. It is recommendable to hire an electrician to do major rewiring to ensure proper and safe power attachments if necessary.

• Power outlets should also be protected from water using covers and/or the drip loop method

• Equipment should also be mounted securely. Tie loose wires. 

• Store liquids and flammables properly – away from electrical outlets.

• Child/Pet proof your growing area to prevent from accidents 

Mold

High humidity levels for indoor growing areas may pose mold growth risks. Water is bound to find its way to your floors through poor ventilation and water spillage. To avoid this, follow these simple steps.

• Use waterproof mats to protect your home’s floors from water damage and leakage.   

• Having a second humidity thermometer outside your grow tent will help monitor your RH 

• Purchase a dehumidifier to control high humidity levels  

• Immediately clean any water spillage and cover exposed liquids from evaporating  

• Install proper ventilation and exhaust fans to help distribute excess humidity 

Safety equipments

Before you start growing cannabis recreationally in your home, make sure you have the right safety equipment in place, i.e. a fire alarm to alert you of fires and a fire extinguisher to help you deal with any fires that may occur. It’s also advisable to invest in proper eye-wear to protect your eyes from UV rays emitted by grow lights. You should also consider investing in a grow box or tent with exhaust fans to allow for proper ventilation.

Routine Assessment

You’ll need to conduct weekly assessments to ensure your recreational cannabis cultivation runs smoothly with minimal risks. Among the evaluations, your routine checkups should include; checking if your fire alarms, fans, heater, and lights are working correctly. You should also maintain a clean growing and work-space environment as well as to check and secure any loose wires/wiring. Remove and replace any damaged wires if necessary. Lastly, check the expiry date of your fire extinguisher and learn how to use it.

Dismantle the stigma of homegrown Cannabis 

The stigma surrounding recreational cannabis cultivation at home is unfounded given hobbies like keeping aquarium pets attract the same risks. It is possible to dismantle this stigma through awareness and safe practices. You can grow recreational cannabis safely indoors in Canada as long as you are aware of the proper growing practices and you take the necessary precautions. It’s also important to follow the law and restrict your growing to four plants providing that you're only growing recreationally. The above measures may seem “overboard” however, your safety and that of your loved ones matters a lot. The importance of being courteous to your neighbors and growing responsibly can’t also be overemphasized.

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