I Want to Grow Hemp in My Garden
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Rand
Posted on: March 28, 2004

I am looking for some hemp seeds or plants to grow in my garden in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

To grow hemp in Canada you must have a license from Health Canada. Hemp is closely related to marijuana and its cultivation is controlled very closely. Hemp and marijuana are just different varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa, and are difficult to tell apart. In Canada hemp must have less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the main psychoactive substance in the drug marijuana.

Since 1998 Health Canada has issued licenses to commercial growers of hemp. By 1999 over 14,200 hectares (35,500 acres) were licensed in Canada but the market was not big enough to support that much production and licenses fell sharply to about 1300 hectares (3300 acres) in 2001. Production recovered slightly in 2002 to about 1500 hectares in 2002.

There is no mention on the Health Canada website about growing hemp for personal use in a garden, but I very much doubt that licenses are being granted for this purpose. Health Canada’s Office of Controlled Substances is responsible for hemp licensing and it has a fact sheet on applying for a license (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hecs-sesc/ocs/hemp/faq.htm). The fact sheet has a link to information on where to get hemp seeds.

Incidently, it is possible to grow your own medical marijuana in your garden or home. Since 2001, Health Canada’s Office of Cannabis Medical Access has been licensing the growing of medical marijuana for personal use. Those who are suffering from a terminal or debilitating disease for which marijuana provides relief can apply to grow their own marijuana in their garden or indoors in their home or have someone designated to grow it for them. On Health Canada’s website there is a fact sheet on medical marijuana with links to information on applying for a production license (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/protection/marijuana.html).

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