‘That’s a hard one to regulate’: One-metre pot plant limit doesn’t make sense, health committee hears

This story originally published here.

The federal government should scrap the proposed one-metre height restriction on personal marijuana plants and should increase the personal limit to 10 plants instead of four, the House of Commons health committee studying the federal cannabis bill heard Wednesday.

Jonathan Page, CEO of cannabis biotech company Anandia Labs, said he was “puzzled” when he heard the government intends to limit personal plants to one metre in height.

“That’s a hard one to regulate. The plant does grow,” he said. “Do (police) have to have tape measures as well?”

Page pointed out that pot growers can control light availability indoors to force cannabis plants to flower when they’re still quite small. But plants grown outside, he said, can grow to about two metres before they start to flower.

“I’m not sure we should be that concerned about this 100-centimetre height limit,” he said, arguing that cities should be allowed to enact their own bylaws around personal marijuana cultivation.

John Dickie, president of the Canadian Association of Apartment Associations, said it would make more sense to impose an overall size limit instead of a height restriction. He said cultivators will simply train their plants to grow outward instead of upward if the one-metre height limit is imposed. “Surely that’s not a good thing,” he said.

Page also argued that the government should increase the four-plant limit for personal growth to 10 plants, pointing out that not all plants will be flowering at the same time.

“We want to have a limitation that also takes into account the cultivation realities of cannabis,” he said.

Page explained that marijuana plants are typically either male or female. The female buds are the part that’s generally consumed, but it’s not easy to tell whether a plant is male or female until it’s several weeks old. “At a seedling stage… the males and females would be virtually indistinguishable,” he said.

The state of Colorado allows six cannabis plants per person, with up to three flowering at any given time. Washington state, however, does not allow any home cultivation of marijuana for recreational use.

For his part, Dickie raised concerns about the ability of landlords to control the cultivation and consumption of marijuana on their properties. He would like to see a federal ban on personal cultivation of pot plants — failing that, he said would-be growers should have to get consent from their landlords.

Page said cannabis “has a very distinct odour, whether it’s smoked or grown,” though that can be controlled indoors with proper ventilation.

Dickie also said landlords in Quebec and Ontario will find it especially difficult to restrict marijuana consumption on their properties if it’s not already written into their leases, because laws in those provinces prevent landlords from imposing new lease conditions on existing tenants.

“Effectively, the legal regime of today is going to be turned on its head,” he said.

On Tuesday, police leaders told the health committee that it could be impossible to get law enforcement trained by the July 2018 deadline the federal government has set for legalizing the drug.

But speaking to reporters from the Liberal cabinet retreat in Newfoundland Wednesday, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould gave no indication that the government is flexible on its timeline.

“We are committed to moving forward with our time frame in terms of July of 2018,” she said. “I have concerns about the status quo and about not having legislation in place and passed and having a strict and strong regulatory framework around it.”

• Email: mforrest@postmedia.com | Twitter:

This story originally published here.

Leave a Comment