When the Cannabis Act officially became law, Canadians jumped at the chance to have the freedom to legally purchase recreational weed. After years of talking about federal legalization, it finally happened.
But for some, the best part of the Cannabis Act isn’t the freedom to buy cannabis – it’s to grow it. According to the new laws, it’s now legal for residents of nearly every province to grow up to 4 recreational plants at home. Whether you’re growing 4 plants per household in Ontario or BC, you can’t technically get in trouble if you’re sticking to the rules of the Cannabis Act.
The 4-plants rule is an amazing addition to legalization, especially considering the overpriced products offered by dispensaries and the fact that these dispensaries often experience shortages. But the interesting thing is that more Canadians, especially in Ontario, are choosing to grow plants with a Health Canada ACMPR license rather than recreationally.
This is because growing for medical reasons offers an entirely different set of benefits, and the proof is in the numbers. With an ACMPR license to grow, a patient isn’t limited to just 4 plants. Some ACMPR members are legally allowed to grow hundreds of plants, all from the comforts of home.
What Is the ACMPR?
Whether you live in Canada or halfway around the world, there’s a very good chance that you’ve heard of the Cannabis Act. But the likelihood of knowing about Canada’s medical program is much lower. The ACMPR, short for Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, is a program that is run by the Health Canada department of the government.
The federal government of Canada has been in full support of marijuana for medical purposes since 2001, which was the year that the first medical marijuana program was passed. Since then, the legislation has changed and the program has undergone some improvements, but the overall goal has always been to give medical patients easier access to cannabis.
Plant Counts and the ACMPR
The main difference between growing for recreational reasons and growing with an ACMPR license is the amount of cannabis that can be grown. As you already know, a recreationally growing can only have 4 plants per household, but with medical growing, the number of plants is determined differently.
There is no set number of plants that is allowed through the ACMPR; every registered member is given a unique plant count allotment based on a few things. The main factor for how many plants a patient can grow is the prescription size. The higher the prescription, the more plants that individual can grow.
Why Would Someone Need to Grow More than 4 Plants?
For a novice cannabis user, particularly one that only uses cannabis recreationally, 4 plants probably sounds like plenty. This is why so many people are wondering why it would ever be necessary to have more than that, even for growing medical reasons.
Every Patient’s Medical Conditions and Treatment Needs Are Unique
Well, there are a few reasons actually, but the main thing to keep in mind is that every medical patient requires different routes of treatment. While 4 plants might be enough for someone suffering from mild symptoms relating to an anxiety disorder, another patient with a more severe medical issue might require more.
This is especially true for someone suffering from debilitating symptoms that hinder the everyday functions of life. Take a cancer patient as an example. After a few sessions of chemotherapy, waves of nausea hit, depression takes hold, and weight loss is basically inevitable.
But with the right dose of cannabis, many of these symptoms can be alleviating. While some patients might do fine with a small amount, this isn’t the case for everyone.
It Depends on the Consumption Method
Cannabis can be ingested in many ways – edibles, oils, smoking, vaping, topical use – and a patient’s method of consumption plays a huge role in the amount that’s needed. If someone isn’t keen on the idea of smoking, the good news is that there are options.
If a patient chooses to juice his or her medicine or create it into a buttery extract, then there’s a need for a greater volume of cannabis. In other words, for certain consumption methods, 4 plants just won’t cut it.
The Answer to Higher Plant Counts Is the ACMPR
The ACMPR has been helping medical patients gain access to the treatment they deserve, and it’s not entirely because it allows higher plant counts for those who need it. This is a major benefit, but Canadian medical marijuana users are filling out ACMPR applications for more reasons than just that.
Aside from higher plant counts (we’re talking in the hundreds), registered ACMPR members never have to rely on dispensaries for their medical needs. And to top it all off, most of them end up saving money in the long run since shopping at a retail store or medical clinic isn’t the most affordable route.