Edmonton cannabis stores stocking seeds as first legal growing season approaches

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Cannabis shops have started selling marijuana seeds as the coming summer brings the first legal growing season for pot smokers looking for a home-grown high.

The legalization of cannabis last October included the option for private citizens to grow plants at home, but seeds weren’t available from distributors in Alberta until last month. Seeds are now available through Fire and Flower Cannabis online and at their location in Sherwood Park as well as at Nova Cannabis in Edmonton.

Jayden Colwell, a first-time grower, expects to get eight ounces worth of smokable marijuana once he harvests the plants he’s growing in his Calgary home.

“If you can get a tomato plant to grow, you can get a cannabis plant to grow,” said Colwell. “They call it weed for a reason, it’s fairly easy.”

Growing won’t be a free-for-all since the federal cannabis act imposes a number of restrictions. Each household can grow a maximum of four plants and they must be planted in a secure space that does not share a boundary with a public area.

Colwell, a cannabis store manager, said he learned everything he needed to know online by researching cannabis growing websites and Instagram accounts that sprung up after the plant was legalized in several states south of the border.

Currently, four seeds cost $80 and there is only one strain of the plant available on the market. In Alberta, seeds are supplied to stores through Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC).

Rob Cherry, vice-president and general merchandise manager of Fire and Flower, said seed sales have been slow so far but he expects them to pick up as AGLC brings more strains to market.

“It’s new, so it’s picking up steam … As we get closer to the grow season people are more inclined to look at something like this,” said Cherry. “We want to make sure we have the product available for what they’re going to need, which isn’t just seeds. We’re also going to be offering clones, grow kits, incubators and stuff like that, so essentially a one-stop shop.”

Cherry said seeds currently account for one per cent of the company’s overall sales. He’s expecting a wide range of people to take up the hobby.

“I think it’s more like the amateurs, mom and pop. I think it’s people who are interested in gardening and growing,” said Cherry. “It’s very inexpensive, it’s pretty straightforward, so why wouldn’t we offer that to people?”

Colwell is one of those amateurs. He said he didn’t have much experience with gardening before planting his cannabis seeds.

“When the summer and the spring time comes here, I’m actually starting to grow just, like, my own little garden out in the backyard and stuff. I really want to start experimenting with germinating seeds with my cannabis and possibly even growing some complementary plants,” said Colwell.

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