Recreational cannabis growers face challenges as they enter the first summer of legalization

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Albertans looking for a homegrown high this summer are set to face a shortage of supplies and a set of regulations restricting how many plants can be grown and where they can grow them.

Growing cannabis was legalized alongside recreational cannabis use last October. Alberta Gaming, Liqour and Cannabis’ (AGLC) online store started selling and supplying seeds in January, however the agency has felt the hardships of a nationwide supply shortage, leaving the online store seedless as of last Friday.

“Right now, AlbertaCannabis.org is out of stock,” said AGLC spokeswoman Heather Holmen in an email. “Inventory is generally updated each week so we may have some come available in the coming days.”

Holmen said retailers may still have seeds in stock if they ordered before the agency ran out.

Anyone over the age of 18 that can get their hands on a pack of seeds, priced at $80 for a pack of four, can grow the plant, but they will need to make sure they are staying within Health Canada regulations.

Each household can grow up to four plants, but those growing will need to decide if they will grow inside or outside of their home, doing both isn’t legal.

For those who live on a property adjacent to a school, playground or other public place “frequented mainly by minors,” that decision will be easy as they will have to grow it inside to be within the regulations.

The decision of where to grow is an important one as it could have an effect on how the entire grow season unfolds, says Dave Richert, cannabis merchant with Fire and Flower cannabis stores.

“I would say there’s probably give and take on both sides,” said Richert. “You can control a lot more of what’s going on inside, but there’s a lot more going on so you have to be more attentive to it.”

Richert suggests planters get their seeds in the soil no later than June 1. He said whether those seeds are inside or outside, any new gardener can get a plant to grow, but the amount of attention and care you give your budding cannabis will have a profound effect on the amount of smokable cannabis produced in each garden.

“Be patient with the plants, monitor them daily, really keep an eye on what’s going on,” said Richert.

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