Growing Cannabis For Personal Use To Become Legal In Luxembourg, A First In The E.U.
Luxembourg will become the first country in Europe to allow home-grown cannabis.
For the first time in Europe, Luxembourg has passed laws that will allow residents aged 18 and over to grow up to four cannabis plants legally in their house or garden exclusively for personal use.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg joins only two other countries in the world — Uruguay and Canada — and 11 states in the U.S. that have legalized the cultivation and distribution of cannabis.
A European milestone
According to the Luxembourg government’s announcement on Friday, the new legislation is intended to address the problem of drug-related crimes by introducing fundamental changes in the country’s approach to recreational cannabis use and cultivation.
The decision by the small but financially powerful European country to legalize the production and consumption of the drug is a milestone on the continent where even the Netherlands — which paradoxically allows cannabis sales and consumption in authorized ‘coffee houses’ but bars its possession and sale.
The leaf that Luxembourg will allow at home
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“Luxembourg will tolerate the cannabis culture” blared The Luxembourger Wort, the country’s main daily newspaper.
“A first in Europe! The Ministers of Justice and Internal Security announced on Friday morning that each Luxembourg household will be able to have four cannabis plants,” the paper adds.
Consumption will only be legal within the household, although fines for the possession of maximum three grams in public will be reduced considerably from the current fine of up to €2,500 to as little as €25.
The selling of cannabis seeds will also be possible in shops and online without limits on the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis.
The current coalition government’s more ambitious cannabis decriminalization project had been rejected numerous times in the past, mostly due to international pressure, according to the local media.
Paving the way to state-regulated production
The official announcement was made on Friday by the Minister of Justice, Sam Tanson, during a press conference on reducing drug-related crime.
The new measures on domestic production and consumption, according to the minister, are the first steps on the way to state-regulated production and distribution, the revenues of which would be used for addiction prevention, education and health care.
This is “a first step in our project to legalize recreational cannabis,” Tanson said. Further measures will be taken in 2023.
“We thought we had to act,” she said. “We have an issue with drugs, and cannabis is the drug that is most used and is a large part of the illegal market.
“We want to start by allowing people to grow it at home. The idea is that a consumer is not in an illegal situation if he consumes cannabis and that we don’t support the whole illegal chain from production to transportation to selling where there is a lot of misery attached. We want to do everything we can to get more and more away from the illegal black market.”
The legislation still faces a vote in the Chamber of Deputies and is expected to take effect in early 2022.
The Ontario Cannabis Legislation allows for individuals to cultivate up to four legal cannabis plants per residence (not per individual in the residence) anywhere on their property. It does however contain a general prohibition on cultivation for anyone under 19.
Seeds can be purchased legally from an Ontario Cannabis Store.
Thinking about growing your own cannabis at home?
In order to grow cannabis responsibly at home there are some health and safety considerations to be aware of:
- Relevant legislation such as building and fire codes as well as the Residential Tenancies Act
- Access and unintended poisoning
- Indoor air quality
- Use of pesticides and other products
- Electrical and fire hazards, and
- Exposure to UV light
Odours from cannabis plants come from the volatile organic compounds found in the resin which forms on cannabis flowers (terpenes and terpenoids). Therefore, odours may be stronger when the plants are flowering and during cannabis drying, curing and processing as the oils are activated. Not all cannabinoids produce an odour, some are odourless.
Odours in the home
There are no known health effects of exposure to odours associated with indoor home cannabis cultivation. However, odours can impact well-being for some individuals by being an annoyance or nuisance.
Odours from production facilities
Large-scale commercial and medical production facilities use a combination of engineering controls to reduce the smell to undetectable levels outside of the facility.
Licensed cannabis growing facilities are inspected by Health Canada. If you have a complaint about a facility in your neighbourhood contact Health Canada. All licensed producers are inspected by Health Canada.
Indoor cannabis cultivation can potentially increase the levels of humidity in the home. Humidity levels in the home should be controlled to prevent problems with indoor moisture build-up and to curb mould growth.
Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services does not provide mould testing in private or public places. To arrange for testing, please contact a private environmental air quality company.
Municipal by law enforcement / property standards responds to mould complaints in residential rental units. Please call the city by law department where you live and they will be able to respond accordingly.
- Using equipment that is incorrect or in poor condition
- Using high wattage grow lamps
- Making changes to your homes wiring/breakers
- Use of fertilizers
- Use of compressed gas such as CO2 to increase plant growth and/or yield
- Processing cannabis at home to produce concentrates (e.g. hash oil) using solvents such as butane, acetone or toluene
To reduce your risk from these potential fire and electrical hazards:
- Choose not to grow your own cannabis at home and purchase at a licensed retail outlet
- Follow all relevant legislation including building fire codes and Residential Tenancies Act
- Use lower risk equipment such as LED lighting systems versus high wattage, heat emitting lamps
- Do not process cannabis concentrates at home.
- If you choose to process cannabis concentrates at home, reduce the risk of an explosion by using non-organic solvent processes (e.g. ice water extraction)
To report a potential fire hazard related to cannabis home cultivation and processing contact your local fire department.
Canada's Medical Marijuana Home Grow Regulations Come into Effect Today – Is it a Viable Small Business Model?
Canada's Medical Marijuana Home Grow Regulations Come into Effect Today – Is it a Viable Small Business Model?
The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) comes into effect today. In essence this allows Canadian medical marijuana patients to grow their own or select an independent grower to grow for them, rather than by purchasing through large scale licensed producers. This is the federal government’s response to the Supreme Court ruling that made affordable access to cannabis medicine a human right.
As cannabis legalization spreads globally, local, state, and federal governments are all struggling to come up with business models that address regulatory concerns, medical needs, and freedom of choice issues. In Colorado, and Oregon the more free market approach is often described as the Wild West. In New York, Minnesota, and Florida, a fixed oligopoly with very few winning licenses being given out is at the other end of the spectrum; and in Canada a very structured industry model with an arduous process and high barriers to entry ensured a limited number of large scale producers would satisfy market demand. Until… the Supreme Court said no.
How does the ACMPR affect the cannabis industry in Canada?
- It creates a new opportunity for Licensed Producers to supply cannabis gardening plants.
- There are currently 34 Licensed Producers of medical marijuana across Canada and they are now the only legal source of starter plants and cannabis seeds. Enterprising LPs may consider producing flats of cannabis plants for the home gardener, perhaps packaging it with fertilizer, potting soil, and “How to Grow Cannabis at Home” books.
- It creates opportunities for hydroponic businesses and manufacturers like GGS who sell growing benches, lights, environmental controls, greenhouses, and a host of other equipment for cannabis growers large and small.
- For patients who cannot grow their own cannabis, or choose not to home grow, the ACMPR allows them to designate a cannabis grower. Could this be a small business model?
- The rules under the ACMPR restrict the number of patients that a grower can grow for to only two. And the amount of plants grown is based on the patient’s daily gram prescription.
- In Canada the maximum medical marijuana prescription is 5 grams a day.
- Doing the math: An indoor cannabis grower can grow 5 plants per gram. If a small business cannabis grower has 2 patients with the maximum prescription, that grower can grow a maximum of 25 marijuana plants.
- Assuming a yield of 5g per day x 2 medical marijuana patients x 365 days a year, this small business cannabis farm can sell up to 3650 grams of cannabis a year.
- If the cannabis producer sells for $7 / gram the total annual revenue is only $25,550 subtract from that your operating costs to grow and it is easy to see that small marijuana grow ops are not going to be a viable small business model in Canada under the current regulations.
The Canadian government is still in the process of defining how they will regulate both a medical marijuana industry and a recreational marijuana industry. All indications are that they will continue to support marijuana growing in a controlled and regulated environment designed for corporate marijuana production. In their statement announcing the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations Health Canada reinforced that the new program for patients growing their own cannabis is designed to be a temporary solution to address the Supreme Court ruling, and should not be interpreted as being part of the longer-term plan.
If you are an avid cannabis gardener and take great pride in producing the best flower, then the ACMPR will allow you to grow your cannabis medicine for now. Follow the regulations, and purchase benching, irrigation equipment, lights, and whatever else you need to support your cannabis garden.
For cannabis growers looking to start a profitable business in Canada, the lineup is long, and Health Canada is slow to get to your application, but stay the course. Invest in scalable growing equipment, greenhouses, or indoor facilities, so that your initial capital outlay is manageable. You may even be able to get a license under the ACMPR to grow for 2 patients so that some of your capital costs are covered during the long application process.
For existing Licensed Producers, building your brand, ensuring top quality controls, and designing your cannabis greenhouse or indoor cannabis growing facility for maximum efficiency will fair you well as this industry continues to expand and develop.