Cannabis shops have started to sell seeds as the coming summer brings the first growing season of legal marijuana.
The private growth of cannabis was legalized alongside smoking the plant last October, but seeds weren’t available from distributors in Alberta until last month. Now, Fire and Flower Cannabis online and in Sherwood Park as well as Nova Cannabis in Edmonton are carrying the product.
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.”
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 legalization occurred in select states south of the border.
Currently, four seeds cost $80 and there is one strain of seed 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 the 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 that we’ll be bringing in.”
Growing won’t be a free-for-all since the federal cannabis act imposes a number of restrictions. Four plants is the maximum per household and they will have to be grown in a secure area that does not share a boundary with a public place.
Cherry said seeds currently account for one per cent of the company’s overall sales. He’s expecting a wide range of people to join in on 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 didn’t have much experience with gardening before starting.
“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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