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When the Cannabis Act was passed in 2018, the whole world was buzzing with talk about this big step for Canadian cannabis users. Most of that talk was focused on the fact that Canadians were finally legally allowed to buy cannabis for recreational purposes and not just medical reasons. But there was – and still is – a lot of talk about the new cultivation laws.

Thanks to the Cannabis Act, Canadians can access their cannabis in a few different ways, and while the most common is to buy it from dispensaries, another option is to grow it from home. The new “4 plants” rule has changed the way Canadians are accessing their cannabis products – here’s how.

The Number of Backyard Growers Has Risen

For anyone who’s run a cannabis grow op, you probably know that 4 plants isn’t much, and for most, it’s not really worth starting a work-intensive indoor garden. That’s why most people who are taking advantage of the new recreational rule of 4 plants per household in Canada, they’re opting for a small outdoor weed garden instead of an indoor grow op.

Instead of getting rid of weeds in the backyard, more Canadians are planting them. It’s really common now for cannabis users to plant a few cannabis seeds in indoor pots, then move those plants over to their backyard once the roots have established themselves.

The backyard grow op is a great solution for price-conscious cannabis users who aren’t feeling the high cost of dispensary products or the high initial investment of indoor growing. With outdoor growing, there’s a lot less involved since there’s no worrying about lighting systems, ventilation, or climate control.

It’s not just the ease factor or the cost savings of outdoor growing, though. When you compare an indoor plant to an outdoor plant, the outdoor plant has a lot more room to grow, and some of these can grow to massive sizes and yield a much larger harvest.

Seed Shortages Are Becoming a Lot More Common

Lately, there’s been a lot of panic buying around the world, and we’re not talking about hoarding toilet paper or hand sanitizer. For Canadians, seed panic buying is becoming a major issue because new growers are buying up all the products from seed banks out of fear of shortages.

The reason there’s such a fear of seed shortages is that it’s actually happening; seed banks are constantly running out of products, especially when it comes to top-selling strains, and growers are often left empty-handed because there aren’t enough seeds to supply the growing demand.

Not everything about the 4-plant rule is positive, and the seed shortage is the perfect example of that.

More Indoor Growers Are Switching to Clones

The good news is that there’s an easy way around seed shortages, and it’s to start a grow op from clones instead of the old-fashioned method of seed germination. Clones are small clippings taken from a strong mother plant, and using this method actually has a lot of advantages over using seeds.

With seeds, you’re starting from scratch every single time, and sometimes they don’t even germinate properly. Even if they germinate, there’s always that chance that your seed’s plant sex is male and not female (which isn’t a good thing). With cloning, you know that every clone you cut will result in a female plant since it was taken from a mother plant.

It’s difficult to say which is better – they both have pros and cons – but when you consider the seed shortages going on lately, cloning cannabis plants definitely has some big perks.

Medical Grow Licensing Has Gone Up

This next effect of the new growing laws is actually a big surprise to most people – most assume that it’d be just the opposite. Wouldn’t the medical grow licensing go down now that recreational growing of 4 plants is allowed?

You’d think so, but the number of medical growers has still risen since 2018, and there’s a very simple explanation for that. The new allowance of 4 plants is opening people’s eyes to home-growing, and more people are trying it for the first time.

Many of them stick with it, and they quickly realize that 4 plants just isn’t enough (or isn’t worth the time and effort). In Canada, there’s only one way to grow more than 4 plants for personal use, and that is by applying for a medical grow license through the ACMPR.


Quite frankly, most Canadians who use cannabis recreationally are still accessing it the easy (and expensive) way by popping in for a visit to their local dispensaries. But changes are definitely happening as a result of the 4-plants rule of the Cannabis Act like more backyard growing, more seed shortages, and more medical grow licenses being issued.


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