Ottawa Cracks Down On Home Grown Cannabis

In its latest effort to clamp down on the black market, Ottawa is moving to tighten rules for individuals who are allowed to grow their own medical cannabis.

Health Canada has launched a public consultation seeking to refine and strengthen the rules around who is allowed to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes.

In a draft guidance issued for the consultation, Health Canada highlighted recent police raids and arrests at production sites where people were using licenses to "cover and support large-scale illegal production and sale" of cannabis on the black market.

The move comes as Canada tries to fix its ailing cannabis market, where illegal producers sell more annually than hundreds of licensed cultivators, two years after the country became the first major nation to legalize the recreational drug.

Households spent more than $3 billion buying non-medical cannabis on the black market last year, compared to $2.9 billion of legal purchases, according to Statistics Canada.

The draft guidance for the public consultations sets out factors that the regulator may consider in refusing or revoking a registration for "personal production" of cannabis. Factors include authorization of unjustified amounts and "criminal activity and/or diversion of cannabis" products.