Pot users show growing interest in growing cannabis at home

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When Bob Osborne set up a workshop on homegrown cannabis for Saturday, he knew there would be some interest, but he underestimated how much. 

"I've never seen anything like it," said Osborne. "We've obviously touched a nerve."

Osborne, owner of Corn Hill Nursery near Petitcodiac, asked cannabis expert Randy Flemming to lead the workshop about growing the plant.

When the event quickly sold out, Osborne found a bigger venue. When that sold out, he scheduled another session for Oct. 5, which is already three-quarters full. 

Cannabis NB said seeds count for a very small portion of sales.

Participants in the Saturday workshop will learn about the soil needed to grow marijuana, how to prune the plant and curing. 

"There's a lot to do actually," said Osborne. "It's fun. It's fun to grow things. I mean, this is just another plant." 

Recreational use of cannabis became legal in Canada last October. The law allows adults to grow four plants per household, although there are restrictions in some other provinces.

Osborne said growing cannabis is still new to a lot of people, so there are a lot of things they don't know. 

People often come into the nursery with questions about what they need to do to grow cannabis and how to grow the best-quality plant. And it's not just young adults who want to know. 

Osborne isn't the only one noticing the uptick. Jenny Scott, general manager of Scott's Nursery in Lincoln, said more people started coming in during August to ask about the plant"People are getting more excited about being able to grow it, and they can do it organically, so much easier, themselves," said Scott. 

She said the questions come from people who have used marijuana, as well as from people who've never used or grown it.

"They're very hungry for knowledge and want to know as much as they can," said Scott.

Scott's Nursery held a similar information session after cannabis was legalized, and Scott said there was a great turnout. She thinks that with summer vacation over and the temperature getting colder, people are starting to think more about what they can grow inside. 

Short supply

Osborne said he's disappointed with the selection of seeds from Cannabis NB, the only legal seller of the product in the province.  

"There is this sort of disconnect between growing your own and the availability of all this material," said Osborne.

Scott has heard the same complaint. She would like nurseries to be able to start a plant, so people can buy it and grow it themselves, without having to start completely from scratch. 

Cannabis NB only offers two types of seeds on its website. Spokesperson Marie-Andrée Bolduc said that's not much different from other jurisdictions.

She said Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador offer the same two seed types as New Brunswick. 

That's because Cannabis NB can only buy from licensed producers in Canada, and most of those producers don't offer seeds, Bolduc said. 

She said seeds only represent about 0.02 per cent of Cannabis NB sales.

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