Medical marijuana clinic owner questions new home-grown rules

The owner of a medical marijuana clinic in Calgary is questioning Health Canada's decision to allow home growing.

Health Canada announced marijuana patients will be allowed to grow 'limited' amounts of pot

Jeff Mooij, the owner of 420 Clinic in Inglewood, said users have to know how to grow marijuana properly to get all of the health benefits. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

The owner of a Calgary medical marijuana clinic is questioning Health Canada's decision to allow home growing.

Federal officials announced on Thursday that patients with permission from their doctors will be allowed to grow "limited" amounts of pot.

"The majority of the patients we have now aren't experienced enough to understand even the strains they're using," said Jeff Mooij, owner of 420 Clinic in Inglewood.

"When they're growing it, they affect the plant. If they don't grow the perfect plant, they don't get the total medicine that they need," he said. 

Mooij said growing marijuana is a science and Health Canada's licensed growers follow strict guidelines to grow the product properly and safely.

"They're unbelievably sophisticated," he said. "[They] have the ability to know exactly every drop of water that goes into the plant and to flush it properly and clean it."

Mooij said home-growing marijuana is a cheaper option than buying it directly from the growers. He said a gram of marijuana costs an average of $7.

Health Canada has concerns

There are risks that come with growing marijuana at home and Health Canada says it wants to make sure new growers are prepared. 

Jacqueline Bogden, assistant deputy minister for cannabis legalization, said guidelines will be posted online.

"What we're seeking to do is to make sure Canadians who may exercise this option to produce cannabis for their own medical purposes are really well aware of the rules they need to follow under the regulations," she said. 

The new rules will be in place on Aug. 24.