Dennies Vierboom, owner of The Grow Zone, said growing cannabis is similar to growing the pepper plants at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff) Dennies Vierboom, owner of The Grow Zone, said growing cannabis is similar to growing the pepper plants at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer void of cannabis seeds

High demand for cannabis products

Cannabis seeds for growing marijuana at home have yet to reach the shelves of Red Deer’s only pot retailer.

Greentown hopes to sell seeds in the future, but Alberta Cannabis, the province’s only legal recreational online cannabis store, is once again seedless.

AGLC spokeswoman Chara Goodings said two variety of seeds from Canopy Growth, of Ontario, were finally in stock earlier this month, but they sold out.

She did not know how much seed was available, but said it was likely limited, because there is only one licensed producer supplying the product.

“It’s really a niche market. Most people would rather have the pre-rolled or the oil or loose flower or bud, so that’s what licensed producers are focusing on. The seeds are an afterthought because there’s not as much of a demand,” Goodings said.

“We’re always looking for more, but licensed producers are going to produce what they can produce. If they don’t have the capacity to produce seeds, or want to produce seeds, that’s totally their prerogative. Right now, Canopy is the only one we’re working with that is offering them.”

Dennies Vierboom, owner of the hydroponic supply store The Grow Zone, said he started getting more inquiries into how to grow cannabis as early as last spring.

“Some people were trying to get a jump on it,” Vierboom said.

The federal government allows people, age 18 and up, to have four plants per residence for personal use. Renters, or those living in condos or multi-family dwellings, may be restricted from growing cannabis based on their rental agreements or condominium bylaws.

Vierboom, who uses and grows medical cannabis, said the rules around growing are vague, whether it’s medical or recreational, but he said the plants are as easy to grow as tomatoes.

“You can grow lettuce with a flashlight. But as soon as you get into stuff that’s fruiting or flowering, the more fruiting and flowering, the more energy needed. Light is energy — it’s everything.”

He recommended people try autoflowering seeds that produce plants that are easier to grow.

“With these autos, you can give them as much light as you want. You plant them and they will veg for a certain amount of time, and then they’ll flip and finish.”

He recommends starting small.

“At the end of day, they’re still a weed and they want to grow.”

But Vierboom did not see a quick resolution to the government’s cannabis supply problem, whether it’s seeds or other products.

Goodings said Alberta Cannabis is mostly focused on supplying retailers with products, and that’s why most stock is quickly sold out.

“What we do keep on the website is enough to satisfy the folks who are rural and do not have access to a retail location, or would rather order online,” Goodings said.

She said Alberta Cannabis has contracts with licensed producers who are working hard to meet their obligations, but the demand across Canada is so high, they’re having a hard time keeping up.

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