The move by Health Canada keeps thousands of medical marijuana users off balance as to how long they can continue home growing under personal production licences.
They had been under a federal directive to stop growing, destroy any unused pot and confirm in writing by April 30 they had done so or face potential police enforcement.
Users behind a constitutional challenge of the new medical marijuana rules fear higher prices and lower quality pot under the new system of regulated commercial producers.
It’s unclear how quickly an appeal of the injunction will be heard, but the broader case is expected to go to trial sometime this year.
Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Monday she is working with organizations of health professionals to address their concerns about the lack of dosage guidelines and appropriate health cautions for medical marijuana use.
“They want clearer guidance on safety and effectiveness and want aut. . . . . READ MORE
Marijuana was Canada’s newest mail-order product Tuesday, the inaugural day of a controlled medical marijuana industry that is expected to grow to more than $1 billion dollars within 10 years. But even as the new system privatizes distribution, critics fear regulation under the conservative-led government will make it harder for patients to get access to the drug.
In Canada, medical marijuana has been legal but highly regulated for more than a decade. Patients with doctor approval could grow or have someone else grow small quantities or request limited amounts from Health Canada, the national healthcare department.
But the conservative-led government voted earlier this year to effectively scrap that system in favor of a private—but also strictly regulated—system, targeting the flow of legal marijuana into the black market and shedding Health Canada’s role in marijuana production. Health Canada will phase out the current system, under which it sells registered users marijuana grown by Prairie Plant Systems, by the end of March.
Instead, starting Tuesday, medical marijuana users, or aspiring users, can send in an app. . . . . READ MORE
Marijuana activist Sam Mellace hopes to be the first licensed medical marijuana producer in Canada after spending the past 10 years running his “pretty much” legal operation.
The Abbotsford, B.C., resident has been producing marijuana since 2002 for himself and three other medical users, in accordance with current laws.
But starting on April 1, 2014, authorized users will not be able to grow their own pot – they will have to get it from licensed producers.
Mr. Mellace finalized an application to Health Canada on Monday for his company, New Age Medical Solutions, and his lawyers plan to send it by courier on Tuesday.
“I just want to be able to dispense so I can finally start making some money instead of being in the hole,” he said. But he has stiff competition. For 13 years, Prairie Plant Systems Inc. has been the only company producing legal marijuana and seeds on contract to Health Canada. The company submitted an application earlier this month.
“Up to this point, we’ve . . . . . READ MORE
While the courts have said Canadians must have reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes, the Government of Canada believes this must be done in a controlled fashion in order to protect public safety.
On June 10, the Government of Canada announced the new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations ( MMPR ). These regulations are intended to provide reasonable access for those Canadians who need marijuana for medical purposes while protecting public safety.
When the Marijuana Medical Access Program was introduced in 2001 in response to the court decision, the number of people authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes stood at less than 500.
Over the years that number has grown to more than 30,000. As a result, costs to taxpayers have continued to climb as Health Canada heavily subsidizes the production and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes.
As well, under the current program, Canadians can apply to grow marijuana for medical purposes in private homes or buy from Health Canada. The ability for individuals to produce marijuan. . . . . READ MORE
“I’m not surprised a bit,” said Ric Bills, who organized a rally protesting the proposed changes in Sechelt earlier this year. “I didn’t think public comments would change what they had in store. The Harper government doesn’t seem to care about patients whose lives are stake. They put it all on public safety. They’re really sticking it to the people.”
On June 10, Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Ottawa was proceeding with its plan to stop producing and distributing medical pot and is also removing the right of patients or their designates to grow their own plants.
Under the new system, all production will shift to private companies operating under contract to Health Canada and prescribed patients will only be able to obtain medical pot by mail order. A suggestion in the draft regulations to allow pharmacists to dispense the product was scrapped after the Canadian Pharmacists Association strongly objected to the plan.
The changes are expected to mean significantly higher prices for patients wh. . . . . READ MORE