Today, new medical marijuana rules came into effect for Canada, where the Access to Cannabis for Medical Marijuana Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) will replace the current MMPR.
The ACMPR is Canada’s response to the Federal Court of Canada’s February 2016 decision in Allard v. Canada. This decision found that requiring individuals to get their marijuana only from licensed producers violated liberty and security rights protected by section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court found that individuals who require marijuana for medical purposes did not have “reasonable access”. The ACMPR are designed to provide an immediate solution required to address the Court judgement. Moving forward, Health Canada will evaluate how a system of medical access to cannabis should function alongside the Government’s commitment to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to marijuana. [Health Canada]
Here’s a breakdown of the four parts that make up the ACMPR:
- (Similar to MMPR) Framework for commercial production by Licensed Producers for production and distribution of marijuana, quality-controlled by Health Canada.
- (Similar to MMAR) New provisions for individuals to produce a “limited” amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes.
- The continuation of MMPR activities by Licensed Producers
As of August 24, 2016, Health Canada will accept applications from individuals who wish to register to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes or to designate someone to produce cannabis for them. The role of health care practitioners is unchanged by the introduction of the ACMPR. As with the previous regulations, an individual who requires cannabis for medical purposes must first get a medical document from an authorized health care practitioner.
The ACMPR outline in more detail the requirements for registered and designated persons upon successful registration, such as production, storage, transportation, and shipping. The ACMPR also have formulas that indicate how many plants can be grown and how much cannabis can be stored, based on the daily quantity of dried marijuana authorized in the registered person’s medical document.
Important things to note in regards to the law:
When requested, a police officer must be provided with proof that the possession or production of cannabis is legal. Depending on the situation, this could be a:
- Health Canada-issued producer’s license
- Health Canada-issued registration certificate
- Health Canada-issued designated person document
- Licensed producer-issued client label
- Licensed producer-issued “separate document” with the same information as a client label
- Designated people cannot sell, provide or give cannabis to any person, except for the individual for whom he/she is authorized to produce in a registration, or produce cannabis for more than two people registered with Health Canada, including him/herself, for whom he/she is authorized to produce in a registration.
In administering the regulations, Health Canada officials will work closely with a range of groups, including law enforcement, municipalities, provincial and territorial medical licensing authorities, and health care professionals, as well as Canadians who are interested in using the program.
Please note: it is important to ensure you are getting the right strains for your medical condition and symptoms, and that you are following all of the local City of Calgary bylaws in regards to growing your own medical marijuana. For full information on ACMPR, click here. For guidance on what this means for your current prescription or access to getting one, please call us: 403-475-4205.