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Statement from Health Canada concerning access to cannabis for medical purposes


shutterstock_74668345  Luc MenaV4.pngOTTAWA, Aug. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - In response to the Federal Court of Canada's decision in Allard v. Canada, Health Canada today announced the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The ACMPR will replace the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) as the regulations governing Canada's medical cannabis program, and will come into force on August 24, 2016.
Health Canada is confident that the ACMPR provides reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes and addresses the issue identified by the Federal Court.
Under the ACMPR, Canadians who have been authorized by their health care practitioner to access cannabis for medical purposes will be able to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, or designate someone to produce it for them. They will also continue to have the option of purchasing safe, quality-controlled cannabis from one of the 34 producers licensed by Health Canada.
Individuals wishing to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, or to designate someone to produce it for them, will need to obtain authorization from their health care practitioner and register with Health Canada.  Additional information on how to register and legally purchase starting materials will be available on Health Canada's website on August 24.
Health Canada will work closely with provincial authorities, which regulate health care practitioners, to share data and information, such as the quantities of cannabis being authorized for medical purposes in their jurisdiction.  Health Canada will also continue to support law enforcement representatives by providing a dedicated phone line that is accessible 24 hours a day and seven days a week to confirm, when necessary, that specific individuals are authorized to possess or produce a limited amount of cannabis for medical purposes.   
The ACMPR will continue to be evaluated in an effort to ensure that individuals authorized to access cannabis for their own medical purposes have reasonable access.  Health Canada is also committed to studying other models, including pharmacy distribution, to provide access to cannabis for medical purposes.
Canadians are reminded that access to cannabis for medical purposes is only permitted under the terms and conditions set out in these regulations.  Storefronts selling marijuana, commonly known as "dispensaries" and "compassion clubs" are not authorized to sell cannabis for medical or any other purposes. These operations are illegally supplied, and provide products that are unregulated and may be unsafe. Illegal storefront distribution and sale of cannabis in Canada are subject to law enforcement action.
The ACMPR are designed to provide an immediate solution required to address the Court judgement.  These regulatory changes should not be interpreted as being the longer-term plan for the regulation of access to cannabis for medical purposes, which is presently being determined as part of the Government's commitment to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to marijuana.
Related links:

Information Bulletin: Safety and Security Considerations When Producing Cannabis for Your Own Medical Purposes

Fact Sheet: Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

Understanding the New Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Contacts : Media Relations, Health Canada, (613) 957-2983 Public Inquiries, (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709


Government of Canada moves forward on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation


CanadaTask force and public consultation to inform creation of a new system that will protect and inform Canadians

OTTAWA, June 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, Canada is taking an important step towards legalizing, strictly regulating and restricting access to marijuana, working to ensure marijuana is kept out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals.
The Government of Canada launched a task force and public consultation that will inform the creation of a new system. The government also released a discussion paper that outlines key areas where expertise and public input are required.   
The Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation, chaired by the Honourable Anne McLellan, and vice-chaired by Dr. Mark Ware, is made up of nine distinguished experts in public health, substance abuse, law enforcement and justice. Over the coming weeks and months, the Task Force will meet with provincial, territorial and municipal governments and experts in relevant fields, including: public health, substance abuse, criminal justice, law enforcement, economics, industry and those with expertise in production, sales and distribution.  The Task Force will also engage representatives from Indigenous governments and organizations, as well as young Canadians.
In addition, all Canadians will have an opportunity to share their views on the design of this new system at www.canada.ca/health until August 29, 2016. The public consultation will seek input on all the key areas of inquiry for the Task Force, including effective prevention and harm reduction, ensuring safe and responsible production, and enforcing public safety.
"We have confidence that the individuals who make up the Task Force have the expertise, knowledge and credibility necessary to provide us with thoughtful advice on the design of a system of strict marijuana production, distribution, and regulated sales." 
Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
"Our Government is moving forward with an approach to marijuana that is both comprehensive and evidence-based. We are committed to moving ahead in a responsible way, acknowledging and addressing the health risks associated with recreational use of marijuana, especially the health risks to young Canadians."
Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
"‎Our Government's efforts to legalize and regulate marijuana will help keep it out of the hands of children, prevent drug-impaired driving, and stop criminals from profiting from it. These public safety imperatives are at the core of our plan. The Task Force, which includes experts in the fields of law enforcement and justice, will ensure this process is accomplished in a safe and orderly manner."
Ralph Goodale
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"I am proud to be part of this historic, open and transparent engagement process, and I am confident that the resulting legislation will be robust and well informed by the input of experts in many fields, as well as individual Canadians."
Bill Blair
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Quick Facts
  • The Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation will consult with Canadians and experts to provide information to the Government that will help inform the design of a new legislative system. Their report will be presented to Ministers in November 2016.  The final report will be made public by the Ministers once they have had the opportunity to consider its advice.
  • The illegal marijuana industry is estimated at $7 Billion per year—which costs governments $2.3 Billion to enforce.
  • Canada has one of the highest rates of marijuana use in the world among children and youth.
  • The Discussion Paper sets out the objectives of the new system for restricted access to marijuana, and identifies specific issues and options for which the Government is seeking Canadians' views.
  • The Government of Canada has committed to introducing legislation on the legalization and strict regulation of marijuana in the spring of 2017. The legislation will come into effect once the regulations are developed and brought into force. The creation of the Task Force is a first step.
  • Until new legislation comes into effect, the current laws and rules remain in place.
Related Products
Discussion Paper

Consultation on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
Biographies of Task Force members
Task Force Terms of Reference
Statement on Current Marijuana Laws
SOURCE: Health Canada

For further information: Contacts: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Health Canada Media Relations, 613-957-2983; Joanne Ghiz, Minister of Justice Spokesperson, Office of the Minister of Justice, 613-992-4621; Department of Justice Media Relations, 613-957-4207; Scott Bardsley, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681; Public Safety Canada Media Relations, 613-991-0657



This week, from April 19 to 21, governments will meet at the United Nations (UN) in New York for the biggest international meeting on drugs since 1998. Canada’s own delegation will be led by Health Minister Jane Philpott. But, with deep divisions on policy approaches and a process rife with problems, can progress be made? Here are four things you need to know about the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the “world drug problem.”
Here are the 4 issues Nazlee Maghsoudi tackles:

1. A global consensus on drugs no longer exists.
2. The pending outcome document has already faced criticism.
3. The preparation process has been beset with problems.
4. Canada is carefully crafting a position on treaty compliance and cannabis policy reform.

Read full report on OpenCanada.org


Health Minister confirms Canada's way forward on marijuana for medical purposes 




OTTAWA, March 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, issued the following statement regarding the matter of Allard v. Canada:

Following a careful review of the Federal Court's decision in the matter of Allard v. Canada, the Government of Canada has decided not to appeal the decision. In the coming months, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) will be amended to give effect to the Court's judgement.  The Government's intention is to have completed the amendment process by August 24, 2016, which is the timeframe set by the judgement

In the meantime, I would like to remind authorized medical marijuana users that the MMPR remain in full effect.  Unless one is covered by a Court injunction, Licensed Producers are the only legal way to obtain marijuana for medical purposes.

At the same time, our Government will be moving forward with the legalization, strict regulation and restriction of access to marijuana. In the near future, a Task Force will be established that will consult broadly with experts in public health, substance abuse and law enforcement in order to examine and report on all of the issues related to legalization.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Media Relations: Health Canada, (613) 957-2983

Press Release: Newswire.Ca



Ban on medical marijuana patients growing own pot struck down by Federal Court



By Mike Laanela on February 24, 2016

A Federal Court judge has struck down federal regulations restricting the rights of medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis and given the Liberal government six months to come up with new rules.

Judge Michael Phelan ruled Wednesday in Vancouver that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations were an infringement on charter rights and declared they have no force and effect.

But the judge also suspended his declaration for six months to give the federal government time to come up with new rules.


More @ CBC News



Tweed Connects with Snoop Dogg!


Okay Canada, time to get excited. In a newly announced deal, music icon and MERRY JANE founder, Snoop Dogg has teamed up with Canada’s very own Tweed Inc. Tweed Inc. is Canada’s number one producer of medical cannabis which is why it’s no shocker they have entered into a partnership with Snoop Dogg for the betterment of cannabis. Our northern homie Mark Zekulin, Tweed’s president, said in the announcement that “Our team is proud to bring Snoop into the fold.” He continued with, “Today we’re announcing our partnership and welcoming him to one of Canada’s most exciting industries. Over the coming months we’ll unveil the specifics, and until then all I can say is ‘stay tuned.’


More @ Merry Jane

Pot.Ca comment :
Big wave of good energy. The present and future are bright.

Marijuana regulation is coming to Canada — here are five things to know



Canada may become the second country to implement legalization of marijuana nationally. Nazlee Maghsoudi, with the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, explains the thinking behind such legislation.


If you paid any attention during the run up to the federal election, you know about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to regulate recreational cannabis use in Canada. From the inclusion of cannabis policy reform in the speech from the throne to the mandate letter to the Minister of Justice, the Liberals have shown that they see this issue as a major part of their platform and they are committed to following through. And with a majority Liberal government in place, Canada appears all but set to become the second country in the world after Uruguay to develop a national regulatory framework for cannabis. Nazlee Maghsoudi, with the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, explains the thinking behind such legislation.


Here are the 5 Questions Nazlee Maghsoudi tackles:

1. Legalization doesn’t mean cannabis is harmless, but it acknowledges that prohibition has done more harm than good.

2. Decriminalization is not as far-reaching.

3. Regulation rules can vary, will dictate outcomes, and are adaptable.

4. Stakeholder input is crucial.

5. Canada is joining a global movement of cannabis (and drug) policy reform.


More @ OpenCanada.org



 Scientists demand a new approach to evaluating illicit drug policy


TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientific experts from around the world are calling on governments to better align illicit drug policy goals with community concerns. According to an open letter released by the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP), while governments measure illicit drug policies primarily based on their capacity to reduce the availability of illicit drugs, this ignores the 'real world' impact of drug policies on the health, security, development, and human rights of affected communities. This call comes as the international community focuses unprecedented attention towards the world drug problem.


In advance of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) – the largest international meeting on drug policy since 1998 – leading researchers are asking national governments and UN agencies to commit to revising the indicators currently used to evaluate drug control policies. Scientists held a panel to release the open letter at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City today, where the UNGASS will be held in April this year.

"To date, the impact of drug policies has traditionally been measured using a very narrow set of indicators totally detached from community concerns about health, safety, human rights and development," said Dr. Dan Werb, Director of the ICSDP. "The scientific evidence suggests that conventional drug policies have little to no impact on patterns of illicit drug use. What's equally important, though, is that these conventional indicators – like the amount of drugs seized or the price and purity of illicit drugs – totally fail to capture the most important ways in which drugs and drug policies affect communities."

The open letter, signed by leading drug policy experts – including Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and Dr. Julio Montaner, Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS – outlines extensive scientific evidence that the indicators used to evaluate drug policy ignore some of the most important community impacts. In response, the open letter includes a preliminary set of suggested indicators that allow for governments to better assess the health, security, development and human rights impacts of their drug policies.

Dr. David Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, explained, "Governments have yet to systematically measure and evaluate their policies based on health and security outcomes experienced by communities. These outcomes include the numbers of fatal overdose, blood-borne disease transmission rates, or traffic accidents – all of which have a far more meaningful impact on communities than measuring the level of drug use in the general population, or the amount of drugs that have been seized annually.  While these may be important statistics, they tell us very little about how drugs are impacting communities."

More @ PR Newswire



 Seventeen Years After Setting the Wrong Goal, the UN Aims to Get Drug Policy Right


By Daniel Wolfe & Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch on Dec 17, 2015

What do drug experts in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the United States have in common? They all recognize that the war on drugs has failed, and that it’s time for a change.

It’s been 17 years since world leaders assembled at the 1998 special session of the United Nations to discuss the global drug problem. The slogan of that meeting was, “A Drug-Free World: We Can Do It.” But they couldn’t do it. The effort to eliminate all drug production and impose a zero-tolerance approach to drug use didn’t work. In fact, these efforts have done more harm than good the world over.

More @ Open Society Foundations        


PDF | Vol. 5, No. 4 (2009)
PDF | Vol. 5, No. 4 (2009) 
PDF | Vol. 5, No. 4 (2009           


Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

UNGASS 2016: Background memo on the proposal to establish an expert advisory group

Several countries have recently expressed support for the idea to use the mechanism of an expert advisory group again for the UNGASS in 2016

Significant changes in the global drug policy landscape are shaping up in the UNGASS 2016 preparations, in the direction of more humane and proportional responses based on health, human rights and development principles. But few countries are willing to openly acknowledge the existence of structural deficiencies with regard to UN system-wide coherence, the institutional architecture and the legal treaty framework. In spite of more and more cracks in the Vienna consensus and treaty breaches in the area of cannabis policies, questioning the basic principles of the international drug control system is still largely a political taboo.

application-pdfDownload the memo (PDF)