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Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations: New Licensing Regime for Commercial Producers, Municipal Notification Requirements

Jul 29, 2013

Commercial Licences to Produce

On June 10, 2013 Health Canada issued new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (“MMPR”) to improve access to medical marihuana by introducing a new regime to allow commercial production of medical marihuana and shipment directly to authorized users.

Licences can be issued by Health Canada to individuals or corporations that allow for the production, sale and shipment of marihuana subject to strict site security restrictions aimed at preventing diversion to the unregulated marketplace. The new regulations are in effect concurrently with the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (“MMAR”) that have been in effect since 2001.

In announcing the new regulations to the public, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health stated: Under the new regulations, production will no longer take place in homes and municipal zoning laws will need to be respected, which will further enhance public safety”.

Municipal Notification Requirements

Before submitting an application for a new or amended licence to produce, an applicant must notify the local government, fire department and police force in writing of the location of the proposed production facility, the regulated activities that will take place on the site and the date on which the application will be submitted to Health Canada. All applications must be accompanied by a declaration specifying the names of the officials who were given notice, the date notice was given together with a copy of each notice.

Once a licence has been issued, amended or renewed, a licensee has 30 days to provide written notice of the issuance and a copy of the licence to the same local authorities who received notice of the applicant’s intent to submit the application.

Sunset Provisions of Marihuana Medical Access Regulations

Until September 30, 2013 Health Canada will continue to accept Designated Person Production Licence applications under the MMAR regime. Licences issued under these regulations will expire on March 31, 2014 and on that date the regulations will be repealed. As of April 1, 2014, all marihuana for medical purposes must be produced by a commercial producer licensed under the MMRP.

View the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

View the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations.

View Health Canada’s press release.

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Author(s): Peter Gross

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