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Health Canada Issues Statement Regarding New Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

Aug 15, 2016

On August 11, 2016, Health Canada released a statement and backgrounder regarding the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (“ACMPR”). The full text of the ACMPR will be released on August 24, 2016. 

The ACMPR is Health Canada’s response to the Federal Court’s decision in Allard v. Canada.  [Allard v. Canada, 2016 FC 236 (CanLII)]  In Allard, the Federal Court determined that the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (“MMPR”) were unconstitutional under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) for failing to provide reasonable access to medical marihuana for patients with medical authorization.  However, the Court delayed the declaration of invalidity striking down the MMPR until August 24, 2016 to allow Health Canada to issue new guidelines to remedy the Charter breaches found by the Court.

According to the statement and backgrounder, the ACMPR will allow individuals with medical authorization to access medical marihuana in one of three ways:

1. Purchase from a licensed commercial producer;

2. Produce their own; or

3. Designate another party to produce on their behalf.

Of note is Health Canada’s position that storefront distribution and sale (i.e. dispensaries and compassion clubs) remain illegal and subject to law enforcement action.

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Related Blog Posts: Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations Now In ForceCity of Toronto Clamps Down on Medical Marihuana DispensariesFederal Court Strikes Down Marihuana for Medical Purposes RegulationsCity of Toronto Enacts Zoning By-laws to Regulate Medical Marihuana Production FacilitiesFederal Court Extends Marihuana Medical Access Regulations;  Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations: New Licensing Regime for Commercial Producers, Municipal Notification Requirements

Author(s): Peter Gross

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