By Hugo Alves, Mike Lickver, Vladimir Klacar and Nic Nevins
On August 24, 2016, in response to Justice Phelan’s judgment in the case of Allard v Canada, Health Canada implemented the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), replacing the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). In Allard, Justice Phelan found the MMPR to be unconstitutional due to the restrictions it placed on a patient’s ability to reasonably access medical cannabis, however, the declaration of invalidity was suspended for six months to allow the government to establish a new regime for access to medical cannabis.
Unlike the MMPR, which requires patients to access medical cannabis solely from a licensed producer (LP) (with very limited exceptions), the ACMPR allows patients to cultivate cannabis for personal use or to designate an individual to cultivate on their behalf. The personal cultivation framework is similar to the old Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). The ACMPR also incorporates the various exemptions issued by Health Canada pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) in response to the Supreme Court ruling in R v Smith, which allowed patients to obtain and possess cannabis in forms other than dried marihuana. As a result of these changes, the ACMPR has expanded the ways in which patients are able to access medical cannabis.
The following are four key takeaways that medical cannabis patients, particularly those that intend to cultivate their own cannabis under the ACMPR, should consider. (more…)