The way individuals access cannabis for medical purposes is changing. On August 24th 2016, the “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations” will replace the “Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations”.
The main novelty is that registered Canadian patients are now allowed to grow a “small amount” once they go through an approval process with Health Canada. The limit is based on personal medical necessities, as described by a medical professional. Patients are also allowed to designate someone to grow for them, or continue to purchase from a licensed producer.
Patients have to get seeds from a licensed producer directly. In Canada there are only 34 authorized producers, they will remain the main source of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The language of the new program mostly refers to cannabis as being illegal unless authorized, and doesn’t specify anything about souvenir seeds. Therefore, the dispensaries are not authorized for sale with a recreational or medicinal purpose. Their seeds still have to be sold as souvenirs.
Law enforcement officials have a central role in enforcing the regulations, including whether individuals who possess, produce, sell or provide and transport, deliver or ship cannabis are operating outside of the “Acces to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations” framework. Officers can contact Health Canada to verify that a licensed producer, a patient or a designated person are authorized.
The role of Canadian doctors in this matter is the same that in the previous regulation. These professionals are responsible for authorizing their patients to use cannabis to treat their illnesses.
Also, it remains illegal for a company or an individual to advertise cannabis to the general public.