Cannabis is currently considered a Schedule II controlled substance in Canada, except in cases of medical use. As the legal framework for cannabis changes in Canada, many Canadians have questions about the legal status of and regulations surrounding medical marijuana. How is it changing? What are the current rules?
If you’ve been wondering about medical cannabis regulations in Canada, here are four facts you need to know.
1. You Must Qualify under the ACMPR
For those looking to access medical cannabis, they’ll need to qualify under the ACMPR. This includes being recommended and obtaining an authorization from a healthcare provider or another medical professional.
Under the ACMPR, you’ll be able to carry more than the personal amount allotted under the current framework for legalization. You’ll need to access medical cannabis provided by a licensed producer as well.
Medical cannabis will continue to be regulated separately from recreational cannabis, which is good news for medical cannabis patients. If you’re wondering about medical cannabis, talk to a medical professional and see if it could be right for you.
2. You Must Comply with Your Authorization
Currently, medical cannabis can only be possessed and taken by those patients who have an authorization from a medical professional to do so. The authorization contains information about the dose you take and how long you’ll be taking the medication.
An authorization is very specific about the dose and amount of medical cannabis you can have. It also specifies the duration of when you will potentially have medical cannabis on your person and when you’re allowed to. If you fail to comply, you will be considered to be carrying an illegal substance.
For example, if your authorization says you can have 30 grams of cannabis for the month of June, you cannot have 31 grams on June 1 nor can you have even one gram on July 1. Since medical marijuana patients will be authorized to have more cannabis on them than recreational users under the general legalization framework, the importance of an authorization will remain even after recreational marijuana is legalized.
3. Only Licensed Producers Can Sell
In Canada currently, only licensed producers can grow and sell medical marijuana. This system began in order to control the quantity and quality of medical cannabis being provided to patients under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Health Canada reviews applications and approves licences for producers.
The system of licensed producers isn’t going anywhere any time soon, either. In the face of legalization, most Canadian provinces have turned to licensed producers to supply the legal market. This is good news, particularly for medical marijuana patients. Patients need to be assured of the quality of their medications, and medical cannabis is no exception. The licensed producer system helps maintain the high quality and consistency of the product.
4. Patients Can Grow at Home
Under the ACMPR, medical cannabis patients can act as licensed producers by supplying cannabis to themselves. They’re able to grow a small amount of medical cannabis for their own use under the terms of the regulations.
Homegrown medical cannabis cannot be sold to others without a license. With the legalization of Canada allowing for personal production, this rule is also unlikely to change.