The Washington Post recently reported on Canada’s decision to allow medical cannabis patients to grow a “limited number” of plants after registering with Health Canada. The move follows complaints that affordable medical cannabis isn’t always available to patients. The application process is fairly complicated and included requirements such as a letter from the patient’s physician and information on where the cannabis will be grown and how it will be handled after harvest.
Patients will also be allowed to designate a third party to act as their grower with provisos that the designated person should not have a history of drug-related criminal offences and that one grower may not act on behalf of more than two patients. The amount of cannabis to be allowed to each patient will depend on doctors’ recommendations, and will be designed to meet needs without creating surplus.
Seeds will have to come from licensed providers, and young plants can also be bought and grown on. While patients wait for their plants to be big enough to yield their required cannabis, the shortfall can be made up by buying cannabis from these providers.
Judge says patient’s liberties should be respected
Previously, medical cannabis users in Canada had to buy their cannabis from a government licensed supplier, but a judge found that this provision violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result the request that patients should be allowed to grow their own cannabis has been upheld.
Meanwhile, Canadians await full legalization of cannabis, but this is only expected to take place in 2017, and in the meanwhile, existing laws still stand.
Canadians’ impatience shows in open law violations
As Canadians wait for laws allowing more widespread access to cannabis, pot shots are openly springing up in many cities. Despite attempts to shut down illegal dispensaries, members of the public are gravitating towards them, either for medical or recreational reasons. Naturally, many government approved dispensaries are objecting strenuously, but so far, little has been done to stem the tide.
Many feel that the current “wild west” condition of the cannabis industry in Canada is damaging the legitimacy of the cannabis industry as a whole and the use of medical cannabis in particular. An entrepreneur who has been struggling to obtain a medical cannabis growing license for many years says that he feels that his entire business model is now in jeopardy.
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