Canada’s federal government is expected to announce new rules for medical marijuana that would allow only a few licensed growers to be permitted to cultivate cannabis.
The move would eliminate individual and private growers from the current system, under which eligible people apply to Health Canada, which then issues the license, reports Amy Minsky at Postmedia News
People in the medical marijuana dispensing community who have heard about the impending change said it is unwelcome, and will do more harm than good.
|Photo: Montreal Mirror|
|Adam Greenblatt, Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries: “They’ll effectively be removing the rights of medical cannabis patients to produce their own cannabis”|
“They’ll effectively be removing the rights of medical cannabis patients to produce their own cannabis,” said Adam Greenblatt, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.
“That’s problematic because you have patients who spend many years trying to find the variety that works for them, and also because some patients have invested a lot of money in growing supplies,” Greenblatt said.
Steve Outhouse, a spokesman for the health minister, said they will begin working on new rules in the “near future.”
Outhouse wouldn’t give details on any changes, but he claimed the rules “will balance patient access to medical marijuana while strengthening public safety.”
Anti-pot mayors and councillors across Canada have supposedly complained about the current system, claiming it poses dangers when growers don’t follow local electrical, health and safety bylaws.
Delegates at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference approved a resolution earlier this month to ask that Health Canada issue cannabis growing licenses only to growers who have already received a license from their respective municipality.
Two mayors in metro Vancouver wrote in March to Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, claiming “too many licenses” are floating around, making it impossible for municipalities to determine who is licensed and whether those growers are operating safely.
The mayors of Langley City and Langley Township also claimed they knew “based on actual cases, that there is a significant misuse of many licenses and the volume of product produced often exceeds an individual’s personal requirement.” Oh, horrors.
Late last month, RCMP drug investigators arrested three men and seized a helicopter after raiding a Maple Ridge property growing almost seven times more marijuana than its two medical cannabis licenses permitted. They found 1,490 plants instead of the 220 permitted by two licenses provided by Health Canada to grow medical marijuana.