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Tag Archive: medical marijuana

Federal Judge allows Medical Marijuana users to grow pot

On Wednesday, February 24 in Vancouver, Federal Judge, Michael Phelan, struck down the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations that restricted medical marijuana patients from growing their own marijuana.

Judge Phelan ruled that the regulations “were an infringement on charter rights and declared they have no force and effect.” However, he suspended his ruling for six months for the federal government to determine new rules. He also made sure to point out that this new ruling doesn’t change other laws that make it illegal for Canadians to use or grow pot recreationally.

The Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations was introduced in 2013 by the Conservative Government. Under it, medical marijuana patients were required to buy cannabis from licenses producers instead of growing their own. Neil Allard and three other British Columbia residents challenged this regulation, stating it violated their charter rights.

While this new ruling is a definite victory for medical marijuana users, there are still some limitations. For one, it only applies to about 28,000 Canadian who already had the proper licenses at the time of the injunction. Lawyer John Conroy, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, stated that there are thousands of other medical marijuana users not covered by the original injunction and they will have to wait six months before they can start legally growing their own cannabis. He also said that if someone had to change the address of their production site, their possession license is no longer valid with Health Canada and warns users with licenses to ensure that they’re up-to-date.

Read more about this case, the new ruling, and Judge Phelan’s decision on the CBC News website.

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Cannabis Oils Ready for Health Canada Approval

Health Canada has given medical marijuana producers the okay to start producing “plant-based extracts”, including cannabis oil, with the expectation that it will be approved in the coming months.

The reason for the update in the medical marijuana laws is the mounting evidence the non-psychoactive aspect of cannabis oil, cannabidiol, can be used by patients to control severe seizures. Many have reported seeing significant improvement in symptoms by taking cannabis oil that traditional prescription drugs haven’t been able to provide. Some parents were even manufacturing the oil themselves to administer to children with seizures, the improvement in symptoms was so significant.

Medicinal marijuana manufacturers are preparing these cannabis oil products as gel capsules (which are easier to take than, for example, making brownies with dried marijuana that increases the amount of sugar and calories consumed by those who need it for medical reasons) and as a topical product that patients can use to treat skin conditions. The medical marijuana producers Bedrocan and Tweed have stated that each oil produced could include a different combination of marijuana strains to help treat different medical conditions.

Patients who already have a prescription for dried marijuana will not need a new one to access cannabis oil. Oil extracts can be delivered by mail or courier, just like dried marijuana, and the prices are also expected to be similar, if not slightly higher.

Health Canada has stated that once marijuana growers receive a supplemental license to make cannabis oil, they will be able to create the product; however they are not allowed to sell it just yet. Health Canada will conduct a formal inspection of the facilities to determine if the products meet the requirements for sale. If those requirements are met, they will then receive another license to sell the product.

To learn more about the legalization of cannabis oil in Canada, click here.

Features image source: Inside Toronto

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Supreme Court Legalizes Consumption of Medical Marijuana

The highest court in Canada recently broadened the definition of medical marijuana, unanimously ruling that it can now be consumed by patients in forms such as pills, brownies, teas and oils. Previously, medical marijuana patients were restricted to using marijuana in a “dried” form.

The ruling comes from the federal government’s case against  Owen Smith, a baker for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club who was arrested in 2009.  Smith was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and unlawful possession of marijuana after he was found with over 200 marijuana cookies for the club.

But a British Columbia judge acquitted Smith, ruling that the law he was charged under is unconstitutional and violated Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person. A B.C. Appeal Court affirmed this ruling, maintaining that a person cannot be convicted under an unconstitutional law.

While the federal government had appealed that ruling, the Supreme Court’s decision affirms Smith’s acquittal.

Not everyone is pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling, though: in a press conference, Health Minister Rona Ambrose said she was “outraged” at the decision.

She stressed that Health Canada is the only body who can “make a drug into a medicine,” and highlighted the need for Health Canada to put marijuana through its regulatory approval process, consisting of a safety review and clinical trials.

For more on this story, click here.

Featured image source: Associated Press

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