The MMPR represent a comprehensive response to a number of concerns raised over the past years and during the public comment period following the introduction of the draft regulations in December 2012.
The regulations aim to treat marihuana as much as possible like any other narcotic used for medical purposes by creating conditions for a new, commercial industry that is responsible for its production and distribution. The regulations will provide access to quality-controlled marihuana for medical purposes, produced under secure and sanitary conditions, to those Canadians who need it, while strengthening the safety of Canadian communities. In addition, the new regulations will also provide more choices of marihuana strains and commercial suppliers.
Under the new regulations:
-- the process for applicants and health care practitioners will be streamlined, eliminating the need for individuals to provide Health Canada with their personal information or apply to the department for an Authorization to Possess;-- personal and designated production by individuals in their homes will be eliminated on March 31, 2014;-- current options to access marihuana for medical purposes will be replaced by regulated, commercial Licensed Producers who will be able to produce a variety of strains, thereby offering more choice to individuals who use marihuana for medical purposes;-- Licensed Producers will have to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements such as quality control standards, record-keeping of all activities as well as inventories of marihuana, and physical security measures to protect against potential diversion;-- Licensed Producers will distribute marihuana for medical purposes to the registered client via secure courier;-- storefronts or retail outlets will not be permitted; and,-- for the first time, nurse practitioners will be able to support access to dried marihuana for medical purposes, if permitted within their respective province or territory.
Under the new regulations, licensed producers will have to meet extensive security and quality control requirements. For example, when potential licensed producers apply to Health Canada for a license, they must demonstrate that:
-- They employ a quality assurance person with appropriate training, experience and technical knowledge to approve the quality of their dried marihuana;-- Their production site is indoors, and not in a private dwelling. This would reduce the risk of diversion posted by outdoor production and would reduce health and safety risks associated with producing marihuana in a private dwelling;-- The production site includes restricted-access areas, which would include all areas where a licensed activity is conducted with marihuana and cannabis other than marihuana (i.e. lab, production room, etc);-- Access to the production site is controlled at all times and includes 24/7 visual monitoring systems and an intrusion detection system to detect unauthorized access;-- Key personnel hold a valid security clearance, issued by the Minister of Health; and,-- They have provided a written notification of their application, providing details regarding the location of the production site, to the local police force, local fire authority and local government.
Health care practitioners will sign a medical document enabling patients to purchase the appropriate amount for their medical condition from a Licensed Producer approved by Health Canada.