To help health care practitioners, Health Canada has updated and will soon publish the "Information for Health Care Professionals - Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) and the cannabinoids" on its web site. The document will present a summary of the peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature concerning potential therapeutic uses and harmful effects of cannabis (marihuana) and cannabinoids.
In order to facilitate the transition from the MMAP to the new regime, both will operate concurrently until March 31, 2014. Program participants can continue to produce marihuana for medical purposes, designate someone to produce for them, or purchase it from Health Canada until that date.
Effective October 1, 2013, new applications for personal or designated production licences will no longer be accepted by Health Canada. At any time during the transition period, individuals can move from their current means of accessing marihuana for medical purposes to purchasing it from Licensed Producers under the new regime.
The current program costs Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars each year because the $5/gram charged to program participants who choose to purchase from Health Canada is heavily subsidized. Under the new regime, Licensed Producers will set the price for marihuana for medical purposes. Once the first established Licensed Producers have set a price for dried marihuana, Health Canada will align the price of its supply with the market price so as not to undermine the creation of this new industry.
Transitioning to the New System
The Government of Canada has introduced new regulations that will change the way Canadians access marihuana for medical purposes. The new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) will be published in Canada Gazette, Part II, on June 19, 2013. The current Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) will be repealed on March 31, 2014. During this transition period, both regulations will be in force. Below are some key dates during the transition period.
June 19, 2013
-- The Application Form to Become a Licensed Producer, Guidance Document for Applications to Become a Licensed Producer, and Security Clearance Application Form for parties interested in applying to become a Licensed Producer of marihuana for medical purposes will be posted to the Health Canada website.-- Additional information such as guidance documents on product quality and security requirements will also be posted to help Licensed Producers comply with the MMPR.
June 19, 2013 - March 31, 2014
-- During the transition period, individuals who have the support of their health care practitioner have the choice of: -- Continuing to access dried marihuana through the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP) until March 31, 2014; -- Registering with, and ordering directly from, an available Licensed Producer under the new regime; or, -- Applying under the MMAP and transferring to the new regime by March 31, 2014.
October 1, 2013
-- New applications for personal-use and designated-person production licences, and applications to change the location of a production site or the number of plants are no longer accepted by Health Canada. However, Health Canada will continue to renew personal-use and designated-person production licences under the MMAP.-- New applicants to the current program will either have to obtain dried marihuana from Health Canada, or go directly to an approved Licensed Producer.-- Individuals who obtain support from their health care practitioner by means of a medical document under the new system can only obtain their supply of dried marihuana from a Licensed Producer.
March 31, 2014
-- The MMAR are repealed and the MMAP ends.-- All Authorizations to Possess (ATP), Personal-Use Production Licenses (PUPL) or Designated-Person Production Licences (DPPL) expire.
April 1, 2014
-- Health Canada will no longer sell and distribute marihuana for medical purposes.-- Personal and designated production is no longer permitted. All PUPL or DPPL holders must safely dispose of all dried marihuana and marihuana plants.-- The only legal source to obtain marihuana for medical purposes for Canadians is from Licensed Producers under the new regime.-- ATPs issued under the MMAR cannot be used by an individual as a valid authorization to possess dried marihuana for medical purposes.-- ATPs are valid for registration with a Licensed Producer until the validity date (the latest date specified on the document).
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health