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The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR)

2013 - The New Industry in Canada - Commercial Medical Cannabis Production & Distribution

Opportunity - Licenced Commercial Production of Marihuana for Medical Purposes

1. How would I apply to become a licensed producer under the new program?

All applicants for a producer's licence would have to comply with the regulatory requirements of the proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations. Among other requirements, applicants would have to demonstrate to Health Canada that their facility and procedures meet extensive physical security requirements, including a site design and security system that prevents unauthorized access.

Applicants and key personnel would have to hold a valid security clearance, issued by the Minister of Health.

Applicants would also have to provide a detailed description of the method that they propose to use to record all transactions with marihuana for medical purposes, so that the government could track all activities associated with this controlled substance. They would be subject to compliance and enforcement measures, including regular audits and Health Canada inspections.

The proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations provide advance notice of the requirements for licensed producers under the revised Program.

A draft application form and relevant draft guidance documents to apply to become a licensed producer will be made available before the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations come into force, which is expected to be in Spring 2013.

2. I am interested in applying for a producer's licence. What can I do now to begin preparing for the new program?

You can apply to become authorized to conduct certain research and development activities with marihuana now, including testing marihuana plant materials and growing conditions.

Beginning these research and development activities now could help you to be ready to apply for a producer's licence when the regulations come into force.

However, authorization to conduct research and development is not a guarantee that you will receive a producer's licence under the proposed regulations. You would still be required to apply for a producer's licence once the regulations are promulgated, and you would still have to demonstrate compliance with all of the regulatory requirements.

3. How much will licensed producers charge for dried marihuana under the new program?

As licensed producers would be responsible for setting the price, it is unknown at this time what the cost of dried marihuana for medical purposes will be under the proposed new system.

4. What if I can't afford the cost of dried marihuana for medical purposes from a licensed producer?

You may wish to consult your health care practitioner to discuss other options, including adjusting the daily quantity of dried marihuana or finding an alternative.

5. Will licensed producers be authorized to make marihuana products like creams or cookies?

The new regulations would limit licensed producers to the production and distribution of dried marihuana only. No extractions of active ingredients (such as resin or oil) would be permitted.

6. How will the new regulations affect an individual who is authorized to possess or licensed to produce at the time the new program is in effect?

The changes would not be finalized until the proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations come into force, which is expected in the Spring of 2013. Until that time, authorized individuals can continue to access dried marihuana for medical purposes through the current program.

In order to facilitate the transition from the current program to the new system, both the current Marihuana Medical Access Regulations and the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations would operate concurrently until March 31, 2014.

Individuals would have the ability to move from their current means of accessing marihuana for medical purposes (Personal-use production licence, Designated-person production licence, or Health Canada supply) to purchasing it from licensed producers.

However, as of October 1, 2013, Health Canada would no longer accept new applications under the current program for production licences or applications to change the location of a production site. This is because the time required to obtain seeds and produce a viable crop of marihuana for medical purposes is approximately six months and all production under the current program must end on March 31, 2014.

Health Canada would continue to renew personal use and designated production licences under the current MMAR.

Health Canada's supply, as well as the supply provided by approved licensed producers, would be available during this time period.

For new applicants, after October 1, 2013, individuals requiring access to marihuana for medical purposes who do not already hold a valid production licence for a given site would either have to obtain dried marihuana from Health Canada, or go directly to an approved licensed producer.

As of March 31, 2014, the current Marihuana Medical Access Program would end. Health Canada would no longer produce or sell marihuana for medical purposes, and home production would no longer be allowed. All individuals requiring marihuana for medical purposes would have to purchase it from an approved licensed producer.

All program participants will be given sufficient notice of when any Program changes will occur.

7. What do I do with my plants and dried marihuana now?

Changes would not be finalized until the proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations come into force, which is expected in the Spring of 2013.

From Spring 2013 to March 31, 2014 there will be a transition period where the current program and the new system would operate concurrently.

The new system of supply and distribution of marihuana for medical purposes by licensed producers is anticipated to be fully operational by April 1, 2014.

Until that time, authorized individuals can continue to access dried marihuana for medical purposes through the current Marihuana Medical Access Program. However, as soon as licensed producers are approved by Health Canada and established, individuals would have the ability to access dried marihuana for medical purposes under the new system.

All program participants will be given sufficient notice of when any Program changes will occur.

8. When and where the proposed regulations will be published?

The proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations are currently available for comment on the Canada Gazette site. Comments will be accepted for a period of 75 days, ending ending February 28, 2013.

The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations are anticipated to be come into force in Spring 2013.

The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations will create a brand new industry in Canada.

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