Canada: New Regulatory Regime for Medical Marijuana Lacks Teeth amid Legal Wrangle
New medical marijuana regulations are supposed to go into effect today in Canada. However, the most important provision — a cultivation restriction to only a few commercial producers and a ban on home cultivation — is subject to a court injunction, leaving the law in limbo.
While the Canadian Medical Association “remains adamant that it will not throw its support behind medical use of the drug,” a 14-year-old court ruling mandates reasonable access to marijuana for medical purposes, and a more recent ruling specifically puts the current regulatory regime on hold.
Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose has voiced her disapproval, both for the recent ruling and marijuana as “not an approved drug or medicine in Canada.” She and the federal government shall appeal to have the injunction lifted.
Lynne Belle-Isle, chair of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, counters that all this legal ambiguity and intimidation has just created confusion as growers are not able to plan and may inadvertently find themselves on the wrong side of the law.