Canadian Medical Cannabis History & Current State

Understanding the laws and regulations in Canada has been really complicated.

knowing the laws and your rights are important.

THE BRIEF HISTORY - of cannabis in canada:

The laws governing the legal access to medical cannabis are constantly changing.

RCMP publicly deems Marijuana is a morality issues - Painting a picture of the early stigma in Canada. In 1969, the Le Dain Commission held a nationwide inquiry including the testimony of then Assistant RCMP Commissioner Rene Raoul Carriere. Carriere first conceded that “cannabis causes no known and demonstrated pathological effects.” but then continued to state that its use must be “halted at all cost” on moral grounds. He further stated that the burden of permanent criminal records would be a small price to pay “if we are saving hundreds of thousands of our youth from the scourge of drug abuse.” 


---- Fast forward multiple  multiple decades, countless canadians battling this war on drugs, war on cannabis. ----

R. v. Parker (2000) - The federal courts deemed it a constitutional right to choose cannabis as medicine without fear of criminal sanction.
2001 - Federal Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) – The MMAR was created and allowed people to gain access to cannabis (only in its dried flwoer form) either through Health Canada, Self-production, or a Designated producer (having someone grow for you). At this point in time the process for gaining access would take between 3 months to 1 year and personal possession and personal grow license limits were significantly larger than what Canadians experience under the ACMPR.

March 31, 2014 the MMAR was discontinued by the Government of Canada. Accessing marijuana for medical purposes under the MMAR system is no longer available to Canadians. 

  • Instead, it was replaced by the MMPR (Marihuana for Medical Purpose Regulations), whereby the decision to use medical marijuana is solely between you and the doctor. The process is facilitated by a document, to be signed by a health care practitioner. This regulation change sped up the process for getting your medical cannabis paperwork. The Canadian federal government created a License Producer regulated program in which Canadians were now required to access medical cannabis via mail from an LP. No new personal grow license were given out by the federal government.
  • Restrictions on concentrated forms of cannabis still existed, and challenged Canadian's previous MMAR rights to grow for themselves or have a designated grower.

June 11, 2015 - Canadian federal court rules it unconstitutional to forbid medical cannabis users from possessing concentrated forms of cannabis.

February 2016 - Canadian federal courts decide: "[The Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations] were declared to be unconstitutional and violate the charter rights of medical cannabis patients."

April 20, 2016 - message from the Canadian Federal government on legalization

June 30, 2016 - the Canadian federal government announces the Marijuana Task-Force

August 11th, 2016 - Health Canada announces replacement for the MMPR...welcome to the ACMPR (the "temporary" 'half-brother' of the MMPR and MMAR)

ACMPR Offical Health Canada statement

ACMPR :: Register to produce cannabis for your own medical purposes.

December, 2016 - The Marijuana Task-Force announces their Marijuana Legalization reccomendations.

Thursday, March 23, 7.00-8:30 pm, SFU Vancouver.

***Talk :: Anne McLellan -- Update on the Cannabis Legalization Task Force.

What we are waiting to hear/ concerned about:

  1. Canadian citizens are still being arrested for cannabis, and dispensaries are still be shut down. We are concerned about the impacts that these actions have on Canadians and their health.
  2. The Marijuana Task-Force under the Liberal government has stated that they will be presenting their legal reccomendations to parliament in Spring 2017.