Pubdate: Sat, 13 Aug 2016
Source: Barrie Examiner (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016, Barrie Examiner
Author: Cheryl Browne
Page: A1


Medical marijuana dispensaries and users getting mired in new

Growing your own dope just got a little easier.

Sure, there's all kinds of legal mumbo-jumbo, fire and zoning codes
and doctor's notes to obtain, but technically, the federal government
just gave medical-marijuana users the green light to grow their own

After federal court Judge Michael Phelan struck down the previous
Marijuana for Medical Purposes (MMPR) legislation in February, which
barred medical marijuana patients from growing their own cannabis
(which they could under the previous Marijuana Medical Access
Regulations), he gave the newly-elected Liberal government six months
to create new medical marijuana laws.

This week, Health Canada released new regulations governing Canada's
medical cannabis program, now under the new Access to Cannabis for
Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR) moniker that come into effect Aug.

The only problem is the legal grey area local dispensaries and users
now find themselves mired in.

"I could grow it if I want to, but I don't want to," said John Wilson.
Diagnosed with hepatitis C 18 years ago, the 52-year-old Barrie man
said he's been prescribed all sorts of strong pharmaceutical products
to deal with his illness.

"I don't want strong pharmaceuticals. Pot helps with the inflammation
of my spleen, and doesn't damage my liver like the other
pharmaceutical drugs do," Wilson said.

Wilson said he doesn't want the hassle of growing pot in his
condominium because he's worried about heat lamps starting fires and
excess moisture causing mould.

But others who have a doctor's prescription to use marijuana to quell
the symptoms of their various diseases; which includes everything from
Crohn's disease to epilepsy to PTSD, can now either grow their own, or
designate someone to produce it for them.

Under the ACMPR, growers must apply for a Health Canada registration
certificate and abide by maximum plant limits, storage and possession
requirements based on the amounts prescribed by their physician.

However, the feds say the 34 licensed producers who currently supply
close to 70,000 Canadians with the buds are still considered the prime
source of safe, quality-controlled cannabis and will be the only legal
source of starting materials, i.e. seeds or plants, for medical
marijuana users or their designates.

Health Canada states the current storefront medical marijuana
dispensaries that are popping up across Canada are not considered
legitimate marijuana dealers.

In its release, Health Canada states, "Storefront operations selling
marijuana, commonly known as "dispensaries" and "compassion clubs" are
not authorized to sell cannabis for medical or any other purposes.
These operations are illegally supplied and provide products that are
unregulated and may be unsafe. Illegal storefront distribution and
sale of cannabis are subject to law enforcement action. The only legal
commercial source of safe, quality-controlled cannabis for medical
purposes in Canada is through purchase directly from one of the 34
producers licenced by Health Canada."

But Barrie dispensary co-owner Caleb V. at Med West on Dunlop Street
West, believes there's a void in the system that needs to be addressed.

"I'm slightly confused about the new model. It hasn't allowed for
dispensing medical marijuana locally. The judge (Phelan) did say we
are fulfilling a need, so this new ruling leaves us a little
confused," Caleb said.

Ward 2 Coun. Rose Romita said the new laws are very clear about who
can grow and sell and who can't.

"I don't have a problem with dispensaries but I want them to be
legal," Romita said. "I don't care if you're selling water, milk or
butter. There are regulations for all of those products and you have
to sell them legally. There's no doubt in my mind that dispensaries
are not getting their product legally because legal producers are not
selling to them.

"This new regulation, takes out the grey area. It kills the storefront
dispensaries and closes that loophole."

Under the the new ACMPR, Health Canada promises to work closely with
provincial authorities to share data including the quantities of
cannabis authorized to be grown in their jurisdiction, as well as keep
a phone-line open 24/7 so law enforcement can ensure individuals are
authorized to possess or produce pot for medicinal purposes.

For more information, visit - -------------------------------------


Health Canada Marijuana Production Tips:

Outdoor production

Under the ACMPR, if you are producing outdoors, the boundary of the
land where you are authorized to produce cannot have any points in
common with the boundary of the land where a school, public
playground, or other public place frequented mainly by persons under
18 years of age is located. You may want to consider installing a tall
fence with a locking gate or an alarm system to help keep your
production area secure.

Indoor production

If you are growing plants indoors, ensure that there is enough
ventilation to remove excess moisture and humidity to stop mould from
building-up on your plants or in the building. If you decide to make
changes to the structure of your home or your electrical system, you
should seek the advice of a licensed professional to ensure that you
are in compliance with municipal and provincial/territorial building


You may want to consider installing strong locks on the doors to all
areas where you produce or store cannabis and/or installing a home
monitoring or alarm system. You should also store your cannabis in a
safe or equally protected location that you can secure with a lock
(e.g., cabinet, closet, or trunk). If you have children, or have
children who visit your home regularly, you may also want to ensure
that cannabis and cannabis products are stored in childproof
containers to avoid accidental ingestion.


Producing cannabis can pose certain risks to your health and safety.
Please consider the following: If you plan to use chemical products,
such as pesticides, ensure that these products are safe for use on a
plant that you plan to eat or vaporize. If you are making a cannabis
product, such as oil or butter, you are not permitted to use an
organic solvent such as butane, benzene, methyl chloride, or
chlorinated hydrocarbons. Using organic solvents to make cannabis
products poses significant safety risks, such as fire and explosion,
and health risks if the product contains residue from the production

Source: Health Canada
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