February 24, 2016

Canadian Judge Strikes Down Ban On Home Medical Marijuana Cultivation

February 24, 2016
Canada's cannabis act
canada marijuana
(image via Canada.com)

The ‘Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations’ were introduced in Canada in 2013. The new regulations banned all home cultivation of medical marijuana in Canada by patients and/or growers (a later injunction would ‘grandfather’ some in), and instead required patients to buy medical marijuana only from licensed producers. The new regulations were harmful, and seemed to be a big move to provide the rights to cultivate medical marijuana to just a handful of of wealthy corporations. Those wealthy corporations in turn seemed to largely price gouge patients based off of the comments and articles I have read about the situation in Canada the last couple of years.

I’m sure there are some patients out there that don’t want to grow their own marijuana, and are fine with paying whatever price for whatever quality of medical marijuana. However, there are many, many others that are either capable of growing their own medicine, or having one of their friends or family members do it for them, and all at a price that is much cheaper than what Canadian medical marijuana companies are charging. There is no reason that Canadian medical marijuana patients shouldn’t be able to grow their own medicine.

The regulations were almost immediately challenged by patients, and last year a constitutional challenge was heard by Canadian Judge Michael Phelan. A ruling was handed down today which struck down the ban on home cultivation. Per CBC.CA:

A Federal Court judge has struck down federal regulations restricting the rights of medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis and given the Liberal government six months to come up with new rules.

Judge Michael Phelan ruled Wednesday in Vancouver that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations were an infringement on charter rights and declared they have no force and effect.

But the judge also suspended his declaration for six months to give the federal government time to come up with new rules.

So essentially, the Canadian government has six months to come up with rules that allow home cultivation, patients that were ‘grandfathered’ in from the previous injunction can continue to grow in the interim, and new patients who weren’t grandfathered in by the previous injunction will find out what rules apply to home cultivation six months from now. This is a huge victory for patients in Canada. Canada is, and long has been, home to some of the best marijuana growers on the planet. They should be able to use their gifts to benefit sick patients in Canada!


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