Health Canada announced today that medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow a “limited” amount of cannabis at home.
The announcement follows a Feb. 24 ruling by Federal Court judge Michael Phelan that struck down the former Conservative government’s law that required patients to purchase their cannabis from licensed producers and forbid home-grows. Judge Phelan stated that restricting patients to purchasing solely through government approved producers was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He gave the government six months to amend the rules.
Under the negovernment-approved into effect on Aug. 24, medical marijuana patients can register to grow their own cannabis, or designate someone to grow for them.
“If an individual wants to produce a limited amount of cannabis for his/her own medical purposes, he/she must submit an application to register with Health Canada,” according to the new guidelines. “An original medical document from the health-care practitioner must be provided and the application must include information such as the location of where cannabis will be produced and stored.”
If the patient is not well enough to grow their own cannabis, they have the option to designate someone to grow it for them. This person would have to pass a background check proving they haven’t been convicted of a drug offense in the past decade and could not grow for more than two people at once.
Canadian medical marijuana patients also have the option of continuing to purchase their cannabis through one of the Health Canada’s approved producers. These same 34 licensed producers are the sole option for patients looking to purchase seeds or clones legally.
The “limited” amount of cannabis a patient can grow is determined by their prescription. If a patient is prescribed a gram a day for example, they can grow two plants outdoors or five plants indoors.
Health Canada says these changes are temporary, as the medical marijuana landscape will change entirely once the federal government introduces legislation to legalize recreational cannabis next year.
The decision from Health Canada comes on the very same day that the DEA refused to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule I drug, and a day after Toronto police raided the Cannabis Culture dispensary for the second time in a matter of weeks.
What do you think? Is homegrow a human right?