Medical marijuana users and growers were shocked recently when Health Canada outlined some very stiff instructions for the immediate disposal of any medical cannabis obtained by the now defunct personal growers.
In a memo sent out to both patients and growers, Health Canada states contraband cannabis must be disposed of before April 1. A letter stating that patients have destroyed the cannabis must be sent to Health Canada by April 30 or Health Canada will involve the police in the situation, which is something they specifically told the public they would never do.
The threat of legal action contradicts what Health Canada outlined in an earlier memo, stating that the grower’s personal information would not be shared with the police.
All of this stems from the decision to change from small personal producers to large scale medicinal cannabis companies. So far there are ten of these designated producers currently producing medical cannabis in Canada. These companies, it is thought, will increase the effectiveness and quality of product for those currently receiving medical marijuana. Through health regulations and regular inspections, it is thought that the questionable personal producers’ product will be exceeded in quality by the large scale commercial cannabis companies.
Health Canada has given some instructions on how to dispose of the contraband cannabis. Patients and growers are to add water to the dried and ground cannabis, mix it with cat litter and throw it out with the household refuse. This, they say, will result in an unusable product.
There is bound to be some opposition to Health Canada’s new stance on medical cannabis. A group of activists has launched a constitutional challenge that was to be heard this month and an Ottawa couple have sued the government for $ 8.5 million. These growing pains are the result of mismanagement of the medical cannabis issue that the commercial growers are thought to resolve.
By switching from questionable personal producers to large scale growers, Health Canada has commercialized the medical cannabis industry. With this commercialization, it is thought that the patients will receive both the quality of product and the right strain of medical cannabis they need. That is, the patient will, through hard science fact, receive the proper strain of medical cannabis that fits the symptoms of their illness.
Regulating medical cannabis has increased its price from about $2 a gram to as much as $12 a gram. Is the regulation and commercialization of medical cannabis worth the drastic increase in price? Only time will tell, as the world is watching.