Canadian Medical Marijuana Users Won’t Be Able to Grow at Home

People who grow medical marijuana at home for medical purposes won’t be able to do so for much longer.

The federal government is making changes on how people can access the medicinal weed.

With the new rules beginning March 2014, if you have a license to get the drug you won’t be getting it from Health Canada dispensaries or growing it.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says a commercial industry will be set up and you’ll have to get it there. “Under our new rules only facilities that meet strict security requirements will be able to produce marijuana for medical purposes,” says Aglukkaq.

“This means that tax payers will no longer be subsidizing the sale of medical marijuana.”

Under the current program, the drug is about $5 per gram but that is expected to go up once the system is privatized.

With the move to the new system, some critics say they are worried the cost of the drug will become unaffordable.

– Read the entire article at News1130 Radio.

Comments

34 Comments

  1. awesomesound on

    MMAR Impact Statement
    Through a Patients Eyes

    To start off a little history of the HELL I went through to get my ATP certification:

    I asked my doctor and gave him the app and the waiver he said he would look in to it. At my next appt he said he took the matter to the ethics board and was told that he would open himself up to rev can audit, and did not want that. So I went to MM.ca with with my MRI that says I have Osteoarthritis. I got doctors appt and was told that she was filing a B2 app for me because Osteoarthritis is not a B1 illness and that I may be Rejected because the doctor at the pain clinic that sent me for the MRI is not a registered specialist as required on a B2 app. 2 Months later I received notice from Health Canada to find a specialist. Its now 2 Months later I have sent out 4 referrals from my doctor, 2 have responded with a refusal of the referral saying simply I can not Help this patient.
    Another month has gone by and I got review of my App, I have specialist report stating chronic pain due to osteoarthritis and doctor has stated cannabis as a pain reliever, health Canada has denied report because doctor is not a Royal Colleges of Physicians degree. My Doctor is now trying to convince them on the merit of the specialist, and in all this I asked my Doctor about Her Contact at health Canada and if there is any Medical people there she said no, How in the heck is it Legal for a non medically licensed government person to be making decisions on My HEALTH CARE. The law was struck down because” patients are unable to find a Doctor to sign the app”, I have 2 Doctors that are recommending cannabis.
    Just had it out with Health Canada, They are not budging Royal Colleges of Physicians degree or NO ACCSESS!!!!
    I am Just a guy in pain trying to continue to work and take care of my disabled wife and by the way it takes her 8-10 months to get a specialist. It really is a case of the compassion of medicine hitting the burecrtic brick wall.
    I am in my 4th month of pursuing my MMAR license, I have finally had my specialist appt with a doctor who is FRCPC Runatoligest and Royal Colleges of Physicians Accredited. Not to make light of his stroke a few years back but this doctor was on more Meds that I could only dream about, I mean this guy was as
    high as a kite. The first hour of the Appt was discussing where my pain is and my med list, half the hour was taken up with lecturing me on how bad it is for me to
    be getting allergy shots every 2 weeks, the 2nd part of the hour was recommending that I stop using Celebrex and baclifen which are the 2 meds that are helping the swelling and back spasams,.the 2nd hour was the physical exam in which he twisted and turned me until I was in pain and in conclusion determined that all can be fixed by exercise, weight loss and quitting smoking, He did on the other hand diagnose me with Fibermyalga which my wife and I have suspected for years.
    All in all he gave me no real ideas or suggestions on how to manage pain like my pain specialist did. But at least I will have a report from a specialist that health Canada will accept. I should know within a month.
    Going into my 5th month I find the “Proposed Redesigned Program” Insane that I have spent 3 months looking for a specialist/specialist when the “Proposed Changes will eliminate A Specialist. So still after 4 months the only safe place I can medicate is my Bathroom, and even at that I am breaking the law.
    So in my 8th month and finely have my app in to Health Canada they had it for two weeks so
    I called to check on progress and I was told they will call in a few weeks, basically saying
    Don’t call us Will call you,” so here we sit”
    Nov 8th finally received my ATP certificate (Card) I put card in brackets because there is no Card any more, anyway Legal now for the next 10 months and do it all over again for renewal, I think Health Canada has issues with that to.
    Note: I Paid Just Over $500.00 for my ATP because my doctor would not sign, but I meet the criteria of the MMAR program through any Physician. Until all Physician are mandated to accept there patients needs over there own (ignorance}in brackets because tests are done, research is in, Guess What? Cannabis IS MEDICALLY BENIFICAL. .
    As for getting rid of the Individual grower I just don’t understand how I can buy just a part of the plant? I use the whole plant, Stalk & leaves for Cannabutter, Bud to Medicated and WHAT do I do with SEEDS? I my self am serviced by a Compassion Club they are serviced by Individual growers who produce a variety of strains for a variety of illnesses and about half of them are at subsidized prices at 5-7 dollars a gram. If my Club gets forced out of business and they (“don’t care what you say” Health Canada} can’t provide the service I need I will be returning to my dealer.
    I will in conclusion Leave you with the following recommendations from an article forwarded from Cannabis Culture, We will stand for nothing less.
    I am deeply concerned about the response by Health Canada to the various court decisions declaring its existing medical marijuana program unconstitutional. The proposals that have been brought forward fail to deal with the myriad of problems in the program. Specifically, I take issue with the following proposals:
    Physician as “Gatekeeper”:
    R v Mernagh found that physicians in Canada have effectively boycotted the existing medical marijuana program, and therefore the program itself was unconstitutional. Health Canada’s response does nothing to address this boycott beyond the promise of making information accessible to physicians. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must abide by the findings in R v Mernagh and meaningfully expand the “Gatekeeper” role beyond physicians, preferably to include Naturopaths, Nurse Practitioners, Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacists.
    Personal and Designated Production:
    Individuals have spent thousands of dollars and often years of time setting up production facilities and finding appropriate marijuana cultivars (strains) for their condition. Court cases including Sfetkopolous, Beren and Hitzig have found that denying production licenses on arbitrary grounds violates a patient’s constitutional rights to access medical marijuana.
    Contrary to extensive misinformation campaigns in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, led by the RCMP research chair at the UCFV, there is no evidence that medical marijuana production facilities contribute any more to public safety threats than a myriad of other permitted activities (including cooking at home, having expensive possessions, installing a hot-tub, growing tomato plants). Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include the preservation of personal and designated production.
    Patient Identification:
    Authorized medical marijuana patients from across Canada report that local police often fail to recognize current medical marijuana authorization identification, detaining and even arresting patients and often illegally seizing their medication. The proposal to remove any formal identification for patients will only lead to more unlawful detention of patients by local police. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include patient identification and education programs to ensure police do not continue to unlawfully detain authorized patients.
    For profit production:
    The proposal by Health Canada to only allow medical marijuana to be produced for profit by an oligopolistic group of license holders, at a price point those producers set, will be a disaster for patient access in Canada. Not only will patients be unable to acquire strains they have bred specifically for their symptoms, but they will be subject to exorbitant increases in price. Especially for patients who require large dosages this will result in an inability to access medication. The current holder of the Health Canada commercial production license has failed to create an adequate supply for Canadians. Patients report low quality, low efficacy, high prices and ineffective medical quality. There is simply no reason to believe that expanding the system of commercial production, based on current Health Canada requirements will result in any positive changes to patient access. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include alternatives to a purely profit driven system of production.
    Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:
    The current proposals by Health Canada do nothing to address the court sanctioned yet unlicensed system of medical marijuana dispensaries in Canada. These Dispensaries serve several times more patients than the current Health Canada program, and patients report much higher satisfaction with dispensary services. Any changes to the Health Canada program must include licensing the existing network of dispensaries.
    The proposals by Health Canada constitute less than a bad faith response to court orders, they represent outright defiance. The current proposals do not meet the needs of medical marijuana patients in Canada, and will result in a further restriction of patient access to medical marijuana. I call upon Health Canada to return to the drawing board and come up with a program designed to succeed, not fail. I call on Health Canada to honor the spirit and intent of court rulings and create a meaningful system of workable access for medical marijuana. Sincerely Yours The Patient.
    Footnote 1} To all Doctors & Politicians go to http://www.calgarycmmc.com/ then click on Cannabis Videos-Updated Daily, Here you find information videos on everything from Dispensaries and how they work to Accredited Doctors explaining the usages, effects, side effects of Cannabis. Look further into this site and you will find studies, research modals and findings. Or if you choose just search Google and you will find all the necessary information you will need including Prescriptions and Dosages per day.
    Please Do Not say there is not enough Research or Studies for you or your patients to make a honest responsible choice for Cannabis as a medical treatment if the prognosis is warranted, the critically ill and chronic pain suffers don’t have 15 years for Cannabis to be “Accepted “ by the Medical Profession, the Government and Society.

  2. awesomesound on

    MMAR Impact Statement
    Through a Patients Eyes

    To start off a little history of the HELL I went through to get my ATP certification:

    I asked my doctor and gave him the app and the waiver he said he would look in to it. At my next appt he said he took the matter to the ethics board and was told that he would open himself up to rev can audit, and did not want that. So I went to MM.ca with with my MRI that says I have Osteoarthritis. I got doctors appt and was told that she was filing a B2 app for me because Osteoarthritis is not a B1 illness and that I may be Rejected because the doctor at the pain clinic that sent me for the MRI is not a registered specialist as required on a B2 app. 2 Months later I received notice from Health Canada to find a specialist. Its now 2 Months later I have sent out 4 referrals from my doctor, 2 have responded with a refusal of the referral saying simply I can not Help this patient.
    Another month has gone by and I got review of my App, I have specialist report stating chronic pain due to osteoarthritis and doctor has stated cannabis as a pain reliever, health Canada has denied report because doctor is not a Royal Colleges of Physicians degree. My Doctor is now trying to convince them on the merit of the specialist, and in all this I asked my Doctor about Her Contact at health Canada and if there is any Medical people there she said no, How in the heck is it Legal for a non medically licensed government person to be making decisions on My HEALTH CARE. The law was struck down because” patients are unable to find a Doctor to sign the app”, I have 2 Doctors that are recommending cannabis.
    Just had it out with Health Canada, They are not budging Royal Colleges of Physicians degree or NO ACCSESS!!!!
    I am Just a guy in pain trying to continue to work and take care of my disabled wife and by the way it takes her 8-10 months to get a specialist. It really is a case of the compassion of medicine hitting the burecrtic brick wall.
    I am in my 4th month of pursuing my MMAR license, I have finally had my specialist appt with a doctor who is FRCPC Runatoligest and Royal Colleges of Physicians Accredited. Not to make light of his stroke a few years back but this doctor was on more Meds that I could only dream about, I mean this guy was as
    high as a kite. The first hour of the Appt was discussing where my pain is and my med list, half the hour was taken up with lecturing me on how bad it is for me to
    be getting allergy shots every 2 weeks, the 2nd part of the hour was recommending that I stop using Celebrex and baclifen which are the 2 meds that are helping the swelling and back spasams,.the 2nd hour was the physical exam in which he twisted and turned me until I was in pain and in conclusion determined that all can be fixed by exercise, weight loss and quitting smoking, He did on the other hand diagnose me with Fibermyalga which my wife and I have suspected for years.
    All in all he gave me no real ideas or suggestions on how to manage pain like my pain specialist did. But at least I will have a report from a specialist that health Canada will accept. I should know within a month.
    Going into my 5th month I find the “Proposed Redesigned Program” Insane that I have spent 3 months looking for a specialist/specialist when the “Proposed Changes will eliminate A Specialist. So still after 4 months the only safe place I can medicate is my Bathroom, and even at that I am breaking the law.
    So in my 8th month and finely have my app in to Health Canada they had it for two weeks so
    I called to check on progress and I was told they will call in a few weeks, basically saying
    Don’t call us Will call you,” so here we sit”
    Nov 8th finally received my ATP certificate (Card) I put card in brackets because there is no Card any more, anyway Legal now for the next 10 months and do it all over again for renewal, I think Health Canada has issues with that to.
    Note: I Paid Just Over $500.00 for my ATP because my doctor would not sign, but I meet the criteria of the MMAR program through any Physician. Until all Physician are mandated to accept there patients needs over there own (ignorance}in brackets because tests are done, research is in, Guess What? Cannabis IS MEDICALLY BENIFICAL. .
    As for getting rid of the Individual grower I just don’t understand how I can buy just a part of the plant? I use the whole plant, Stalk & leaves for Cannabutter, Bud to Medicated and WHAT do I do with SEEDS? I my self am serviced by a Compassion Club they are serviced by Individual growers who produce a variety of strains for a variety of illnesses and about half of them are at subsidized prices at 5-7 dollars a gram. If my Club gets forced out of business and they (“don’t care what you say” Health Canada} can’t provide the service I need I will be returning to my dealer.
    I will in conclusion Leave you with the following recommendations from an article forwarded from Cannabis Culture, We will stand for nothing less.
    I am deeply concerned about the response by Health Canada to the various court decisions declaring its existing medical marijuana program unconstitutional. The proposals that have been brought forward fail to deal with the myriad of problems in the program. Specifically, I take issue with the following proposals:
    Physician as “Gatekeeper”:
    R v Mernagh found that physicians in Canada have effectively boycotted the existing medical marijuana program, and therefore the program itself was unconstitutional. Health Canada’s response does nothing to address this boycott beyond the promise of making information accessible to physicians. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must abide by the findings in R v Mernagh and meaningfully expand the “Gatekeeper” role beyond physicians, preferably to include Naturopaths, Nurse Practitioners, Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacists.
    Personal and Designated Production:
    Individuals have spent thousands of dollars and often years of time setting up production facilities and finding appropriate marijuana cultivars (strains) for their condition. Court cases including Sfetkopolous, Beren and Hitzig have found that denying production licenses on arbitrary grounds violates a patient’s constitutional rights to access medical marijuana.
    Contrary to extensive misinformation campaigns in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, led by the RCMP research chair at the UCFV, there is no evidence that medical marijuana production facilities contribute any more to public safety threats than a myriad of other permitted activities (including cooking at home, having expensive possessions, installing a hot-tub, growing tomato plants). Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include the preservation of personal and designated production.
    Patient Identification:
    Authorized medical marijuana patients from across Canada report that local police often fail to recognize current medical marijuana authorization identification, detaining and even arresting patients and often illegally seizing their medication. The proposal to remove any formal identification for patients will only lead to more unlawful detention of patients by local police. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include patient identification and education programs to ensure police do not continue to unlawfully detain authorized patients.
    For profit production:
    The proposal by Health Canada to only allow medical marijuana to be produced for profit by an oligopolistic group of license holders, at a price point those producers set, will be a disaster for patient access in Canada. Not only will patients be unable to acquire strains they have bred specifically for their symptoms, but they will be subject to exorbitant increases in price. Especially for patients who require large dosages this will result in an inability to access medication. The current holder of the Health Canada commercial production license has failed to create an adequate supply for Canadians. Patients report low quality, low efficacy, high prices and ineffective medical quality. There is simply no reason to believe that expanding the system of commercial production, based on current Health Canada requirements will result in any positive changes to patient access. Any changes to the Health Canada medical marijuana program must include alternatives to a purely profit driven system of production.
    Medical Marijuana Dispensaries:
    The current proposals by Health Canada do nothing to address the court sanctioned yet unlicensed system of medical marijuana dispensaries in Canada. These Dispensaries serve several times more patients than the current Health Canada program, and patients report much higher satisfaction with dispensary services. Any changes to the Health Canada program must include licensing the existing network of dispensaries.
    The proposals by Health Canada constitute less than a bad faith response to court orders, they represent outright defiance. The current proposals do not meet the needs of medical marijuana patients in Canada, and will result in a further restriction of patient access to medical marijuana. I call upon Health Canada to return to the drawing board and come up with a program designed to succeed, not fail. I call on Health Canada to honor the spirit and intent of court rulings and create a meaningful system of workable access for medical marijuana. Sincerely Yours The Patient.
    Footnote 1} To all Doctors & Politicians go to http://www.calgarycmmc.com/ then click on Cannabis Videos-Updated Daily, Here you find information videos on everything from Dispensaries and how they work to Accredited Doctors explaining the usages, effects, side effects of Cannabis. Look further into this site and you will find studies, research modals and findings. Or if you choose just search Google and you will find all the necessary information you will need including Prescriptions and Dosages per day.
    Please Do Not say there is not enough Research or Studies for you or your patients to make a honest responsible choice for Cannabis as a medical treatment if the prognosis is warranted, the critically ill and chronic pain suffers don’t have 15 years for Cannabis to be “Accepted “ by the Medical Profession, the Government and Society.

  3. Anonymous on

    Just forcing us back to pharmaceutical companies pockets!! Talk about criminals and being corrupt! The government sets the pace for all!!

  4. Anonymous on

    We need to speak up as Canadians and not let this happen speak up for your rights!! My license is for 360 grams a month x 8.00 a gram! That’s 2880.00 a month! Who can afford that!!

  5. Greg m. on

    Speak up ! Call your M.P. write letters let’s not just stand by!
    Write as many people as you can think of Minister of health ,All politicians you can get the email for, talk to your prescribing doctor they will have info as well . Read become informed , and inform people . If we do nothing they will think we accept this new rule . Do all you can everybody please and tell me which law firm is taking on this class action suit , so I can join !!!

  6. Anonymous on

    Can someone please tell me if this is 100% or is there a possabillity we could have this changed if alot of people email them until feb as they asked. Sorry i dont know how this works

  7. Herb The Herbalist on

    Cannabis is a matter of life or death for some people…

    Those people currently struggle to cope with the illegality and pricing structure.

    People treating their diseases with cannabis usually have to quite their jobs or go on assistance to deal with the illness.

    How will those people, who can’t currently afford their medication be able to survive?

    Overgrow the government…

  8. Anonymous on

    they already have in place the agreements with seagrams and/or the big tobacco companys or the drug manufacturers.

  9. Anonymous on

    and we are very organized and very well(no tax [email protected] You) financed and very righteous….now would not be a good time to create as my friend above calls it ..”cannibis extremists”

  10. Anonymous on

    lol kool exactly

  11. Anonymous on

    **grow it for us

  12. Anonymous on

    So which of the tobacco companies or the distilleries or drug manufacturers are getting the contract? LOSERS we dont need you to grow it for you because we have become a nation of experts on growing our own for at least three generations and our industry has been in place and thriving for over 30 years!!! Screw u and your taxed greedy bottom feeding bully scum.

  13. Anonymous on

    I have been a frequent visitor to cannabis culture web site for many years but never before until today I have been able to realize just all the hypocrisy that is in the air as well as the fact that we are dealing with the worst government this country has ever had.

  14. Av Green on

    I hope that the Canadian people do something about this huge pile of bullshit that has descended upon them under the title of Harper administration. How can you tell someone not to grow a plant at home? People, it’s called “vote the bastards out”

  15. Someguy425 on

    Another case of wealthy people protecting their selfish profits again regardless of the plight of the poor.

    They obviously only want wealthy people to afford it and are looking for more excuses to criminalize the poor who cannot (and are forced to seek cheaper access).

    Cannabis production does NOT belong to the wealthy capitalist pigs!

  16. Spoiled Sport on

    Harper will mandate so many requirements and restrictions on the new facilities that it would not be financially feasible for a business to set up with very low profit margins, if at all. Even if a business were to jump through all the hoops to meet the requirements the government would simply refuse to give them a license effectively cutting off any supply.
    This tactic was used by the American government at the onset of prohibition when they mandated farmers and growers to get a tax stamp then refusing to issue any stamps.

  17. Anonymous on

    This is what my friend told me.Sharing any personal info with the feds is asking for trouble.He was right.

  18. Anonymous on

    What ? We are no longer permitted to grow at home ? Can you wait for me one minute please ? I”m going to go and destroy my harvest right now .Oh,sorry I got to hurry up,I hear the garbage truck comin outside…Thank you first nation Aglukkaq for letting me know…and to say that I could have been arrested and go to prison.Ouf!It was minus one

  19. Anonymous on

    It really does show in this column of comments that out there there are TRUE LOVERS of the cannabis plant.These people go on with their daily life far way from the noisy crowd.Each day these people care for their plants individually bringing them all the attention they need.They dont have written rules of dos and donts.They go by instinct and their flowers will be ripe just at the right time.They could not care less about the stupid governmnent laws.No matter what, these growers will pursue with their activities.MrHarper has really underestimated these invisible and underground workers who are the real Cannabis Crusaders of the XXIst Century.For every cannabis worker that will end up being caught and imprisoned there are going to be replaced by two new workers.Beware Mr.Harper of creating Cannabis extremists for right now this is exactly what you are doing.Also,beware the so-called modern cannabis activists who keep believing that soft talking with the authorities will bring relaxing of laws while in effect all we see is hardening of the laws.Enough is enough

  20. Tony_42 on

    They want the price and criminality to remain the same to maintain the status quo where the interests they represent thrive and profit. The inflated prices are created by prohibition and many “stakeholders” including the government profit from that artificially inflated price. Not the least of which is the banks. All that money is funneled through the banks. It was reported that drug money kept the US banking system afloat during the 2008 crisis. The BC economy is dependent on it.

    I like the government getting out of the growing business, but to criminalize growing for personal use is corrupt treason imo. I believe they want to privatize prisons and create a new incarceration/slave labor industry like the US.

  21. Anonymous on

    Thats right, the doctors asked for research and trials many years ago so they would not be out on a limb. The government spent 40 million a year licensing and supplying $5 a gram swag weed to some patients and let the rest grow or source their own which cost them very little. Now they are making patients pay whats probably going to be ten dollars a gram because they will factor in security costs etc across numerous suppliers. All for a herb that should be a right to grow as a medicine or for whatever. They didn’t want to do the research because that would prove true and effective and safe enough!

  22. Spoiled Sport on

    Harper hates anyone who takes drugs. He wants to jail us all. He made the minimum mandatory for six plants and is cutting off our ability to grow our own medicine and setting the price too high for government schwag knowing we will defy his authority and get us all thrown in jail. He has effectively cut off our ability to get a card by forcing the doctors to be the gatekeepers and not giving any information that they need like research. Most doctors refuse to even sign the previous forms that were needed before.

  23. Greg M. on

    They should be forced to grandfather us who have pulled our pants down and shared our personal info trying to be law abiding citizens . They opened pandora a box I built a building and startup costs were in the thousands now I’m a criminal if I continue to grow my own medicine ? I don’t think so

  24. Anonymous on

    Oh, good. Harper’s solution to the medical cannabis “problem” is to create a monopoly.

    Who gets a license to grow? Who chooses them?

    And why is there a policeman in the background of the Health Canada announcement picture?

  25. Anonymous on

    this is total BS. my wife finds the growing to be a big part of her recovery. we need a central place to discuss how we can make sure this never happens. who do we contact to express concerns, i would also like to see real numbers.

  26. Anonymous on

    jails are going to be full of medical patients with mandatory minimums see you there

  27. RedMan on

    this entire pile of horse shit the Harper government is trying to do is only going to push back all the work marijuana activism has work toward for the last 10+ years! if medical marijuana becomes government run i can only see 2 thing happening… if the government does a good job, the right way , and keep prices down then it could work. however if medical marijuana becomes 50$ a gram then people are not going to buy and everything will go right back to the underground market… regulation should be with the state or individual compassion clubs/ dispensaries.

  28. Anonymous on

    Still going to grow at home I guess I will need the break the law to get my meds

  29. Anonymous on

    I would like to know Jodie s opinion on this

  30. Anonymous on

    On behalf of all the low-income people,I wish to thank Harper for this outstanding social measure which makes marijuana so affordable to the poor and the sick.

  31. Anonymous on

    Good grief … they still don’t get it do they?

    Congratulations Harper, you have just succeeded in driving medical marijuana underground. If privatization is going to make it more expensive, then it is also going to make it more profitable to grow illegally.

    What a bunch of dumbos.