Future of the Program
Health Canada grants access to marihuana for medical use to those Canadians who are suffering from grave and debilitating illnesses. It is important to note that the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), deal exclusively with the medical use of marihuana and do not address the issue of legalizing marihuana for general consumption. Read Our Service Standards.
It is not legal to grow or possess marihuana except with legal permission by Health Canada under the purview of MMAR. Health Canada does not licence organizations such as compassion clubs or dispensaries to possess, produce or distribute marihuana for medical purposes. Health Canada is the only organization that can legally supply marihuana seeds and dried marihuana to persons authorized to possess and/or licenced to produce marihuana for medical purposes.
Marihuana (cannabis) is categorized as a controlled substance, regulated in Canada under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
Health Canada regulations deal exclusively with the medical use of marihuana, which should not be confused with the movement to legalize marihuana for general consumption. Marihuana remains a controlled substance. Activities such as the possession of marihuana and production of marihuana are illegal except as authorized by regulation.
While there are some potential benefits to medical use of marihuana, current scientific evidence does not establish the safety and efficacy of marihuana (cannabis) to the extent required by the Food and Drug Regulations for marketed drugs in Canada.
In this Topic
The Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP) is committed to providing seriously ill Canadians with effective and efficient services. As part of this commitment, the MMAP strives to meet the following service standards:
While staff in the MMAP work diligently to meet these standards, some program participants may experience longer wait times due to higher-than-normal application or call volumes or incomplete application paperwork.
The service standard of 10 weeks for processing an application only applies once a fully completed application is received by the MMAP. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant. The 10 week period for processing an application will not start until a complete application is received.
Applications from people with symptoms being treated within the context of compassionate end-of-life care will continue to be given immediate priority.
Please note that the MMAP requests that applicants to the Program refrain from contacting Health Canada during the standard processing period, unless a change is required to their application.