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Marihuana Medical Access Program
Under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, there are three options available to you to obtain a legal supply of marihuana for medical purposes. One option is to purchase from Health Canada directly.
Health Canada obtains dried marihuana and marihuana seeds for medical purposes from Prairie Plant Systems Incorporated (PPS), a company that grows, harvests and processes plants for pharmaceutical products and research. The production of marihuana at this facility is highly regulated and secure.
To obtain this supply you can order marihuana for medical purposes directly from Health Canada.
New: The supply options available under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations will no longer be available after March 31, 2014. At that time the only legal source of marihuana for medical purposes will be licensed producers, under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
The option of accessing dried marihuana via a licensed producer will be available as soon as the first licensed producer is authorized. Find information on how to apply under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
The information below only addresses the product sold by Health Canada and does not apply to any products sold by licensed producers. The strains offered, and the prices charged, by licensed producers are not known at this time and will be established by each individual licensed producer.
Health Canada's supply of marihuana is obtained from a strain of pistillate (female) Cannabis sativa spp. (marihuana) plants which are moderate in height (90-120 cm) and have a moderate degree of branching (10-15 side branches) from the main stalk. Each of the side branches bears smaller resin laden flowering heads along the length and terminate in a dense, conical, resin-laden flowering head of mean length of 25-45 cm. The plants are green to light green in color and possess an aroma described as fresh and fruit-like.
The marihuana is grown under very strict, controlled and documented conditions. The product is tested to determine its THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, its content of 28 metals (including heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury) and for the presence of mould spores. The marihuana is irradiated prior to distribution to eliminate any viable mould spores. This production process is also used in the Netherlands, the only other country which grows and provides access to marihuana for therapeutic purposes. The PPS product meets or surpasses all of the requirements established by Health Canada for natural health products. Since there have never been specific standards developed for marihuana, natural health products standards are used in both Canada and the Netherlands.
The marihuana seeds have been culled from marihuana plant, Cannabis sativa L. 'Indica', cultivated and harvested by Prairie Plant Systems Inc. under a contract with Health Canada. These seeds are the first generation product of the hybridisation of MS-17/338 female plants and the MS-17/596 male plant. The MS-17/338 breeding line female plants are used in the preparation of dried marihuana product currently distributed.
The seeds are obtained from a strain of pistillate (female) Cannabis sativa L. 'Indica' (marihuana), which produced plants described as moderate in height (90-120 cm) with a moderate degree of branching (10-15 side branches) from the main stalk. The main stalk (branch) terminates in a dense, conical, resin laden flowering head of an average length of 25-45 cm, and the side branches bear smaller resin laden flowering heads.
The packets of Cannabis sativa L. 'Indica' seeds should be stored refrigerated until sowing.
The typical germination rate for these seeds is 80% with typically greater than 50% of the seedlings being pistillate (female). Results may vary.
If you choose to order dried marihuana from Health Canada's supply, you need to have a valid Authorization to Possess issued by the Marihuana Medical Access Program. If you choose to order marihuana seeds from Health Canada's supply, you need to have a valid Personal-Use Production Licence or a Designated-Person Production Licence issued by the Marihuana Medical Access Program. Guidance on how to do this is available.
Under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, Prairie Plant Systems Incorporated (PPS) is Health Canada's supplier of marihuana for medical purposes, until March 31, 2014. The company is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and has several years of experience with plant-made pharmaceuticals and new agricultural crops.
Under the current terms of the contract that PPS has with Health Canada, the company has:
Good to know ...
When you access the Health Canada supply of marihuana for medical purposes, you can decide to have your orders shipped to your doctor's office. If you choose your doctor's office as the place of delivery, you are responsible for ensuring that your doctor agrees to receive the shipment(s) on your behalf.
As defined under the Policy on Health Canada's Marihuana Seeds and Dried Marihuana for Medical Purposes, once an applicant has been authorized to possess marihuana for medical purposes, Health Canada verifies the applicant's eligibility and payment BEFORE processing any orders.
The processing and delivery of marihuana products may take up to 14 business days, depending on the location of the delivery. When applying for Authorization to Possess marihuana for medical purposes, you can choose to have the product delivered to either your home or to your doctor's office. You will receive a statement of account/receipt with each shipment.
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