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March 14, 2014
For immediate release
OTTAWA - Health Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana and is taking the necessary steps to protect public safety while providing reasonable access to marijuana for medical purposes, as ordered by the Courts. The program introduced in 2001 under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations was open to serious abuse and had unintended consequences for public health, safety and security, as a result of allowing individuals to produce marijuana in their homes.
The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, which came into force in June 2013, strengthen the safety of Canadian communities, while making sure that Canadians who are authorized, have access to marijuana grown under secure and sanitary conditions.
As of April 1, 2014, producing marijuana in a home or private dwelling will be illegal. As of that date the only legal source of marijuana will be produced under secure and quality-controlled conditions by licensed producers. Licensed producers will have to comply with strict regulatory requirements to demonstrate security and quality.
Possession and use of marijuana remains illegal in Canada unless authorized under the regulations with the support of a doctor or nurse practitioner.
Recently, the Government of Canada amended the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations to require participants of the Marihuana Medical Access Program to provide written notice to Health Canada by April 30, 2014, stating that they no longer possess marijuana (dried marijuana, plants or seeds) obtained under the old program. Those that were authorized to grow marijuana must also attest that they have discontinued production. Participants are also required to confirm the amount of marijuana and number of plants destroyed, if any.
If participants do not comply with the requirement to notify Health Canada, the Department will notify law enforcement. The Department will also continue to cooperate with police and provide information needed to protect public safety, as appropriate.
For more information:
Full text of the amended regulation to the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
Full text of the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS).