Future of the Program
The Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) provide a means through which seriously ill Canadians can obtain access to dried marihuana for medical purposes.
Under the MMAR, Health Canada issues seriously ill individuals an Authorization to Possess and/or a Licence to Produce (either a Personal-Use Production Licence or a Designated-Person Production Licence) so that they may possess and/or produce marihuana for their own medical purposes or, in the case of a Designated-Person Production Licence, produce marihuana for the medical purposes of the authorized person. Beyond Health Canada's own independent supplier of dried marihuana and marihuana seeds, the Department does not licence organizations or groups to supply dried marihuana or marihuana seeds for medical purposes.
Once approved, the legal documentation issued to clients of the program is a large pink-coloured document that describes the activity (either possession or production) that the named individual is permitted to conduct. Only individuals who hold this documentation are considered authorized/licensed by Health Canada, and only the person whose name appears on the document is considered authorized/licensed to access and care for plants and/or dried marihuana at the production and storage sites listed on the document.
Depending on the specifics of the authorization and/or licenced issued to an individual and the province in which they reside they may be permitted to:
Regardless of the specifics of the authorization and/or licence issued to an individual and the province in which they reside they are not permitted to:
Note: The MMAR only permits the use of dried marihuana. In all provinces and territories except British Columbia, other activities such as producing marihuana resin or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by extraction with chemicals are outside the scope of the MMAR. Except as authorized under the regulations to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), these other activities are illegal. A recent trial decision in British Columbia has affected how authorized users in that province may consume their marihuana for medical purposes.
Health Canada works closely with law enforcement agencies across Canada to help them distinguish between people who are acting within the law, and those engaged in illegal activities related to marihuana. To assist law enforcement in this regard, Health Canada is authorized to provide limited information in response to a request only from a Canadian police force or a member of a Canadian police force engaged in an investigation under the CDSA, or the MMAR, as per section 68.1 of the Regulations.
However, Health Canada cannot disclose information on persons authorized to possess and/or licensed to produce marihuana for medical purposes to municipalities or fire departments, due to the regulations and privacy reasons as dictated by the Privacy Act. In addition, Health Canada cannot provide law enforcement with information on an individual's medical condition.
Should you require additional information please visit the Contact Us section to contact a Health Canada representative.