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The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) provide the legal means through which Canadians can obtain access to cannabis for medical purposes, except as noted below (see section regarding the injunction). Under section 15 of the ACMPR, any individual who possesses or produces fresh or dried marijuana, cannabis oil, marijuana plants or seeds (or a product derived from one of these substances) is required, at the request of a police officer, to demonstrate that they are authorized to do so.
Under the ACMPR, individuals who have the support of their health care practitioner can access cannabis for medical purposes by purchasing it from licensed producers, by producing a limited amount for their own use, or by designating another individual to produce it for them.
Access via a Licensed Producer
If an individual obtains his/her cannabis as a client of a licensed producer, the label on the packaging or a separate document accompanying the shipment of cannabis provided by the licensed producer is useful in demonstrating lawful possession. A list of licensed producers is available.
Access via Production for Own Medical Purposes or by a Designated Person
If an individual decides to produce a limited amount of cannabis for his/her own medical purposes, or designates another individual to produce for him/her, then the registration certificate issued by Health Canada is useful in demonstrating lawful possession/production. A designated person will also receive a document from Health Canada that can be used to demonstrate lawful possession/production.
Interim Supply and Possession Amount
An individual who has decided to produce a limited amount of cannabis for his/her own medical purposes can only obtain interim supply as well as starting materials from a licensed producer. In such an instance, the individual would have a registration certificate from Health Canada to demonstrate the amount they are lawfully allowed to produce and/or possess, and a labelled package for the interim supply he/she obtained from a licensed producer.
An individual can possess cannabis for medical purposes from both a licensed producer and from his/her own production (or designated production) if he/she obtained a separate medical document for each supply. The maximum amount that may be possessed by any individual (i.e. whether he/she is registered with a licensed producer and/or registered with Health Canada) is the lesser of 30 times the daily amount indicated by his/her health care practitioner, or 150 grams of dried marijuana (or its equivalent). It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that his/her possession amount is always within the allowed limit.
An individual who accesses cannabis for medical purposes is not permitted to let others use his/her cannabis, or to import to, or export from, Canada any cannabis or marijuana seeds. However, an individual can, under certain circumstances, transport cannabis between locations. For example, if an individual's registration was amended to change the production or storage site, the individual would be allowed to transport the cannabis from the original site to the new one. A law enforcement officer could request to see the amended registration certificate, or contact Health Canada.
Please note that certain individuals who were previously authorized to possess and produce marihuana under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) remain authorized to do so by virtue of a Federal Court injunction order.
Members of Canadian police forces who require further information in the course of an investigation under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or its regulations can contact Health Canada.
Health Canada provides 24 hours, 7 days a week service to law enforcement agencies to answer questions, provide guidance and information on registration pursuant to the ACMPR and to support the activities of law enforcement officers.