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Transition and the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations

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How the new regulations affect you

Information about the Transition Period

The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) were published on June 19, 2013, and are now in force. There will be a period of time until March 31, 2014 when both the MMPR and the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) are in force to help facilitate the transition to the system of licensed producers.

During this period, you will be able to access marihuana for medical purposes under either the MMAR or the MMPR, but not both. The transition period will end on March 31, 2014, after which time only the MMPR will be in force.

Key points about the transition period:

  1. Effective October 1, 2013, you can no longer apply for a new Personal-Use Production Licence or Designated-Person Production Licence, change the location of your production site or increase the number of plants associated with your licence.

You may continue to renew your existing Authorization to Possess (ATP), Personal-Use Production Licence (PUPL) or Designated-Person Production Licence (DPPL); however, your new documents will expire on March 31, 2014.

  1. All marihuana possessed or produced under your Authorization to Possess and/or Personal-Use or Designated-Person Production Licence must be destroyed no later than March 31, 2014.
  2. The production of marihuana in homes will no longer be permitted beginning April 1, 2014.
  3. You may use your ATP to register with a licensed producer until the expiry date shown on the document, however, as of April 1, 2014, your Authorization to Possess marihuana for medical purposes issued under the MMAR cannot be used as proof that you are authorized to possess marihuana for medical purposes. Only the label on the package from the LP or a separate document accompanying your shipment of dried marihuana from your licensed producer can be used as proof of authorization to possess marihuana for medical purposes.

Questions and Answers: How transition and the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) affect you

The following pages contain answers to questions you may have about how the MMPR and the transition period will affect you. The questions you will find in this document include:

Q1: How do I access marihuana during the transition period?

A1: If you have the support of a health care practitioner, you may access marihuana for medical purposes through either:

  1. The current Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (by applying to Health Canada); or
  2. The new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (by registering with a licensed producer).

Please note that you may only access marihuana for medical purposes under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, but not both.

Under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, you can apply to Health Canada to access one of the three sources of supply: Health Canada supply; Personal-Use Production Licence; or Designated-Person Production Licence. For more information on how to apply, please visit the "How to Apply" web page.

Please note that effective October 1, 2013, you can no longer apply for a new Personal-Use Production Licence or Designated-Person Production Licence or change the production site address or increase the number of plants associated with your licence to produce.

Under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, the original medical document signed by your health care practitioner can be submitted directly to a licensed producer along with a completed registration form from the licensed producer of your choice.

Q2: During the transition period, what is my proof of authority to possess marihuana?

A2: If you continue to access marihuana under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, your Authorization to Possess (ATP) will remain your proof of authority to possess until March 31, 2014. As of April 1, 2014, your ATP can no longer be used as proof that you are authorized to possess marihuana for medical purposes.

If you register with a licensed producer under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (regardless of whether it is before or after March 31, 2014) your proof of authority to possess will either be the label on the packaging or a separate document accompanying your shipment of dried marihuana from your licensed producer.

Q3: I have a valid Authorization to Possess. When can I transition to a licensed producer?

A3: You can transition anytime until the validity date shown on your Authorization to Possess. If you do not register with a licensed producer before your validity date, you can register using a medical document completed by your health care practitioner.

Health Canada has begun issuing licences to LPs. Contact information for LPs is available on the Health Canada website. This page will be updated regularly as new LPs are approved.

Q4: If I apply for or renew my Authorization to Possess now, when will it expire?

A4: Starting June 19, 2013, the Program began issuing Authorizations to Possess (ATPs) containing three dates: an issue date, an expiry date and a validity date.

The issue date is the date your ATP is issued to you. Your expiry date is March 31, 2014. At this time you will no longer be permitted to access the sources of supply available under the MMAR (Personal-Use Production Licence, Designated-Person Production Licence, or Health Canada supply). You will be able to use your ATP, instead of a medical document, to register with a licensed producer until the validity date, which is one year from the issue date.

Q5: My Authorization to Possess has an expiry date after March 31, 2014. How do the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations affect me?

A5: The repeal date of the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) is March 31, 2014.

As of April 1, 2014, the Authorization to Possess (ATP) issued to you under the MMAR cannot be used as proof of authority to possess, even if your ATP shows an expiry date later than March 31, 2014. However, you may use your ATP in place of a medical document to register with a licensed producer prior to your expiry date.

Q6: If my Authorization to Possess expires before March 31, 2014, what are my options for continuing to access marihuana for medical purposes?

A6: Until March 31, 2014, if you have the support of a health care practitioner, you may access marihuana for medical purposes through either:

  1. The Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (by applying to Health Canada); or
  2. The new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (by registering with a licensed producer).

Under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, you can apply to Health Canada to access one of the three sources of supply: Health Canada supply; Personal-Use Production Licence; or Designated-Person Production Licence. For more information on how to apply for one of these sources of supply, please visit the "How to Apply" web page at URL. Please note that effective October 1, 2013, you can no longer apply for a new Personal-Use Production Licence or Designated-Person Production Licence or apply to change the production site address or increase the number of plants associated with your licence to produce.

Under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, your health care practitioner must complete a medical document that you submit to a licensed producer along with a completed registration form from the licensed producer of your choice.

Please note that you may only have access to marihuana for medical purposes under either the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, but not both.

Q7: My Personal-Use Production Licence/Designated-Person Production Licence expires after March 31, 2014. Does that mean I can continue to produce or store marihuana until the expiry date?

A7: No. The Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) will be repealed on March 31, 2014. Any Personal-Use Production Licences and Designated-Person Production Licences issued under the MMAR are no longer valid as of that date, even if your licence shows a later expiry date. If you were issued a Personal-Use Production Licence or a Designated-Person Production Licence between April 1, 2013 and June 19, 2013, you will receive a letter that explains this in further detail.

The production of marihuana for medical purposes in private dwellings beyond March 31, 2014, is not permitted.

Q8: I have a Personal-Use Production Licence/Designated-Person Production Licence that expires after September 30, 2013. Can I still apply for a renewal?

A8: Yes. You can continue to apply to renew your Authorization to Possess and any associated Personal-Use or Designated-Person Production Licence; however, your new documents will expire on March 31, 2014.

Please note that effective October 1, 2013, you can no longer apply for a new PUPL or DPPL, or change the location of your production site or increase the number of plants associated with your Personal-Use or Designated-Person Production Licence.

Q9: I currently hold an Authorization to Possess and I would like to amend my source to have a Personal-Use Production Licence/Designated-Person Production Licence. Are these still being issued?

A9: To comply with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, effective October 1, 2013, Health Canada can no longer accept applications for new Personal-Use and Designated-Person Production Licences.

In addition, effective October 1, 2013, Health Canada will not accept applications to change the production site or increase the number of plants associated with a Personal-Use and Designated-Person Production Licence. Applications for new PUPLs and DPPLs, or amendments to existing PUPLs/DPPLs received on or after October 1, 2013, will be returned.

It is important to note that as of March 31, 2014, you will only be able to legally access marihuana for medical purposes through licensed producers.

Q10: I currently hold a Personal-Use Production Licence/Designated-Person Production Licence. Can I make changes to my licence after September 30, 2013?

A10: It depends on the change. Effective October 1, 2013, you can no longer apply to change the location of your production site or increase the number of plants associated with your production site.

Any applications to change the production site address or the number of plants associated with a licence received by Health Canada on or after October 1, 2013, will be returned to you.

You should also note that while applications to change the address of a production site must be received prior to October 1, 2013, the address change must take effect before December 15, 2013. If your application identifies that a change in the production site address will occur after December 15, 2013, it will be returned to you.

You can continue to renew your Personal-Use or Designated-Person Production Licence with no production site changes or increase in numbers of plants. In addition, Health Canada will continue to accept applications for Authorizations to Possess and renewals for Authorizations to Possess, including increases in daily amounts, until March 31, 2014.

Q11: What is the last date on which I can submit an application to the Marihuana Medical Access Program?

A11: Health Canada will issue and renew Authorizations to Possess marihuana for medical purposes and will renew Personal-Use Production Licences and Designated-Person Production Licences that do not change the production site address or increase the number of plants associated with the licence until March 31, 2014. Please note that the service standard for processing incoming, complete applications is up to 10 weeks. Therefore, if you wish to continue to apply to the Marihuana Medical Access Program, you are strongly advised to submit your completed application to Health Canada no later than 10 weeks prior to March 31, 2014.

It is important to note the MMAR will be repealed on March 31, 2014. As of March 31, 2014 the only legal means to access dried marihuana for medical purposes is through the system of licensed producers.

Q12: Can I still order dried marihuana from Health Canada during the transition period?

A12: Yes. Health Canada will continue to supply dried marihuana until March 31, 2014. In order to access Health Canada's supply, you must have a valid Authorization to Possess and you must have submitted a complete Form E1 "Application to Obtain Dried Marihuana" with your most recent application to the Marihuana Medical Access Program.

Q13: Where is the list of Health Canada approved licensed producers?

A13: Health Canada has begun issuing licences to LPs. Contact information for LPs is available on the Health Canada website. This page will be updated regularly as new LPs are approved.

Q14: Can I register with a licensed producer and still access my source of supply under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations?

A14: No. You can either choose to switch to the system of licensed producers by registering with a licensed producer or continue to access marihuana through a Personal-Use Production Licence, Designated-Person Production Licence, or through Health Canada supply under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations until March 31, 2014. Once you register with a licensed producer you may not access your previous source of supply.

Note: After March 31, 2014, the only legal supply of marihuana for medical purposes is via a licensed producer.

Q15: I currently hold a Personal-Use Production Licence. If I switch to a licensed producer, can I continue to produce marihuana until March 31, 2014?

A15: No. Once you register with a licensed producer your Authorization to Possess and Personal-Use Production Licence will be revoked and all marihuana in your possession must be destroyed.

All Personal-Use and Designated-Person Production Licences expire on March 31, 2014. As of April 1, 2014, the only legal means to access to dried marihuana for medical purposes will be through the system of licensed producers.

Q16: I currently have a designated person producing marihuana for me. Can I still receive marihuana from him/her if I switch to the system of licensed producers?

A16: No. Once you register with a licensed producer, your Authorization to Possess and the associated Designated-Person Production Licence will be revoked. When these licences are revoked, your designated person must destroy all marihuana and marihuana plants produced under the licence.

All Personal-Use and Designated-Person Production Licences expire on March 31, 2014. As of April 1, 2014, the only legal means to access to dried marihuana for medical purposes will be through the system of licensed producers.

Q17: I have a Designated-Person Production Licence. Can I continue to produce marihuana if the person I produce for switches to the system of licensed producers?

A17: No. If the authorized person associated with your licence registers with a licensed producer your Designated-Person Production Licence will be revoked and you are required to immediately destroy the marihuana and marihuana plants in your possession.

If you have a second DPPL to produce for another individual who has not yet switched to the system of licensed producers, you may continue to produce for that individual under a valid licence until March 31, 2014. The amount produced should be in line with the maximum amount listed on the remaining licence.

Q18: If I switch to the system of licensed producers will I have to dispose of my dried marihuana and/or marihuana plants?

A18: Yes. Once you are registered with a licensed producer you must dispose of any dried marihuana and/or marihuana plants in your possession.

Q19: How do I dispose of my dried marihuana and/or marihuana plants?

A19: To dispose of your dried marihuana and/or marihuana plants you must first render it unfit for use or consumption.

One way is to blend the marihuana with water and mix it with cat litter to mask the odour. This can then be placed in your regular household garbage. You must dispose of your dried marihuana and marihuana plants on or before March 31, 2014.

Please use discretion when destroying or disposing of your dried marihuana and/or marihuana plants. Health Canada will communicate with you at a later date to provide additional information on destruction. You may also contact your local law enforcement agency for information.

Q20: How do I register with a licensed producer using my Authorization to Possess document?

A20: You can use your Authorization to Possess (ATP) to register with a licensed producer until the validity date shown on the ATP. In order to do so, you must send your original ATP to the licensed producer. Once registered, your licensed producer will return the ATP to Health Canada so that it can be formally revoked. Your new proof of authority to possess will either be the label on the packaging or a separate document accompanying the shipment of dried marihuana provided by the licensed producer.

Please note that you must contact the licensed producer to obtain a registration form, if required, to complete and submit with your medical document. The registration form, along with your ATP, must be submitted directly to the licensed producer. Do not send your medical document or registration form to Health Canada.

Health Canada has begun issuing licences to LPs. Contact information for LPs is available on the Health Canada website. This page will be updated regularly as new LPs are approved.

Q21: How do I register with a licensed producer using a medical document?

A21: If your health care practitioner supports the use of marihuana for medical purposes in your case, he/she must complete a medical document on your behalf.

You must contact the licensed producer to obtain a registration form, if required, to complete and submit along with your medical document. The registration form and medical document must be submitted directly to the licensed producer. Do not send your medical document or registration form to Health Canada.

The licensed producer will process your registration application and once you have been approved, you will place orders directly through your licensed producer.

Health Canada has begun issuing licences to LPs. Contact information for LPs is available on the Health Canada website. This page will be updated regularly as new LPs are approved.

Q22: Where can I obtain a medical document to access dried marihuana under the system of licensed producers?

A22: You can download and print a template medical document from Health Canada's website.. If your health care practitioner chooses to use a different template, you must ensure that all required information, as described in the medical document template, is provided.

Health Canada has begun issuing licences to LPs. Contact information for LPs is available on the Health Canada website. This page will be updated regularly as new LPs are approved.

Q23: Can I use Form B "Medical Practitioner's Form" to register with a licensed producer?

A23: Form B should only be used for applications to Health Canada for an Authorization to Possess under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations. However, if your health care practitioner has already filled out the Form B, you can use it to register with a licensed producer instead of a medical document until March 31, 2014.

Q24: If I decide to register with a licensed producer, what information do I need to send to Health Canada?

A24: None. Health Canada is not involved in processing applications under the new system. Your original medical document must be sent directly to the licensed producer, not Health Canada.

Q25: Are licensed producers only allowed to produce/sell dried marihuana?

A25: Yes. Licensed producers are only allowed to provide dried marihuana for medical purposes.

Q26: Will licensed producers have more strain varieties than Health Canada?

A26: The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations do not restrict licensed producers to any one strain of marihuana.

Q27: How do I know if the marihuana produced by licensed producers is quality controlled?

A27: Licensed producers are required to follow the Technical Specifications for Dried Marihuana for Medical Purposes. This document is available on the Health Canada website and outlines the conditions that must be met for quality assurance. Health Canada will inspect licensed producers to ensure they meet all requirements of the regulations, including these specifications.

Q28: How much will licensed producers charge per gram?

A28: Under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, licensed producers are responsible for setting their own prices.

Q29: Will Health Canada continue to charge the same prices for its supply of dried marihuana for medical purposes?

A29: No. Health Canada will change the price of its own supply to match the price set by the licensed producers.

Q30: Under the new regulations, is there a limit to how much marihuana I can possess at any point in time?

A30: Yes. Under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, there is a possession cap of either 30 times the daily quantity of dried marihuana indicated by your health care practitioner on your medical document, or 150 grams of dried marihuana, whichever is less. You cannot possess or store an amount of marihuana that exceeds this amount.

Q31: How can I become a licensed producer?

A31: Information on how to become a licensed producer is available on the Health Canada website.

Q32: How can I obtain updated information about the transition period?

A32: Health Canada will continue to communicate updated information to you throughout the transition period through inserts in authorization and licence packages, direct mail and via the website.

You may also contact us at:
Email: mmap-pamm@hc-sc.gc.ca
Toll-free: 1-866-337-7705
Mail: Marihuana Medical Access Program
Health Canada
Address Locator: 0300A
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

Glossary of terms

Transition Period - The period between June 19, 2013, and March 31, 2014, in which you can access dried marihuana for medical purposes under either the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) or the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), but not both.

Terms specific to the MMAR:

Authorization to Possess (ATP)
Authorization to Possess dried marihuana for medical purposes under the MMAR.
Personal-Use Production Licence (PUPL)
Licence to produce marihuana for the applicant's own medical purposes under the MMAR.
Designated-Person Production Licence (DPPL)
Licence to produce marihuana for a named authorized individual's medical purposes under the MMAR.
Issue Date
The date on which your ATP/PUPL/DPPL was issued.
Expiry Date
The date on which your ATP/PUPL/DPPL expires. Since the MMAR will be repealed on March 31, 2014, all ATPs, PUPLs and DPPLs will expire no later than this date.
Validity Date
The last date up to which you can use your ATP in place of a medical document to register with a licensed producer under the MMPR.

Terms specific to the MMPR:

Medical document
The document your health care practitioner completes and that you must submit directly to a licensed producer to register for access to dried marihuana for medical purposes under the MMPR.
Licensed Producer
A producer licensed by Health Canada to produce dried marihuana for medical purposes under the MMPR.
The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) and the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) at a glance
Questions MMAR MMPR
How do I obtain access to marihuana for medical purposes? Complete Health Canada application forms and submit to Health Canada. Have your health care practitioner complete a medical document and submit the original directly to a licensed producer.
What are my options for obtaining supply? Three options: Health Canada supply, Personal-Use Production Licence (PUPL), or Designated-Person Production Licence (DPPL). One option only: from a licensed producer.
What is my proof of authority to possess? Health Canada-issued Authorization to Possess (ATP). The label on the packaging and a separate document accompanying the shipment of dried marihuana provided by the licensed producer. Photo identification may also be requested.
Can I produce for myself or have someone produce for me? Yes, with a PUPL or a DPPL. No.
How do I renew? You can renew using Health Canada application forms. Effective October 1, 2013, Health Canada is no longer accepting applications for new PUPLs/DPPLs and applications with changes to production sites and increases to the number of plants associated with licences. Have your health care practitioner complete a medical document and submit the original directly to a licensed producer. You will be required to renew annually (or sooner, depending on the duration indicated on your medical document).
How do I make changes to my address/personal information? Submit an amendment application to Health Canada. Effective October 1, 2013, Health Canada is no longer accepting applications for new PUPLs/DPPLs or applications with changes to production sites and increases to the number of plants associated with licences. Contact your licensed producer to make any changes to your address/personal information.
How do I place orders for dried marihuana or marihuana seeds? By using the Health Canada order form. Order dried marihuana directly from your licensed producer.
Can I possess marihuana for medical purposes after March 31, 2014? No. All marihuana must be destroyed on or before this date. Yes, you can possess marihuana that has been shipped to you from a licensed producer.
Can I produce marihuana for medical purposes after March 31, 2014? No. All marihuana must be destroyed on or before this date. No.
Can I apply for access to marihuana for medical purposes between now and March 31, 2014? Yes. Health Canada will accept applications for ATPs until this date. Effective October 1, 2013, Health Canada is no longer accepting applications for new PUPLs/DPPLs and applications with changes to production sites and increases to the number of plants associated with licences. Yes. You may register with a licensed producer at any time.