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Cannabis Climate in Canada - Medical Cannabis in the Dawn of Legalization


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CCSN was pleased to welcome back Trina Fraser, part of the Cannabis Law team at Brazeau Seller Law Firm. Brazeau Seller Law’s CannaLaw® group has been advising cannabis industry participants since the inception of the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations in 2013. Their cannabis team is also preparing employers for the legalization of cannabis by creating and updating substance-use and human rights’ accommodation policies, and advising on rights and obligations relating to cannabis use in the workplace.

In this webinar, Trina discussed the Cannabis Act, which came into effect October 17th. In particular, she highlighted how medical cannabis may be affected by these new legalization guidelines.

The webinar was followed by a question and answer session for attendees.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Cannabis Climate in Canada - Medical Cannabis in the Dawn of Legalization

  1. 1. Cannabis Climate in Canada: Medical Cannabis in the Dawn of Legalization Canadian Cancer Survivor Network October 30, 2018
  2. 2. MMAR Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (under CDSA) (2001-2014) ↓ MMPR Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (under CDSA) (2014-2016) ↓ ACMPR Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (under CDSA) (2016-2018) ↓ Cannabis Regulations (under Cannabis Act) (effective October 17, 2018) History of Cannabis Regulations
  3. 3. • ACMPR replaced by similar regulations within the Cannabis Regulations to the new Cannabis Act • Medical access regulations now contained within Part 14 of the Cannabis Regulations, titled “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes” • Automatic transition for existing medical patients Regulatory Change
  4. 4. Part 14 of the Cannabis Regulations look very similar to the ACMPR, but with some changes, including the following: 1) Product labelling/packaging 2) Patient info on product label 3) Monthly purchasing limit 4) Patient registration document 5) Expiration of registration with Minister What’s Different?
  5. 5. 6) Transferability/return of medical documents 7) Expiration of medical documents 8) New product forms 9) Storage limits for personal growers 10) Excise tax See also: medication/cannabis/medical-use-cannabis.html What’s Different?
  6. 6. Product Packaging/Labelling Source: Health Canada - Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis: Summary of Comments Received During the Public Consultation – March 2018
  7. 7. • Patient information will no longer be on the product label (no client label) • As a result, the product itself will not identify you as a medical cannabis patient Patient Info on Label
  8. 8. • ACMPR restriction on LPs providing more than a 30 day supply within any 30 day period has been removed • This restriction has been lifted in order to ensure continuity of supply Purchasing Limits
  9. 9. • If registering with an LP, you receive a “registration document” • Patient information which was previously contained on the client label will now be on the registration document Patient Registration Info
  10. 10. s.314(2) of Regs: “If the Minister has received an application [for renewal] but has not notified the applicant of the Minister’s decision in respect of the application before the current registration expires, the registration remains valid until the Minister notifies the applicant…of the decision.” Expiration of Personal Production Registration
  11. 11. • Under the ACMPR, LPs were prohibited from returning or transferring a medical document (a fresh medical document was required to change LPs) • This restriction has been removed in the Cannabis Regulations, and LP’s now have an obligation to return or transfer the medical document “without delay” Medical Documents
  12. 12. • Permissible product types remain restricted to dried cannabis and cannabis oil (limited THC concentration) until edibles and concentrates regulations come into force, but new dosage formats for dried cannabis (e.g. pre-rolls) • Also seeing continued product innovation by LPs within the current permissible product types (e.g. Aurora Cloud) New Products Forms
  13. 13. • There are no longer any storage limits for medical cannabis • Provincial private possession restrictions (Quebec and British Columbia) do not apply to medical cannabis Storage Limits
  14. 14. • Excise duties now apply to all cannabis products except those with <0.3% THC • Higher of (i) flat-rate at time of packaging; and (ii) ad valorem rate at time of delivery to purchaser – @10% - paid by packager • CFAMM continues to advocate strongly for the removal of excise tax from all medical cannabis • In the meantime, several LPs have confirmed their intention to absorb the excise duty and not pass it on to patients Excise Tax
  15. 15. • Legalization has precipitated the imposition by many landlords / condo boards of cultivation / consumption bans, in some cases without reasonable accommodation for medical use • Legal challenges are expected and will address the issue of what constitutes “undue hardship” in the context of medical cannabis accommodation Landlord / Condo Board Issues
  16. 16. • Medical patients must follow provincial laws and municipal by-laws for cannabis consumption BUT if they do not provide reasonable accommodation for medical cannabis consumption, expect them to be challenged as violating provincial human rights codes Consumption
  17. 17. • You must follow provincial rules re: vehicle transport • Keep product in original packaging if possible and/or carry copy of purchase receipt • Carry a copy of your registration document/certificate with you (digital copy on phone or hard copy) How should I transport my medical cannabis?
  18. 18. • Supply shortages due to new rec market • Continued lack of store-front sales • HST/GST • Cost / lack of coverage under benefit plans • Pressure to eliminate medical stream • Ongoing reluctance of many physicians to prescribe Other Concerns for Medical Patients
  19. 19. Trina Fraser Partner and CannaLaw® Group Leader Brazeau Seller Law Twitter: @trinafraser