What is the ACMPR?
Access to legal medicinal Cannabis for Canadians is now solely through Health Canada’s Accessing Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). These federal regulations were enacted on August 24, 2016.
The ACMPR allows Canadians to purchase their medicinal cannabis through a licensed producer, grow their own personal supply of medicinal cannabis, or designate someone to grow for them. Canadians who choose to grow their medicinal cannabis need to be registered and approved by Health Canada. Upon receiving their registration certificate, personal growers may buy their genetic starter material from a licensed producer.
Canadian healthcare professionals can provide patients with a Medical Document (prescription) that can then be submitted to either a licensed producer or to Health Canada when registering to become a personal or designated grower. The ACMPR intentions are to make it easier for Canadians who require medicinal cannabis therapy to access a legal, quality-controlled supply of medicinal cannabis through a licensed producer or to be able to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes.
History of the ACMPR
How Does It Work?
Under the ACMPR, producers may apply to Health Canada and obtain a license to grow and produce medical marijuana. They may then distribute the product to patients and medical clinics. In most cases, patients will deal directly with the licensed producer after obtaining an authorization for medical cannabis from a medical professional.
Patients who wish to use medical marijuana must qualify to do so. They must obtain an authorization from their doctor or another medical practitioner. The authorization outlines the patient’s dosage and the duration of treatment. This document allows the patient to legally possess the appropriate amount of cannabis during the treatment period.
As an example, a patient authorized to use one gram of cannabis per day for three months would be allowed to have up to 90 grams of cannabis in their possession at the outset of the treatment period. After 45 days, they would only be allowed to have 45 grams in their possession. If the patient and doctor decide to continue treatment, a new authorization would be
What Will Happen under the Cannabis Act?
With the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes, some people initially speculated the government would do away with the medical marijuana program. Even though the government has assured patients and practitioners the ACMPR would remain in place after October 17, 2018, some people question if a medical cannabis program is still necessary.
The answer is yes. The ACMPR still provides a legal framework for the medicinal usage of cannabis. One good example is the issue of possession. Under the Cannabis Act, an individual may only have so many grams of cannabis in their possession at any time. With an authorization under the ACMPR, a patient can carry more than this in accordance with their medical needs. eo.
From this scenario alone, it’s easy to see how the ACMPR benefits medical cannabis patients in an environment where cannabis is legal, but still tightly controlled. The ACMPR also helps ensure the quality of products available to the medical market, as medical cannabis must adhere to strict regulation of strain quality.
Essentially, with the ACMPR still in place, medical marijuana patients in Canada can rest easy. The Cannabis Act may change many things, but medical access to this treatment option has been safeguarded by the ACMPR.