This was the old program approved by Heath Canada in 2001 in which Canadians were granted access marijuana for medical purposes if they have had the support of their physicians.
Once approved by Health Canada, individuals had three options for obtaining a legal supply of dried marijuana under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR):
1) they can apply under the MMAR to access Health Canada’s supply of dried marijuana;
2) they can apply for a personal-use production licence; or
3) they can designate someone to cultivate on their behalf with a designated-person production licence.
As a result of potential abuse, the Government of Canada introduced the new MMPR Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations after extensive consultations. On June 19, 2013 the new regulations were published and the aim is to treat marijuana as much as possible like any other narcotic used for medical purposes. Abandoning MMAR, Health Canada is creating conditions for a new, commercial industry that is responsible for its production and distribution.
During the transition period, the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMRP) and the old Marihuana Medical Access Regulations program were to operate concurrently. On March 31, 2014, the production of marijuana for medical purposes in private residences was to end and patient were to switch to a licensed producer as soon as they become available.
As of April 1, 2014, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations was to be repealed and the only way to access marijuana for medical purposes will be through commercial, licensed producers. At this time the Marihuana Medical Access Program was suppose to end.
However as a result of ongoing litigation and a recent court ruling, the MMAR program was extended beyond March 21, 2014, this included Authorizations to Possess, Personal-Use Production Licences, and Designated-Person Production Licences.
In order to qualify for the extension, the following criteria must be met:
- Individuals must have held a valid Authorizations to Possess under the MMAR on March 21, 2014.
- Individuals must have held a valid Personal-Use Production Licence or Designated-Person Production Licence under the MMAR on, or after, September 30, 2013, where there is also an associated valid ATP as of March 21, 2014.
Individuals who already don’t have a certification under Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) and do not fall under the scope of the court order but have the support of a licensed healthcare practitioner may register with a licensed producer under the MMPR.
For more information on how to access marijuana for medical purposes from a licensed producer, visit here.