Canada's medical marijuana system overhaul starts Tuesday


Canada is kicking off a $1.3 billion medical marijuana initiative on Tuesday that it hopes will serve nearly half a million residents by 2024, The Canadian Press reported Sunday.

The new system, known as the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, will "provide access to quality-controlled marihuana for medical purposes, produced under secure and sanitary conditions, to those Canadians who need it," said the government's health agency, Health Canada, which announced the plans in June.

It will be a huge change for medicinal weed in Canada.

Until now, medical pot has been produced only by individual growers, who are not allowed to supply more than two people each. Starting this April, those small-time growers will have their licenses nullified, and large, privately owned weed farms (including a former Hershey factory in Ontario) will replace them.

Under the new regulations, Canadian residents can have a doctor fill out and sign what looks like a pretty simple form, after which they can receive pot to treat medical conditions for a one-year period.

Once the system is up and running, the price of the ganja could fall to as low as $3 per gram, said senior Health Canada official Sophie Galarneau, according to The Canadian Press. But the weed will start at $7.60 a gram, the news agency notes, which is more expensive than the $5 per gram it currently sells for.

Advanced technology will likely provide prospective pot buyers with several options under the new system. Saskatoon-based Prairie Plant Systems, which won the first contracts to mass produce medical marijuana in Canada, will reportedly grow weed with three different levels of THC so customers can choose what strength they prefer, depending on their ailment. (Prairie Plant also sold medicinal weed under Canada's old system.)

But the new regulations have their critics. The Vancouver-based pro-legalization magazine Cannabis Culture has lambasted the government for poor marketing on its new program and has called into question the quality and safety of Prairie Plant's marijuana.

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Recent Comments »

Mica Kizbig site profile image  

10/24/13 11:50 AM by Mica Kizbig

Yup, the new MMPR is going to be for the big boys. The only way that smaller commercial co-ops would have a chance is to have a bunch of them band together and pool money and resources.

Kerouac site profile image  

10/17/13 11:45 AM by Kerouac

To start off...1. You need hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars.2. need lots of land....I'll stop there because most people in Canada won't be able to match Big Corps when it comes to financing, security, health and safety etc.

simms site profile image  

10/17/13 8:31 AM by simms

Anyone know how you go about getting a commercial license now?

DiSmAnTLeR site profile image  

10/16/13 8:11 PM by DiSmAnTLeR

For some reason, I can't post more than a few words at a time

DiSmAnTLeR site profile image  

10/16/13 8:10 PM by DiSmAnTLeR

Again, From my experiences the majority of 'medical' users are exploiting the system.That is the whole reason for the overhaul. The police are in agreement with the underground on this matter. The only people saying that the system is valid are people with cards exploiting it and people that aren't very familiar with the program.Its not hard to spend a couple bills, fake some migraines and get a Skype doctor to sign off on your form. ANYBODY could have done it up until now.

DiSmAnTLeR site profile image  

10/16/13 8:04 PM by DiSmAnTLeR

I had a long winded reply to this outlining some typical costs, but the app wouldn't let me post it.Probably said too much anyways.$100 an ounce is an insult.

Foos site profile image  

10/5/13 3:13 PM by Foos

Charging $100 per ounce still gets the grower $1600 per pound. That is still decent money.

Foos site profile image  

10/5/13 3:12 PM by Foos

I would estimate that most recreational marijuana users spend between $50-$400 per month.When marijuana is used for pain management the doses can be upwards of 10+ ounces a month. A legitimate patient that is not attached to the underground community will be forced to pay $7-$9 per gram through licensed commercial growers. This will bring their medicine bill to over $2000 per month. That is not feasible for 99.9% of the patients out there.

Kerouac site profile image  

10/5/13 2:19 PM by Kerouac

Most non-patient regular use consumers pay thousands of dollars a month too...I agree that the underground exists because of profit motive, but some do grow out of the goodness of their heart.Example...i'm from a small rural area and local enthusiasts pay 80-100 bucks an ounce( consumers ) from the growers. They( growers ) know that the " enthusiasts " aren't going to turn around and sell what they're buying so they pretty much give it away to them. Different idea when dealers come to the door though.From what I've heard.

Foos site profile image  

10/5/13 1:55 PM by Foos

Are you mad that sick people 'turned their back on the underground'? A lot of those people using marijuana for medicine have a legitimate need for it. I have lot's of sympathy for these people that are going to have a medicine bill in the thousands of dollars every month.The underground exists because of the profit motive, not because they are growing weed out of the goodness of their heart. Those who were growing weed must have realized that their industry would come to an end in their lifetime. Weed will become legalized one of these days. I hope 'the underground' are prepared for this.