A Brief History Of Medical Marijuana Regulations in Canada
Under the 2001 Medical Marijuana Access Regulations (MMAR) system, patients required an Authorization to Possess (ATP) license, and with this, could source their medical marijuana from Health Canada, grow their own, or designate a grower.
The 2013 Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) ushered in a new program - where licensed producers were the only legal source of marijuana in Canada. Under this program, personal and designated growing was no longer legal.
During the transition from the MMAR to the MMPR program, Health Canada ordered patients and designated growers to destroy their crops and stored marijuana before they transitioned to licensed producers, now their only source of legal medical marijuana.
In response to Health Canada's demand, Neil Allard and plaintiffs, launched a case against the government. They argued that being forced into the MMPR program would deny them affordable access to necessary medicine. An injunction was granted to allow growers under the MMAR program to continue producing medical marijuana - until a decision was reached
The Allard court case that addressed some of the challenges pertaining to patient access to medical marijuana was, for all intents and purposes, a victory for patients, as the federal court judge recognized the limitations of the MMPR regulatory system. On February 24, 2016, the government did not appeal the Federal Court Decision that found the MMPR to be unconstitutional.
On August 11, 2016, in response to the Federal Court of Canada's decision in Allard v. Canada, Health Canada announced the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The ACMPR has replaced the 2013 MMPR and 2001 MMAR, as the regulations governing Canada's current medical marijuana program.