Canada’s MMPR Program Clears Key Legal Hurdle for Cannabis Oil
July 9th, 2015
News, Top Story
Canada has not approved marijuana as a drug or medicine and it hasn’t gone through the necessary rigorous scientific trials for efficacy or safety, but the country’s courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes when authorized by a physician. As a result, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations – or MMPR – were formed in 2013 to set strict controls on the production and sale of marijuana.
Since then, the MMPR program has been the subject of much scrutiny by both marijuana advocates looking to grow at home and critics looking to stem the drug’s proliferation. The last of the major legal challenges to the legislation, R v. Smith, was resolved in June when the Supreme Court found that cannabis oil extracts are okay to be sold in the same manner as dried cannabis – that is, users would no longer be forced to smoke the substance.
According to a July 8th statement from the court:
As a result of the Supreme Court of Canada decision, individuals authorized to possess marijuana under the MMPR and those falling under the terms of a court injunction (for example, Allard injunction) may now possess marijuana derivatives for their own use. In order to eliminate uncertainty around a legal source of supply of marijuana, Health Canada has taken the immediate step of issuing a section 56 exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), allowing licensed producers to produce and sell cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves in addition to dried marijuana (plant material that can be used to propagate marijuana will not be permitted to be sold by licensed producers to clients). The role of healthcare practitioners in authorizing marijuana for medical purposes does not change. … The Section 56 exemption under the CDSA enables licensed producers to provide a legal source of cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves. This exemption, effective immediately, sets out the strict terms and conditions with which licensed producers must comply.
The move paves the way for a number of MMPR producers to begin selling not only dried cannabis, but cannabis oil extracts, similar to those found in the U.S., when treating medical ailments. Many of these producers have been waiting on the sidelines until the regulatory picture cleared up before beginning commercial activities, which often meant sitting on and paying for costly underutilized facilities and equipment.
Licensed producers are hoping that cannabis oil extracts will help open up an entirely new segment of the market that is less open to smoking marijuana, while setting the stage for higher margin products compared to dried cannabis plants. In addition, investors will be closely watching these developments with several publicly traded companies operating in the space, including Tweed Marijuana Inc. (OTC: TWMJF) and OrganiGram Holdings Inc. (OTC: OGRMF), among others.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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