October 29, 2018 by Mariana Wolff, Innovate Phytoceuticals


Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) which provided Canadians with a licensing means to grow and possess their own cannabis for medical purposes, was introduced in 2001. In 2014, the government introduced the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) which replaced the MMAR and essentially introduced an avenue for commercial production of medical cannabis. A major oversight with the introduction of the MMPR was an absence of framework for Canadians to continue producing their own medical cannabis, without being forced to source it from commercial Licensed Producers (LPs) of cannabis. There was tremendous uproar and this issue went to court in the 2016 Allard vs Canada case. This case resulted in an injunction which permitted the existing holders of an MMAR license to continue to produce and possess medical cannabis for personal use as per activities and quantities detailed on their licenses. The federal government was given 6 months to develop a framework that would enable Canadians to produce and posses their own medical cannabis without the need for them to purchase from LPs. This came in the form of the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), introduced in 2016. The ACMPR presented a licensing framework for production of medical cannabis for personal use, in addition to commercial cannabis production by LPs.


Today, the new Cannabis Act and Regulations enacted on October 17 th , 2018 are in effect. Cannabis legalization introduced framework for recreational (non-medical) cannabis cultivation, production, sales and possession. The new Act governs all things cannabis, from hemp to medical cannabis to non-medical cannabis. MMAR licenses do continue to be “stayed” while the Allard Injunction remains in place, which is until further order by the court. Current ACMPR for personal production licensees may also continue to operate under their licenses until their expiry dates, at which time they will need to register for personal production licenses under the new Act. If MMAR licensees require any changes on the details of their license, for example a site address change, they will not be able to modify these licenses. This means, at the time a change is required by an MMAR license holder, these individuals will need to apply for personal production licensing under the new Act. Over time, it is anticipated the MMAR licensees will naturally transition into the new Act licensing regime but for the time being these licenses continue to be a valid and appropriate means for personal production of medical cannabis.