A Growing Problem

September 2, 2016

On August 24, 2016, anyone who was a patient under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), was automatically eligible under the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) to grow their own cannabis plants at a rate of 5 plants (2 outdoors) per gram daily prescription. Well, not everyone*.

Overnight, approximately 70,000 Canadians were legally allowed to grow their own medicine (not including the 28,000 who were already eligible under a court injunction from the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMAR) program), and for many, that creates a dilemma. Yes they would love to grow their own plants and have that type of control and cost savings, but it isn’t that simple. Many are living somewhere that makes it impossible. Others don’t have the first clue how to go about setting up a safe, secure grow room. Some simply don’t have the money to invest in the equipment needed to start. Eventually the business community will step up and provide answers and services that will help solve the problems.

What is needed?:

Grow facilities that are exempt from the 4 Licenses / one location that can offer a range of services from just providing the space / providng equipment / garden maintenance .. endless possibilities if the regulations are relaxed. In the interim, it will require some innovative measures to create facilities that will accommodate 4 licenses per space, with an average of 60-100 plants total, and still be an accessible, affordable way for patients to be supplied.

Education – seminars, workshops, courses.. so much is needed to help educate patients and health care practitioners on cannabis as medicine and how to grow a safe, secure, successful medicinal garden.

The future is bright for cannabis medicine as people seek safer, cheaper alternatives to pharmaceuticals, and with legalization around the proverbial corner, the need for these two factors – grow facilities and education, will only expand to a much greater degree. CanEvolve is trying to help find solutions and partners that will help patients, and eventually all adults, to harvest their own plants.

Debra Harper

*In a vaguely worded part of the regulation it states you are not eligible if:
A personal or designated producer must be an adult. Additionally, the eligibility criteria include that an applicant for a registration as a personal producer must not have been convicted in the preceding 10 years of a designated marihuana offence that was committed while he/she was authorized to produce marihuana under the CDSA other than under the ACMPR or a designated cannabis offence that was committed while authorized under the ACMPR to produce cannabis. If the preference is to designate another individual to produce cannabis, this person must be indicated in the application, and must meet a separate set of eligibility criteria, including that he/she has not been convicted, as an adult, of a designated drug offence in the preceding 10 years.