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.
To the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation:
CanEvolve is an organization dedicated to “Facilitating the Evolution of Cannabis in Canada”. We have decades of prior background experience in various disciplines, including educating the public, media and politicians on the subject of cannabis. We are honoured to have this opportunity to provide feedback about the upcoming regulation of cannabis in hopes the voices of all Canadians are taken into account.
Please accept and review our submission and please feel free to contact us if you require any additional information.
June 12, 2016
People have used cannabis in one form or another on this land before it was a country, and whether it was legal or not. A culture of cannabis devotees grew in large numbers in the 60’s, and still live amongst us, disguised as your collegue, boss, teammate, sister, dad, it could be any or all. It became visible to the mainstream in the mid-90’s with the advent of the internet, a new dedicated magazine, hemp stores, compassion clubs, but many outsiders never noticed, despite lots of media coverage of milestones and events, where stakeholders and supporters make the news.
These are the people who have been growing, breeding, and innovating all along, and improved and generally shaped how cannabis is today. Specialty information coming from science combined with anecdotal evidence from the culture, is producing the most optimized products needed from cannabis and the culture is always on the leading edge until the mainstream catches up years later by court order.
May 23, 2016
No one has stepped up to help Calgary patients who want or need cannabis for their health since the Universal Compassion Centre from 1998-2000, followed by the Calgary Medicinal Marijuana Center. These underground compassion clubs offered cannabis directly to the patient.
The government’s legal program to acquire cannabis through Licensed Producers requires your doctor to sign a form that becomes the prescription. Most doctors refuse, so the barriers to the program became insurmountable to the point the law was struck down in Federal Court and must be fixed by August so patients can again grow their own.
May 4, 2016
The people who run dispensaries in Vancouver, Toronto and elsewhere, claim there is a need for their services. On the other side, most municipalities claim the need doesn’t exist because people can buy from Licensed Producers (LP’s).
If we were introducing cannabis to society for the first time, then the government could implement any system it desired and people would likely be okay with it, but cannabis has been around before we all took our first breath, and consumers have already figured out ways to access the plant without government assistance or doctors permission.
In order to access legal cannabis, patients need their doctor to sign a prescription for them to submit to an LP. Most doctors refuse so this system is broken from the onset. Clinics are opening up around the country that help patients access the LP’s, but many want a fee of $200-$400 to make it happen. There are also issues with supply, quality and other problems that have been inherent in the growing pains of this new industry that is run by many people who have never grown cannabis before.
May 2, 2016
The Liberal government announced plans to legalize cannabis in Canada in the Spring 2017.
This news comes with some trepidation for long time stakeholders, as there is no allowance for representation on the Advisory Panel. Instead the Panel is made of former prohibitionists and others who view cannabis usage as “drug abuse”.
Cannabis has been illegal throughout our lifetimes, so it is woven into the societal fabric in a “wild west” sort of way and much of that can not be undone – especially within the near future. The black market is very well established, consumers are used to certain prices and quality and many will continue to use the black market if the regulated market falls short in any expectations.
April 28, 2016
When I got on the internet in 1998 it seemed like such magical times – Matt Elrod started a listserve in 1996 for Canadian activists known as CMAP  where we shared news articles and wrote letters to the editor. Hemp just become legal in Canada in May  and the embryo that became the medical cannabis program saw it’s birth, first in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act Section 56 exemptions, then via a Supreme Court decision in July 2000  which forced the government to introduce the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations on July 30, 2001. The Liberals were in power and Alan Rock was in charge of Health Canada. Some patients could grow their own cannabis legally for the first time since 1932. In retrospect, Alan Rock was the best minister ever to reign over that portfolio, and an open letter I had published nation-wide in 1999 berating him for only allowing Section 56 exemptions at that time never fell on deaf judicial ears at least.