In a scheduled press conference, Health Canada had this to say:
In response to the Federal Court of Canada’s decision in Allard vs. Canada, Health Canada is announcing today the access to cannabis for medical purposes regulations. These regulations will come into force August 24, 2016.
Under these new regulations [patients] will be able to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes, or they will be able to designate someone to produce it for them.
These new regulations expand upon the existing system that forces Canadians to select one of 34 producers across the country to supply their medication.
Patients who prefer to grow their own will need to get permission from their prescribing doctor and register their intent to grow with Health Canada.
The federal government will be working with the provincial governments to determine how much each patient will be allowed to cultivate, which could differ from province to province.
Health Canada did say they are “committed to studying other models” of marijuana distribution so patients can have access, but they stopped short of endorsing any dispensary scenario for now. In that respect, Health Canada is regurgitating what the feds have already stated — let local law enforcement enforce the “laws.”
An interesting and rather cryptic message, Health Canada revealed that they are exploring other models such as pharmacy distribution. It’s no secret that Canada’s largest pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart, has been publicly and privately lobbying the government to be the retail option of choice.
The final part of today’s announcement was to let Canadians know that this is a temporary solution and shouldn’t be interpreted as the long-term plan for both medical and recreational marijuana in Canada. That announcement will still come next spring according to schedule.