For medical cannabis patients in Canada, August 24th is the day that will increase their access to cannabis products through the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The new regulations bring some very progressive laws to the Canadian medical cannabis space, while also allowing the cultivation of your own plants. Let’s break down the changes to Canada’s cannabis laws and identify some crucial elements that are missing.
What has the ACMPR changed?
The ACMPR are a brand new set of regulations, replacing the former Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) from the medical system. The new laws still require the purchase of cannabis flower and oils through one of Canada’s 30 licenced producers, but with a new caveat that will surely excite enthusiasts.
Under the ACMPR, patients can choose to cultivate a certain amount of cannabis by themselves. Alternatively, they can designate an experienced grower to become their very own “personal cannabis farmer.”
In terms of the amount of cannabis that can be grown, Health Canada says you can grow up to 5 indoor or 2 outdoor plants for every gram of cannabis you are prescribed daily. I’d say those laws are pretty reasonable, as 5 properly grown hydro plants could produce as much as 1.5 kilograms (52 ounces) of cannabis.
The problems that many patients still face
While the ACMPR addresses the issues of home cultivation, it still has a huge amount of problems with regards to financial support and the eligibility of new patients seeking medicine.
The official illnesses and symptoms that are eligible for Canadian medical cannabis include chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer-related pain, nausea, and vomiting.
But while those symptoms seem crystal clear, many patients aren’t getting the recognition for acquiring their medicine, often having to jump hurdles that are too high for a lot of Canadians. One of the highest hurdles for many is the actual price of medical cannabis.
While organizations like Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana strive to help out patients in lower income brackets, thousands of people are still being left out.
The other big problem that patients face is just the sheer complexity of medical cannabis. Many patients get into the market with little to no knowledge about dosages, strains, THC or CBD benefits, and many more aspects of the herb. The ACMPR still lacks the stigma-free approach to educating its patients about the numerous benefits of cannabis.
Patients also have to deal with constant supply problems, often resulting in incomplete treatment. The next change to the medical system should include comprehensive coverage of al types of cannabis products; be it fresh herb, concentrates, edibles, or tinctures etc.
Is the Canadian medical cannabis industry heading in the right direction? What other aspects do you think need to be changed? Let us know on social media or in the comments below!