Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations Struck Down by Federal Court

The Federal Court struck down Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (the MMPR) as unconstitutional, on February 24, 2016, in Allard v. Canada.

The decision does not take effect for 6 months to allow the federal government to develop new medical marijuana laws that comply with the constitution.

The Federal Court struck down the MMPR for a number of reasons, including that the MMPR:

  • does not allow individuals to grow their own marijuana for medical purposes (which was previously allowed through a licensing process under Canada’s old medical marijuana system, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or MMAR); and
  • limits medical marijuana to dried form.

While the Allard case was being decided, the Federal Court made an interim order allowing some people who had certain valid licenses for growing medical marijuana under the old MMAR to continue to use those licenses until the case was decided.

That interim order continues to be in effect, so people who have both of the following old MMAR licenses can continue to grow their own medical marijuana or have their designated-person grow it for them:

  • a personal or designated-person MMAR production license that was valid on or after September 30, 2013,
  • an associated valid Authorization to Possess under the MMAR as of March 21, 2014.

It is unclear how the Federal government will respond to the Court’s decision. We will provide an update when we have more information.

Medical marijuana/cannabis is a complicated issue in Canada. If you are living with HIV in Ontario and have questions about medical marijuana, please contact us for free legal advice.

Here are links to the Federal Court of Canada website about the Allard decision:

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