NEWS

Medical marijuana definition ruling due today from Supreme Court of Canada

06/11/2015 06:16 EDT | Updated 06/11/2016 05:59 EDT
The Supreme Court of Canada is due to rule today on the exact definition of medical marijuana — and whether users have a right to products such as cookies, brownies, tea, lotions and oils.

Currently, federal regulations stipulate that authorized users of physician-prescribed cannabis can only consume dried marijuana. Any other form of consumption other than smoking the dried plant buds can trigger criminal trafficking and narcotics possession charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act

The case dates to 2009, when police found more than 200 pot cookies and cannabis-infused olive oil and grapeseed oil in the Victoria apartment of Owen Smith. The former head baker for the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and unlawful possession of marijuana. 

Smith was acquitted by a British Columbia judge, who gave the federal government a year to change the laws around extracts.

A B.C. appeal court also ruled in Smith's favour, leading the federal government to take the case to Canada's top court.

The federal government has passed new medical marijuana laws since the case began, but Smith's lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, said the new rules repeat the same ban on edibles and derivatives.

The ruling is expected to be released at 9:45 a.m. ET in Ottawa.

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