Wednesday's release of Health Canada's new medical cannabis regulations, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations brings some big changes for patients. Perhaps the biggest is the reintroduction of statutes that allow Canadian patients to grow for themselves, or to designate someone to grow on their behalf.
The current debate and coverage focuses on legalization and regulation combining the interests of everyone from recreational users to growers to government. Without the interests of patients represented in this debate, we run the risk of establishing a future framework that is set up to fail and will require further modification.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has written a letter to the head of Municipal Licensing and Standards to ask for a report and recommendations for dealing with what he called the "verging on out of control" growth of medical marijuana dispensaries. Let's compare their health and safety impacts to industries that already exist.
I am sick and tired of being a young man living with a malignant cancer inside my head, terrified of having the seizure that could cost me my lifestyle and independence, sleepless nights before the six-month interval MRIs that tell me my fate and my future.
Last week we saw the Pharmacy Association weigh in on the future of medicinal cannabis distribution in Canada. They want in now, saying they should be the "front line" in dispensing the drug. It is an interesting reversal from their earlier position on medicinal cannabis, so let's try to understand why.
Mettrum's licensed production facilities span over 80,000 square feet of capacity, located on a total of over 80 acres of land. The Bowmanville location (one of two) is massive, and houses their client service team and part of the grow operations.
Once implemented, Bill 45 would put medicinal marijuana under the same regulations as tobacco products under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. I am in full agreement and support of the proposed changes to control the sale of e-cigarettes, but I can't agree with lumping in medicinal cannabis patients.
We've all experienced that annoyance, maybe on the bus, at work, in parks and malls in every corner of the province. Packs of medicinal cannabis users vaping their cannabis, wantonly blowing their cannabis vapour in our faces, laughing at us while they "get high." Call me sheltered, but I have never encountered it.
Wynne has called the new regulations "common sense," and Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla has stated this "strikes a balance" between the rights of medical cannabis users and other Ontarians, but I fail to see a fair and just consideration of medical cannabis users' rights in the equation.
Honest conversations between doctors and patients are crucial in overcoming the barriers to real and effective healthcare solutions. It's time to replace the fear, stigma and misinformation too often associated with medical cannabis with science, reason and compassion.