Vancouver, British Columbia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) applauds today’s BC Supreme Court decision finding Health Canada’s Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP) to be unconstitutional. “This decision is great news for patients and their providers,” said Adam Greenblatt, a CAMCD Director. “Cannabis foods and resins are the cornerstone of many patients’ medical treatment.”
The defendant, Owen Smith, the head baker for Victoria’s Cannabis Buyer’s Club of Canada, was charged with possession of THC for the purposes of trafficking and possession of cannabis. In December 2009 Mr. Smith was arrested in a downtown apartment while baking cookies infused with medical cannabis which are used as treatment for patients suffering from chronic and critical conditions who cannot or choose not to inhale or otherwise use dried cannabis.
BC Supreme Court Justice Johnston found that the “artificial restriction” on “dried” marijuana in the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations breaches Section 7 of the Charter of Rights. “The remedy for this breach is to remove the word ‘dried’ where it appears in the medical marijuana access regulations,” said Johnston.
Medical cannabis dispensaries (aka ‘compassion clubs’) currently serve over 30,000 patients across Canada. Since 1996, dispensaries have been providing patients with safe access to a wide variety of medical cannabis products including baked goods, tinctures and resins.
Last June, Health Canada announced an overhaul to the MMAP in response to concerns raised by a number of stakeholders. Health Canada has stated it intends to remove itself as a distributor and adopt a more traditional regulatory capacity in the marketplace. CAMCD has been involved in constructive consultations with Health Canada officials around these proposed reforms.
CAMCD is a not-for-profit corporation established to promote a regulated community-based approach to medical cannabis access, and to support medical cannabis dispensaries in the provision of high quality patient care across Canada.