November 2011 CAMCD Update

November 2011 CAMCD Update
November 28, 2011 Dieter MacPherson

1) CAMCD Dispensary Certification
2) Cannabis Access for Medical Purposes Survey
3) New Health Canada FAQ
4) Family Physician Forum
5) International Drug Policy Reform Conference

1) CAMCD Membership

CAMCD will begin accepting applications from dispensaries for certification in early 2012. Check our web site and facebook for updates!

2) Cannabis Access for Medical Purposes Survey

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries has been collaborating with researchers at the University of British Columbia, with the Canadian AIDS Society, the Canadian Treatment Action Council, the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network and others to conduct a survey, the Cannabis Access for Medical Purposes Survey (CAMPS).

The information collected will be useful to understand the barriers and facilitators to access to cannabis for medical purposes.

If you use cannabis for medical purposes and are a resident of Canada, please consider completing the survey at
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CannabisSurvey

If you are a dispensary or other organization that works with patients who use cannabis for medical purposes, and would like the hard copies of the surveys and consent forms for those who may not have access to the online survey, please let us know and we’ll send them to you.

Please share this survey with your network. If you would like a button for your website, just ask and we’ll send that to you as well.

Thank you very much for your participation!

Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

3) New Health Canada FAQ

Health Canada has released a new FAQ for their “Proposed Improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP)”. These reflect a number of suggestions and concerns that CAMCD and others expressed during consultations with Health Canada.

Health Canada has confirmed that medical cannabis dispensaries are welcome to apply to become a Licensed Commercial Producer (LCP).

Health Canada plans to have the LCPs begin production in 2014. Health Canada acknowledges that it will take LCPs time to create a large enough supply to meet patient needs. The Personal Use Production Licenses (PUPLs) and Designated Production Licenses (DPPLs) are therefore to continue into 2014 to address the lack of a consistent supply. PUPLs and DPPLs serve the important role of providing lower costs to patient as well as specialized strains. Rather than removing their licenses outright, CAMCD will urge Health Canada to find other ways to address their concerns around safety and security.

Health Canada has also reopened the opportunity for Canadians to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the MMAP. We encourage anyone who has not yet provided their comment to take advantage of this renewed opportunity. Health Canada’s proposal, as well as information on providing feedback, can be found here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/consultation/marihuana/_2011/program/index-eng.php

The revised Health Canada “FAQ: Improvements to the Marihuana Medical Access Program” can be found here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/consultation/marihuana/_2011/program/faq-eng.php

4) Family Physician Forum

CAMCD board members attended the 2011 Family Physician Forum in Montreal Nov. 3-5. The CAMCD booth provided a great opportunity to speak directly with physicians across the country about medical cannabis. The CAMCD booth was heavily attended, providing information about the benefits of cannabis, addressing the concerns and questions of physicians, and introducing them to non-smoking ingestion options such as vapourizers and cannabis edibles. The response from the Forum was overwhelmingly positive and was a fantastic venue in which to share our expertise. CAMCD was able to educate physicians on the process of completing both dispensary and MMAR forms. CAMCD thanks the FMF for the great experience.

5) International Drug Policy Reform Conference

CAMCD Advisory Board Member Rielle Capler attended the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Los Angeles Nov. 2-5. This conference, organized by the Drug Policy Alliance, brings together people from all over the world working toward a common goal: to end the failed war on drugs and move all nations towards drug policy grounded in evidence, compassion, health and human rights. Rielle attended panels and roundtables, visited some dispensaries in Los Angeles, met with other Canadian drug policy reformers at a lunch put on by the newly formed Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, and presented on behalf of CAMCD. The presentation covered CAMCD’s work creating a national association to represent dispensaries, the need for formalized standards, and upcoming changes to the Health Canada’s medical cannabis regulations. This conference was an excellent opportunity to learn first-hand about the different regulatory measures for medical cannabis that exist in various US states, and to share information about what is happening in Canada. Rielle returned with new connections, a wider perspective, practical ideas, validation for CAMCD’s work, and incredible inspiration. CAMCD is extremely grateful to the DPA for their generous scholarship to Rielle that allowed her to attend.

Learn more about the Drug Policy Alliance http://www.drugpolicy.org/

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