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Court decision could have wide-ranging impact on nascent medical marijuana industry

Canadians have a constitutionally protected right to grow their own marijuana for medical purposes, according to a federal court ruling that could have wide-reaching implications for Canada’s nascent medical marijuana industry, much of it in B.C.

In a ruling on issued Wednesday, judge Michael Phelan struck down Marijuana for Medical Purpose Regulations (MMPR), the rules introduced by the Conservatives in 2013 that sought to shepherd users into a mail-order system, and away from the old rules that permitted users to grow their own or designate someone else to. The decision gives the federal government six-months to change it current regulations so that patients will be allowed to grow at home.

“Everything is really up for grabs,” says Trina Fraser, a lawyer at BrazeauSeller LLP. The government could ask for an extension of the mid-July deadline to impose new rules, which could allow it to “take its time” when mulling legalization, as Bill Blair, the MP tasked with heading up the marijuana file, posited in comments before a Senate hearing Wednesday morning.

“Expect the status quo for the next six months,” says David Hyde, a Toronto-based consultant who works with MMPR applicants on facility security, who says the decision has sparked a “temporary lull and a bit of dispondency in certain circles.” He adds that it “it doesn’t support a continuation of MMAR program.”

The decision could however throw a wrench in Prime Minister Trudeau’s plans to legalize marijuana. “The federal and provincial task force on legalization is being still being organized” says Hyde, “I would not surprised now if there’s a slight delay as they devote resouces to understand the work required to address Allard decision.”

To read more: http://www.bcbusiness.ca/natural-resources/court-decision-could-have-wide-ranging-impact-on-nascent-medical-marijuana

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