The plan of Conservative government for moving medical marijuana plants out of the basements of patients and into commercial facilities was dealt an important setback, when the Federal Court judge passed a rule that anyone already licensed for growing the drug may continue to do so.
An injunction was issued by Judge Michael Manson exempting those patients who are licensed for growing medical marijuana under the existing rules, either for someone else or themselves, from new rules that would have made this practice illegal. A constitutional challenge asked a group of patients for an injunction for preserving the status quo unless their legal case goes to trial.
The plans were announced by the federal government for overhauling the production of the medical marijuana previous year, arguing that the existing system is out of control and was rife with issues ranging from infiltration by criminals to unsafe grow-ops. The new rules restrict medical marijuana production only to commercial growers, although the court injunction is not affecting the latest licensing system.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the current regulations violate their rights for accessing important medicine, since marijuana is expected to be more costly initially under the new system. They also argued they do have authority over which strains of the pot they use. It was concluded by the judge that most patients will not be able to afford medical marijuana if prices get higher as expected.
Judge Manson said that the group would be irreparably harmed by the effects of the latest rules. He further added that he found that the nature of the harm that patients will suffer from the latest regulations, has constituted a clear sense that outweighs that interest of public in completely maintaining the enacted rules.
Under the injunction’s terms, those patients who were licensed for growing medical marijuana as of 30th Sept of 2013 can continue to do so. However, the ruling is also applied to anyone approved since that date. The decision also said that patients are restricted to possess 150 grams of dried marijuana and that is a limit set by the latest regulations. Health Canada has warned that any patients who is licensed to grow medical marijuana and did not confirm that they destroyed their plants will be reported to the police.