Medical cannabis patients in Canada scored a major win in federal court today when provisions that prohibited home cultivation were struck down.
The Canadian government now has six months to formalize rules.
Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001 when Health Canada put out rules for access. The country had attempted a monopolized, state-controlled cultivation program. Patients found the cannabis to be of poor quality and consistency.
Regulations adopted in 2013 attempted to make all patients purchase cannabis from the state supply. A temporary injunction was issued in 2014 that allowed patients to grow remains in place. Compassion clubs and dispensaries operate in many cities, but do so without a national legal framework.
Attorney Kik Tousaw, who was representing a patient in the suit, told CBC News today,”[The Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations] were declared to be unconstitutional and violate the charter rights of medical cannabis patients.”
A brief was filed in the case by NORML Deputy Director and Freedom Leaf Policy Director Paul Armentano.
Armentano argued that eliminating home cultivation unduly limits patients’ access. He also pointed out that state-controlled medical production and distribution programs in the U.S. have often fallen prey to undue delay and have failed to provide consistent product supply to patients in many jurisdictions.
There are more than 40,000 Canadians who are part of the country’s medical cannabis system.
Read more about the landmark ruling here.