In a landmark ruling out of British Columbia, Federal Judge Michael Phelan has determined that Health Canada’s established medical cannabis framework is unconstitutional, granting Canada’s Liberal Party a six-month window to work out new medical marijuana legislation.
In the meantime, Judge Phelan has also ruled that patients should be allowed to grow their own cannabis once more — a right that was taken away with the 2013 introduction of the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
The MMPR mandates that patients purchase their cannabis from a government-licensed producer. Not only did the system bar patients from growing their own medicine, but it also banned medical marijuana dispensaries and other retail storefronts.
John Fowler, President of Supreme — another of Canada’s licensed producers — said he hopes the Canadian government recognizes Judge Phelan’s ruling as a call for better regulations in medical cannabis. “I hope the Liberals look at the political issue here, at the fact that some Canadians can’t afford any medical marijuana, and come up with balance between the interest of [licensed producers] and the health interest of Canadians,” he said.