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Cannabis Culture

Health Canada Announces New Medical Cannabis Regulations

Under new policies set forth by Health Canada, medical marijuana patients will soon be allowed to grow their own cannabis and have any product tested at a federally certified laboratory, the Globe and Mail reports.

In an email to the Globe, Health Canada spokesman Eric Morrissette said the shift is due to the “recognition of the health and safety value of testing.”

“This would enable individuals to have more information about the potency of the strains they are producing (i.e. THC and CBD levels), as well as information about any contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, microbial) or residues in their product,” he wrote.

The changes come less than a month after a Globe investigation uncovered that the federal government was discouraging labs from independently testing products that did not come from government-authorized producers. At that time, the Globe report found three of nine flower samples from unlicensed dispensaries did not meet Health Canada’s safety standards.

In February, a Canadian Federal Court ruled that grow-your-own bans violated a patient’s right to life, liberty, and security. In his decision, Judge Michael L. Phelan gave the government six months to come up with regulations for home growing.

The new regime allows those with a prescription to grow two indoor plants or five outdoor plants — due to differences in yields — with licensed producers allowed to sell the seeds.

The new rules take effect on Aug. 24.

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