Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

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The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) was a set of Canadian regulations enacted in July 2013 concerning the production, distribution and use of medical cannabis (rendered in Canadian legislation as marihuana[a]).[1] Portions of the law become effective on October 1, 2013, March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015. The law was struck down as unconstitutional by the Federal Courts due to the inability for patients to grow their own medicine. The new act put forward is the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

The MMPR program replaces the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), which came into force on 30 July 2001.[2] Prior to a federal injunction, the MMAR program was to end on March 31, 2014. The MMAR program was intended to clearly define the circumstances and the manner in which access to cannabis for medical purposes would be permitted. It contained three main components: authorizations to possess dried cannabis flowers; licences to produce dried cannabis flowers, which include Personal-Use Production Licences and Designated-Person Production Licences; and access to supply of cannabis seeds or dried cannabis flowers.[3]

The MMPR was introduced in response to concerns from stakeholders that the MMAR was open to abuse. The MMPR treats cannabis as much as possible like any other narcotic used for medical purposes by creating conditions for a new, commercial industry that is responsible for its production and distribution. According to Health Canada, the regulations "will provide access to quality-controlled marihuana for medical purposes, produced under secure and sanitary conditions, to those Canadians who need it, while strengthening the safety of Canadian communities. In addition, the new regulations will also enable more choices of marihuana strains and licensed, commercial suppliers."[3]

Under the MMPR, Health Canada maintains a list of authorized licensed producers of medical cannabis.[4] While the MMPR originally only contemplated the sale of dried cannabis flowers, recent amendments allow patients to turn their cannabis into products such as edibles and cannabis oil.[5]

The transition from the MMAR to the MMPR program represents a substantial change in direction for the supply and acquisition of medical cannabis in Canada. It has not gone without controversy. The MMAR DPL/PPL Coalition Against Repeal is a coalition of over 6,000 members fighting for the preservation of the MMAR. An exemption was granted by a Federal Court Judge in British Columbia and permits clients who had a valid authorization to possess and/or a production license as of March 21, 2014 to continue to grow until the outcome of a Constitutional Challenge Trial that started in February 2015. [6] [7] In August 2016, Health Canada announced the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) to replace MMPR.[8] The new program incorporates the MMPR with a new personal cultivation regime similar to the former Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). [9][10]


  1. ^ Note: The government of Canada and some other civic agencies' websites use the spelling marihuana, an archaic variant spelling of marijuana.


  1. ^ "Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations". Justice Laws Website. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  2. ^ "Marihuana Medical Access Regulations". Justice Laws Website. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  3. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions: Medical Use of Marihuana". Health Canada. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  4. ^ "List of Authorised Licensed Producers under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations". Health Canada. 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  5. ^ "Medical Cannabis Oil in Canada within the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations)".
  6. ^ "The MMAR DPL/PPL Coalition Against Repeal". MMAR Coalition Against Repeal. 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Statement from Health Canada concerning access to cannabis for medical purposes".
  9. ^ "What the ACMPR Means for Canadian Cannabis Patients, LPs, and Businesses".
  10. ^ "ACMPR: Greater Access to Medical Cannabis for Canadian Patients".