Medicinal Cannabis: Canada
Marijuana remains an illegal drug in Canada. However, on July 30,
2001, the Narcotic Control Regulations was amended and the Marihuana
Medical Access Regulations came into force. These regulations established
a compassionate framework to allow the use of marijuana by people
who are suffering from serious illnesses and where the use of marijuana
is expected to have some medical benefit that outweighs the risk
of its use.
The Marihuana Medical Access Regulations clearly detail
the circumstances and the manner in which access to marijuana for
medical purposes will be permitted. For more information, please
consult our guide on how these regulations work or consult the following
frequently asked questions.
Office of Cannabis
This body administers the regulations that permit individuals
to access marijuana (cannabis) for medical purposes. From here you
can find the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations and other relevant
Application forms and guidelines for licensing and authorization
for the posession, production and use of marijuana for medical use
are available from the Office of Cannabis Medical Access website.
They can be accessed from here. This site also contains general
information on the subject including links to other useful policy
and research sources. This site has a good FAQ section addressing
issues of eligibility, authorization, etc.
Canada: Medical Marijuana
Health Canada/CIHR Marijuana
Research Program - Operating Grants and Randomized Control Trials
Medical Access Regulations
Canada: Regulations Amending the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations
October 23 2004
marijuana - why - and how - Ottawa must make it easier to acquire
Legislation & Bills
Legal Actions & Court Decisions
MAPS vs. DEA
Ontario Court of Appeal Decisions - October 2003
Federal Canadian Medical Marijuana
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to use medical marijuana?
Under the new regulations, those who fall into one of three categories
can apply for an Authorization to Possess marijuana for medical
purposes. Holders of this authorization may possess a maximum 30-day
treatment supply of marijuana at any given time.
Category 1: This category is for applicants who have terminal
illnesses with a prognosis of a life span of less than 12 months.
Category 2: This category is for applicants who suffer from
specific symptoms associated with certain serious medical conditions,
- Multiple Sclerosis: severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms
- Spinal Cord Injury: severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms
- Spinal Cord Disease: severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms
- Cancer: severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or
- AIDS/HIV infection: severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight
loss, and/or severe nausea
- Severe forms of Arthritis: severe pain
- Epilepsy: seizures
Category 3: This category is for applicants who have symptoms
associated with a serious medical condition, other than those described
in Categories 1 and 2, where among other things conventional treatments
have failed to relieve symptoms of the medical condition or its
How can I apply for an Authorization to possess marijuana for
Application forms are available from Health Canada's Office of
Cannabis Medical Access (OCMA). Applicants can either mail or phone in their request for
an application kit, or download the forms from the OCMA website.
Applicants must provide information about themselves, their medical
condition, and indicate if they plan to grow their own supply of
marijuana, have someone grow it for them, or in the future, obtain
it from a dealer licensed by Health Canada. Declarations for one
or more medical specialists stating, among other things, that all
conventional treatments have been tried or considered must also
See the Applicant's Quick Guide for more information.
How do I obtain marijuana grown for medical purposes?
Applicants who have been given an Authorization to Possess can
obtain medicinal marijuana in two ways:
- by applying for a license to grow your own marijuana Personal Use Production License
- by designating an individual to grow your marijuana for you.
Applicants will need to fill out a Designated Person Production License with the
If the proposed production site for growing marijuana is not the
ordinary residence of the applicant, and is not owned by the applicant
nor the designated person, an additional Consent of the Property Owner form must be filled
What is the role of medical practitioners?
Medical practitioners or specialists who have a patient applying
for an Authorization to possess dried marijuana must fill out a
portion of their patient's application. A Medical Practitioner's Quick Guide to the application
process is available online.
What is the Office of Cannabis Medical Access?
The Office of Cannabis Medical Access coordinates the development
of and administers the new regulatory approach permitting individuals
to access marijuana (cannabis) for medical purposes. All current
information on legislation, applications and guides pertaining to
medical marijuana are available on their Website.
Contact the OCMA
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2005 IACM 3rd Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine:
in Leiden, on 9-10 September 2005, The International Association for Cannabis
as Medicine in cooperation with the Office for Medicinal Cannabis of the Dutch Health
Ministry and the University of Leiden would like to invite you to participate
in the 2005 Meeting of the IACM on September 9-10, 2005 at Leiden University, The Netherlands.