With Legalization over 4 years ago, it's good to take stock of the progress we have made regarding the laws and the stigma around Cannabis use.
Let's look at the progress we have made in the Cannabis industry so far.
In Canada, our first real sign of introducing Canna back into the Legal side of things would have been in 1999 with the "Marijuana for Medical Purposes Act" or MMP for short.
At this time The Government of Canada had devised a plan to research further into the uses of Cannabis in medical situations. With this research, a select few patients were authorized to use Canna by doctors and Health Canada. Generally, only patients with terminal illnesses, epilepsy, or other critical conditions involving high amounts of pain would be allowed at this point. Patients would have to have tried every other treatment method before being approved to use Cannabis.
In 2001, the "Marijuana Medical Access Regulations" (MMAR) opened up the use of Cannabis for medical purposes a little more. More people were being authorized to use Canna to help treat their ailments.
Again, patients would have to exhaust all other treatment methods before receiving authorization. I find it interesting that at this time, the Canadian Court of Appeals declared that the prohibition of Cannabis for medical use is unconstitutional. This I believe was a big stage setter for the years to follow.
The next set of regulations was released in 2013, called the "Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations" (MMPR). At this point, doctors could authorize Cannabis to patients that they felt could benefit from using the Herb. The restrictions had eased slightly but were still quite strict. This was the beginning of Cannabis Clinics. Some family doctors weren't comfortable giving authorization to patients, so these clinics began to pop up more frequently. More symptoms and illnesses were added to the allowed illnesses, including those with chronic pain. This also opened up possession laws for people using medical Canna, which weren't in place before, while providing access to seeds and dried flower purchased from the government. Medical Canna users were also legally allowed to make oils or edibles from their Canna.
Physicians could now use their own medical judgment to authorize the use of Canna to patients with the "Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations" (ACMPR) in 2016. A patient's ailments didn't have to be within such strict guidelines, and Doctors and Physicians could decide if a patient could benefit from the use of Canna. This is when we really start seeing this plant moving its way back into the health sector where it once was, making it a more common type of treatment for many ailments.
Then we have Oct. 17, 2018 - legalization with "The Cannabis Act". Decriminalization of possession of Cannabis (with Regulations of course) came into effect, and now Retail stores could open up to sell Cannabis within the government's guidelines.
There is still a lot of work to do regarding some of the restrictions we still have with Canna, some being out of lack of knowledge, and some still coming from the stigma attached to Cannabis since its prohibition in the early 1900s. However, we have been lucky to see some movements within the industry already with some Regulations that have been amended or removed. With it now just over 4 years since legalization, the government intends to revisit the laws and regulations within the next year, as they just finished surveying
people's thoughts on what needs to be changed. I'm excited to see how things go and how the industry moves forward.
Peace & Puffs