I guess this is it. RIP to the ACMPR: August 5, 2016- October 17, 2018. It was a good run, but it’s over, as Health Canada has alerted all “registered persons” of the ACMPR of the ACMPR’s official demise.

To quote Health Canada:

When the Cannabis Act and its regulations come into force on October 17, 2018, the ACMPR will be repealed and replaced by the Cannabis Regulations.

Which means goodbye ACMPR, hello Bill C-45. But what does this mean for those currently registered in the ACMPR?

For one thing, while the ACMPR is ending, it’s not going to be immediate. As Health Canada stated:

Until the coming into force of the new regulations on October 17, 2018, Health Canada will continue to process applications (including renewals) and issue registration certificates under the ACMPR.

Granted, that ends today, but Health Canada has also allowed for a transition period. How? To quote Health Canada directly:

Health Canada will continue to align the expiry date of certificates with the period authorized by your healthcare practitioner, in accordance with the class exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that took effect on March 2, 2018.

This means that the period of use of the registration begins on the date that your registration certificate is issued by Health Canada, instead of from the date that the medical document was signed by the healthcare practitioner.

Let’s break that down a bit further.

This can be interpreted as an extension of the time period for ACMPR patients because originally, the process of authorization began with your healthcare practitioner signing your medical cannabis document. The next step was getting your registration certificate from Health Canada, and the time in between could really vary.

So what Health Canada’s alignment does is shift the beginning of the end of the ACMPR until later- instead of your designated period of time under the ACMPR beginning the moment your doctor signs your medical documents, the countdown begins after you receive your Health Canada approval, whenever that was.

In effect, however long you waited in between getting your medical documents signed and getting approved by Health Canada- that’s how long your extension under the ACMPR will last. But once that’s over, the ACMPR is gone for good.

Farewell.

The full transcript from Health Canada is included below.

Dear Registered Person,

As an individual that is currently registered under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), the purpose of this letter is to provide you with information about the new Cannabis Act and its regulations, and how your current or future registration may be affected. It also outlines the steps that Health Canada is taking to improve applications process times for those individuals who register with Health Canada (or designate another individual) to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes.

The Cannabis Act and its regulations

On June 21, 2018, Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, received Royal Assent and the Government of Canada announced that the Act and related regulations will come into force on October 17, 2018. The Cannabis Act creates a strict framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis in Canada. The Cannabis Regulations set out, among other things, the framework that will continue to provide patients with reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes.

What you need to know about the new regulations

  • When the Cannabis Act and its regulations come into force on October 17, 2018, the ACMPR will be repealed and replaced by the Cannabis Regulations
  • After the new regulations come into force, your current registration will remain valid until the expiry date indicated on your registration certificate.
  • Until the coming into force of the new regulations on October 17, 2018, Health Canada will continue to process applications (including renewals) and issue registration certificates under the ACMPR.
  • Health Canada will continue to align the expiry date of certificates with the period authorized by your healthcare practitioner, in accordance with the class exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that took effect on March 2, 2018. This means that the period of use of the registration begins on the date that your registration certificate is issued by Health Canada, instead of from the date that the medical document was signed by the healthcare practitioner. This change was made in response to the input and feedback that many of you provided to Health Canada and has been incorporated into the new Cannabis Regulations.
  • For individuals registered to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes or who designate someone to produce it for them, revised application forms and a guidance document will be made available on the Health Canada website (www.canada.ca/cannabis) on October 17, 2018. To help ensure a smooth transition, the current application form will be accepted by Health Canada for the first three months following the coming into force of the new regulations, after which the revised application would have to be used.