After opening up laboratory cannabis testing for medical patients that are now authorized to grow their own personal plants, Health Canada has released a statement warning them not to send in cannabis from dispensaries.
Under the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, patients can now apply to Health Canada to grow cannabis for their own medical purposes or designate someone to grow it for them.
“In order to provide these individuals authorized under the new ACMPR regime with a means to test their product, should they so choose, Health Canada has issued a Section 56 exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to enable persons registered under the ACMPR…to access testing services for dried or fresh marijuana or cannabis oil that they have produced,” the Health Canada statement read.
But, despite the government having no ability to stop patients from doing so, Health Canada is asking patients to not send in cannabis from other sources — reiterating the position that dispensaries are illegal.
“Under no circumstances are individuals permitted to send, or testing facilities permitted to test, cannabis procured from illegal sources,” the statement read. “Dispensaries and other such entities are illegal, and it would be inappropriate for the health product regulator to sanction consumer testing of product obtained from these sources.”
Cannabis advocate and lawyer Kirk Tousaw wrote online that Health Canada‘s statement was misguided.
“Is it really ‘inappropriate’ to allow dispensary cannabis to be tested? More inappropriate than allowing consumers to buy ‘contaminated’ cannabis? Even though you are “Health” Canada and not the PPSC or Justice? And even though the goal of the CDSA is protecting health and safety?” Tousaw wrote. “Stuff like this (they could just have left out the statement on dispensaries) makes me think they need another lesson from the courts.”
Health Canada once again made their position on dispensaries clear, that private producers and retailers have no license, are supplied illegally, and sell cannabis that may be contaminated.
“The only legal commercial source of safe, quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes in Canada is through purchase directly from one of the 35 producers licensed by Health Canada, which currently serve almost 82,000 Canadians,” Health Canada wrote. “These licensed producers have always been required to test their product and the results are verified by Health Canada, and product that fails to meet strict standards is not released for sale.”