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.”


  • bob

    hahahaha really??/

    LP’s test all weed and HC verifies…hohoho

    when an LP..i will not name them but they are in nanaimo..used a proper lab in BC to test their product..they failed every time…

    then HC allowed them to selftest……and wonder of wonders they became most excellent growers overnight…and their product passed their own testing every time….only the patients returned it..

    companies such as these will always want to ‘sell’ anything even if returned it goes on the income page….
    as shown recently with the A company from Alberta customer service is a low priority when you operate in a restricted access market..share value first as most of these companies will sell out to big pharma the minute they get in position to do so…

    then people who have no right and no knowledge will extract money off the backs of others..

    • Zoso Bonzo

      Nope nothing fishy going on here /sarc. People should send in samples from LP’s but not label them as such.

    • Catharine Claus

      Hey Bob,

      Maybe you can email me with some more info? I work as a consultant for medical patients and would really like to know which LP is doing this. I have seen some awful “product” passed off as medicine and would like to help patients avoid this pitfall. Thanks.

  • Catharine Claus

    Why do we keep hearing this “35 Licensed Producers” nonsense? The number 35 only references the number of licenses issued by Health Canada and not the number of LP’s you can sign up with.

    Some LP’s are ready for public sale and have a license ONLY for cultivation. Also, Tweed has a license and so does Tweed Farms, you can only register with Tweed though. They are owned by Canopy Growth (who also owns Bedrocan, who has 2 licenses as well). Mettrum has 2 licenses as well. Prairie Plant Systems has two licenses, one to cultivate and another under Cannimed for sale.

    So after removing all the LP’s that you can’t register with, there is less than 20 left. Not all LP’s sell oil, and not all LP’s will have a strain that works for you. Let’s be honest too, some of these LP’s sell awful product, some mediocre and some better than average.

    If you want an organic Licensed Producer you only have 3 options!!!!!

    I am so sick and tired of hearing the official line of “35 License Producers”. It is NOT accurate and I am calling bull**** on that number. There is very little choice available to medical patients, no wonder so many go to a dispensary where they can see their medicine before they purchase it.

    What we are witnessing is nothing more than the full industrialization and commercialization of Cannabis as it is torn away from the community and the people who have supported this amazing plant no matter what the personal cost.

  • bob

    well a little research will show who that is..but the best thing is to avoid LP”s all together as supporting them financially is helping them stay as the solution..the government keeps saying things like ..they service 68000 people…. a lot of their customers they call ghost customers..because the register and order one time then go to compassion clubs to get a refill so they are legal possession wise….

    not all LP’s are bad ..just most of them ,,and especially the publicly traded ones….who are most likely waiting for big pharma to buy them out…..i would want some verification of their claims to be Organic i have been an Organic farmer for 40 years and it is very difficult to do indoors…and yields always are less….so very unlikely this claim is true as i do not believe any have 3rd party verification….

    the fellows at Broken Coast do a decent job and are ok folks…..i think maybe organigram to if they can prove their claims….
    medicine should be pure and sun grown in dirt and extracted properly to give the full range of compounds in it…not as a prisoner in an industrial setting…these plants respond to their environment more than most…they actually seem to like to be loved hahaha
    as we have no real knowledge of how this plant works fully….we should use the entire plant to give ourselves the best shot….

    support of the Craft Growers is what we need to do the best we can do…

  • quel-y

    I agree with Kirk Tousaw’s comments and this position from Health Canada may need to be challenged. I’m confused, is Health Canada more concerned about protecting the health of Canadians or about acting like law enforcement? Because it sure seems like the latter. It is a curious position that puts public health at risk so that Health Canada can wield a heavy hammer.

    People are going to buy cannabis from dispensaries regardless so it’s in everyone’s best interest to have the products tested for safety (contaminants) and potency. None of us want to ingest pesticides or moulds beyond the legal limits and without lab testing there’s no way to know — and that’s true for LP cannabis, dispensary cannabis, and anyone else’s cannabis for that manner where you don’t know the source or the grower. Get it tested.