|By PR Newswire||
|December 16, 2012 04:41 PM EST||
Changes improve public safety, maintain patient access
VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today that after a broad consultation process, the Government of Canada intends to make changes to the way Canadians access marihuana for medical purposes.
"Current medical marihuana regulations have left the system open to abuse," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We have heard real concerns from law enforcement, fire officials, and municipalities about how people are hiding behind these rules to conduct illegal activity, and putting health and safety of Canadians at risk. These changes will make it far more difficult for people to game the system."
In the past decade, Health Canada's Marihuana Medical Access Program has grown exponentially, from under 500 authorized persons in 2002 to over 26,000 today.
This rapid increase has had unintended consequences for public health, safety and security as a result of allowing individuals to produce marihuana in their homes.
The proposed new regulations will protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and their communities by eliminating the production of marihuana in homes.
The Government will no longer produce and distribute marihuana for medical purposes, opening up the market to companies which meet strict security requirements. Production will no longer take place in homes and municipal zoning laws will need to be respected, which will further enhance public safety.
The current Marihuana Medical Access Program costs Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The $5/gram Health Canada charges to program participants who choose to purchase from the department is heavily subsidized.
"An average of one in 22 grow operations (legal and illegal) catch fire, which is 24 times higher than the average home," said Stephen Gamble, President of the Canadians Association of Fire Chiefs. "We applaud the Government of Canada for strengthening Health Canada's regulations for marihuana for medical purposes to enhance the safety of Canada's firefighters and the communities they protect."
"Changes are necessary to reduce the risk of abuse and exploitation by criminal elements," said Chief Constable Jim Chu. "We very much appreciate the collaborative relationship the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police enjoys with Health Canada and how they are responding to the unintended public safety impact through the proposed changes to the Marihuana Medical Access Program."
In response to concerns from patients, the proposed new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations aim to treat marihuana as much as possible like any other narcotic used for medical purposes. Health care practitioners will be able to sign a medical document similar to a prescription, and then patients can purchase the appropriate amount from an authorized vendor. The new system would cut red tape for individuals and ensure that they have access to marihuana for medical purposes produced under quality controls while streamlining the process for applicants and health care practitioners.
"These changes strike the right balance between patient access and public safety," said Minister Aglukkaq.
It is the Government's intention to fully implement this new system by March 31, 2014. On this date, all authorizations to possess and licences to produce issued under the current program would expire, and all individuals requiring marihuana for medical purposes would have to purchase it from licensed producers.
Details of the proposed new regulations are posted on our website. There will be a 75-day comment period and the Department will be receiving comments until February 28, 2013. Health Canada will keep all stakeholders informed as we continue to move through the regulatory process.
Également disponible en français
Backgrounder - Proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations - Transitioning to a New System
The Minister of Health has announced proposed regulations that would change the way Canadians access marihuana for medical purposes. These proposed changes will not be finalized until the proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) come into force (expected in spring 2013). Until that time, individuals will continue to obtain authorization under the current Marihuana Medical Access Program.
Here are some key dates in the transition to the new system:
- Health Canada, through Public Works and Government Services Canada, will keep its contract with Prairie Plant Systems for the production and distribution of marihuana for medical purposes. This contract will run until March 31, 2014, and will make sure that program participants who choose to purchase dried marihuana from Health Canada will continue to have access to a legal supply of marihuana for medical purposes during the transition period.
- Health Canada will inform interested parties that they may apply to become authorized to conduct certain research and development activities with marihuana now, including testing plant materials and growing conditions. These activities could help potential licensed producers to be ready to apply for a licence as soon as the proposed regulations come into force.
- The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) are expected to come into force.
- In order to facilitate the transition from the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP) to the MMPR, both would operate concurrently from the time the new regulations come into force until March 31, 2014. During that time, individuals could choose to continue to access marihuana for medical purposes under the MMAP or order directly from a licensed producer (as soon as they are approved by Health Canada).
- Individuals would be allowed to use their Health Canada-issued authorization to possess or the medical declaration signed by their physician, for up to one year, to register with a licensed producer and place an order for dried marihuana from a licensed producer. This would help make sure that patients can access dried marihuana and it would not be interrupted when the current program comes to an end.
- Once the first established licensed producers have set a price for dried marihuana, Health Canada will align the price of its own supply.
October 1, 2013
- For authorized users under the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP), this system would begin to wind down. Health Canada would no longer accept new applications under the MMAP for production licences or applications to change the location of a production site. This is because the time required to obtain seeds and produce a viable crop of marihuana for medical purposes is approximately six months and all production under the current program must end on March 31, 2014.
- Health Canada would continue to renew personal use and designated production licences under the current MMAP.
- Health Canada's supply would be available until March 31, 2014. Supply provided by approved licensed producers, will also be available after the coming into force of the MMPR and will be the only source of supply after March 31, 2014.
- For new applicants, after October 1, 2013, individuals requiring access to marihuana for medical purposes who do not already hold a valid production licence for a given site would either have to obtain dried marihuana from Health Canada (until March 31, 2014 only), or go directly to an approved licensed producer.
April 1, 2014
- The new system is expected to be fully implemented and the MMAP would end.
- All authorizations to possess and licences to produce issued under the current program would expire. Holders of personal use and designated person production licences would no longer be allowed to grow their own crop.
- Health Canada would no longer produce or sell marihuana for medical purposes.
- All individuals requiring access to marihuana for medical purposes would have to obtain it from a licensed producer. This competitive industry would set its own prices, choose to sell a variety of strains, and be subject to security requirements, inspections, and good manufacturing practices.
Backgrounder - Proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations
Based on consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, the Government of Canada is concerned that the current Marihuana Medical Access Program is far too open to abuse.
While courts have ordered that there must be reasonable access to marihuana for medical purposes for patients that are seriously ill, this must be done in a controlled fashion in order to protect public safety.
The proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations balance the needs of patients with public health, security and safety concerns. These changes will strengthen the safety of Canadian communities, while making sure patients can access what they need to treat serious illnesses.
The new regulations' objective is to treat marihuana as much as possible like other narcotics used for medical purposes by:
- Eliminating risky production of marihuana by individuals in their homes;
- Ending Health Canada's role in authorizing individuals to possess and produce marihuana and in supplying and distributing marihuana; and
- Creating conditions for the establishment of a regulated commercial market of licensed producers responsible for the production and distribution of marihuana for medical purposes. These regulated licensed producers would have to meet extensive security and quality control requirements.
- Patients would obtain a medical document, similar to a prescription, and purchase marihuana directly from a licensed producer.
- Individuals would be able to obtain a medical document from a licensed medical practitioner, or, if permitted by provincial or territorial governments, from a nurse practitioner. If permitted by provinces and territories, pharmacists could also dispense marihuana directly to individuals.
The regulations would also streamline the process to obtain access to marihuana for medical purposes for individuals and improve the quality of this product by:
- No longer requiring individuals to apply to Health Canada - and submit their personal medical information to the government - for authorization to access marihuana for medical purposes;
- No longer requiring individuals to consult a specialist in addition to their health care practitioner;
- Simplifying the process for health care practitioners to support access by removing the requirement to sign a medical declaration and fill out Health Canada forms;
- Providing access to quality-controlled marihuana for medical purposes by requiring licensed producers to be subject to inspections and good production practices.
Backgrounder - Safety and Security Requirements for Licensed Producers
The Government of Canada is concerned that the current Marihuana Medical Access Program is vulnerable to abuse. While the courts have said that there must be reasonable access to marihuana for medical purposes, the Government believes that this must be done in a controlled fashion in order to protect public safety.
The proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) create the conditions for the establishment of a regulated commercial market of licensed producers responsible for the production and distribution of marihuana for medical purposes. These regulated licensed producers would have to meet extensive security and quality control requirements. For example, when potential licensed producers apply to Health Canada for a license, they must demonstrate that:
- They employ a quality assurance person with appropriate training, experience and technical knowledge to approve the quality of their dried marihuana;
- Their production site is indoors, and not in a private dwelling. This would reduce the risk of diversion posted by outdoor production and would reduce health and safety risks associated with producing marihuana in a private dwelling;
- The production site includes restricted-access areas, which would include all areas where a licensed activity is conducted with marihuana and cannabis other than marihuana (i.e. lab, production room, etc);
- Access to the production site is controlled at all times and includes 24/7 visual monitoring systems and an intrusion detection system to detect unauthorized access;
- Key personnel hold a valid security clearance, issued by the Minister of Health; and,
- They have provided a written notification of their application, providing details regarding the location of the production site, to the local police force, local fire authority and local government.
It will not be possible to apply to become a licensed producer until the proposed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations come into effect.
However, interested parties may immediately apply to become authorized to conduct certain research and development activities with marihuana, including testing marihuana plant materials and growing conditions. Beginning these research and development activities now may help potential licensed producers to be ready to apply for a licence when the regulations come into force. However, authorisation to conduct research and development is not a guarantee that a producer will receive a licence under the proposed regulations. They would still have to demonstrate compliance with all of the regulatory requirements.
Interested parties can visit the Health Canada website for further information.
SOURCE Health Canada
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 26, 2015 10:00 PM EST Reads: 378
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 26, 2015 09:30 PM EST Reads: 382
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application del...
Nov. 26, 2015 07:00 PM EST Reads: 330
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 26, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 380
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Nov. 26, 2015 03:30 PM EST Reads: 524
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Nov. 26, 2015 03:30 PM EST Reads: 442
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Nov. 26, 2015 03:15 PM EST Reads: 520
We are rapidly moving to a brave new world of interconnected smart homes, cars, offices and factories known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors and monitoring devices will touch every part of our lives. Let's take a closer look at the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is a worldwide network of objects and devices connected to the Internet. They are electronics, sensors, software and more. These objects connect to the Internet and can be controlled remotely via apps and programs. ...
Nov. 26, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 498
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 392
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Nov. 26, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 290
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 150
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 26, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 121
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 445
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 26, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 124
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 287