|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
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 116
"Alert Logic is a managed security service provider that basically deploys technologies, but we support those technologies with the people and process behind it," stated Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 332
"ProfitBricks was founded in 2010 and we are the painless cloud - and we are also the Infrastructure as a Service 2.0 company," noted Achim Weiss, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ProfitBricks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,113
"We specialize in testing. DevOps is all about continuous delivery and accelerating the delivery pipeline and there is no continuous delivery without testing," noted Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect at Spirent Communications, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 370
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Jul. 30, 2015 10:00 AM EDT
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:59 AM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Jul. 30, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 197
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit f...
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,146
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 247
"We have been in business for 21 years and have been building many enterprise solutions, all IT plumbing - server, storage, interconnects," stated Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,030
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
Jul. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 344
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 331
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Jul. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,672
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is rele...
Jul. 29, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,369
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 29, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,026